How to KNOW YOURSELF - 3 EASY ways to Discover Yourself

Knowing yourself is the key to happy life and relationships, but how do you develop self awareness is the first place?
Self Awareness - The knowledge of your own personality, your wants and desires, your hopes and expectations - are crucial. We know that... we know that self awareness is crucial for developing deep, meaningful relationships, for success in your business and career, or even for self-love and acceptance.
So how do you develop self awareness?? Let's talk about 3 easy ways to get you started today.

Stream of consciousness writing

Let’s start with my favorite method to explore life experiences, and process all the thoughts and emotions that come with them using something called the stream of consciousness writing.
Stream of consciousness writing is similar to writing a journal, but also quite a bit different.
To engage in stream of consciousness writing, get yourself to a place that feels comfortable- where you don’t have any distractions, and you’re not worries about who might be looking over your shoulder.
Once you get comfortable, just write whatever comes to your mind - whether that’s your deepest darkest secrets or the movie you saw on Netflix last night…. It doesn’t matter.
What does matter tho is that you follow your chain of thoughts. If in the middle of a sentence your thoughts starts to go on a tangent, follow your chain of thoughts.
The goal here is to let your thoughts and emotions flow freely - putting words to your experience can be pretty powerful, and it’s a great way to get things off your chest as well.

How does it help deepen self awareness?

When you start doing stream of consciousness writing, the first few days or even the first couple of weeks, you might write about your day to day life stuff.
However, eventually, you will notice that you start writing about things that are deeper, more meaningful to you. Over time, this exercise allows you to embrace your experiences and emotions in a safe manner… especially the things that your conscious mind might have forgotten, or were just too complex or too painful to attend to.
Another key aspect is that over time, you will notice certain themes and patterns emerging - you might notice that it doesn’t matter where you start, you keep going back to a particular point. Or you might notice that a similar pattern keeps emerging in different areas of your life.
These things are clearly important to your subconscious mind…. And I’d encourage you to stay with them - write about them, talk about them with people you trust, and maybe even process them in therapy.

What’s the best time to do stream of consciousness writing?

I recommend in the morning, when your mind isn’t occupied with all the routine events of the day yet. Having a consistent routine, like doing the writing at the same time everyday also helps to keep it going.

Self awareness involves deep personal honesty. It comes from asking and answering hard questions.
Stephen Covey

In-the-moment reflection

Now, on to the second method to deepen your self awareness - In the moment reflection.
What this means is to catch yourself in moments when you feel uncomfortable or anxious, and take a moment to ask yourself why? Whenever you feel uncomfortable, your mind’s go to response is fight-or flight. Because of this fight or flight, you might be like.... oh, I don't want to think about that - it's a mental version of flight.
However, I would encourage you to take a slightly different route. Instead of running away from the stressor, take a moment to acknowledge your own discomfort - think about it, how great would it be to validate your own emotions. And then, ask yourself why? What is making you uncomfortable in that moment? And what is it that you want or need in that moment?
Now it doesn’t have to be just negative emotions... You can also practice this in-the-moment reflection with positive or even neutral emotions. For example, when you feel really happy or feel calm, or even content, take a moment to reflect on what’s driving that emotion. Make a note of it, and log it in your memory
Over time, these small little reflections will build-up to a thorough awareness of things that brings joy or unease to you.
Another side-benefit is that you strengthen the connection between the thinking parts and emotional parts of your brain, which helps with managing stress and anxiety over time.

Mindfulness Breathing

Most of you might already be familiar with mindfulness breathing, but for those who might not have heard about it - It is as simple as following a guided audio that helps you take deep breaths while you focus your attention on your breathing. You can do it for 5 or 10 minutes a day, but the key is the daily practice.

It is primarily a relaxation exercise, that engages a part of your nervous system called, which keeps your body’s stress response in check. "Parasympathetic nervous system" on the screen. However, in addition to stress and anxiety regulation, mindfulness breathing helps you develop the skillset to be calm and set with yourself without an external distraction of phone, tv or another person. Overtime, it helps increase your comfort with yourself and your confidence.

You can pair mindfulness breathing with either of the two methods I mentioned earlier, especially if you’re experiencing any lingering thoughts or emotions from them. Just remember, that when you first start mindfulness breathing - your mind and your breathing practices will likely be all over the place - don’t worry, and definitely don’t judge yourself. Keep practicing, and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

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