Ways to Better Your Self-Reflection

» Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

Ways to Better Your Self-Reflection

You may have heard the term self-reflection used and even suggested as a means to improve your mental and emotional health. But what exactly is self-reflection and how can you do it effectively? Essentially self-reflection is serious thought that you put into examining your thoughts, actions, motives, and character.  While it sounds simple and maybe even a little silly, self-reflection is an important tool for growth and recovery. It allows you to examine what has worked for you, what has caused you issues, and how you can change things to improve your situation. If there is something that you want to change or improve about yourself, it helps to first understand why you are behaving a certain way in the first place. Here are some quick tips to get the most out of your self-reflection:

  • Know why you are self-reflecting. Don’t do this exercise simply as homework or to appease someone else. Did you hurt someone with your actions? Do you have a hard time controlling your anger? Have you grown distant from your spouse and want to fix it? Thinking about what is causing you to be upset in the first place will allow you to focus this exercise in the right area.
  • Only accept honesty from yourself. It’s up to you to keep yourself honest about your current situation and behaviors. Allow yourself to be wrong, or to admit that you have been doing something that you aren’t proud of if that is the case. Stay honest with yourself about how things have gotten to where they are.
  • Find thinking flaws and patterns within yourself. Do you have an issue that just keeps happening over and over again? Try to find how you are contributing to this with either your thinking errors or your behavior patterns. Maybe you have some habits that can add to the problem, or you refuse to see how you have contributed to it in the past. Taking time to deal with what might be going on inside of you that is adding to the issue can make a huge difference.
  • Keep a healthy perspective. Don’t allow this exercise to turn into a pity party or a self loathing episode. While dealing with issues is important, try to remember that one mistake doesn’t mean everything is ruined, one bad choice doesn’t mean that you are incapable of doing the right thing. In fact, it just means you’re human. So take whatever you are reflecting on for what it is, and try to remember that not everything is bad. Don’t allow yourself to feel sorry for yourself or start hating yourself while doing this exercise, that won’t help anything.
  • Decide what you value. Knowing yourself and what is important to you can help you gain some insight into why you do wht you do and if you are living up to your own expectations. Ask yourself what you really value, what’s most important to you, what kind of person you want to be, and then decide if you are following your values. If not this could give you insight to some of the issues you have been having. Conflicts with what you value and what you present can cause major internal issues for emotional and mental health.
  • Write it down.Sometimes emotions can make our minds race and it can be hard to even begin to organize or analyze our thoughts. Writing through these self-reflection exercises can really help you digest and decipher what you are feeling and thinking. Also this is a good way to go back and see how far you have come. Jot down questions that you are asking yourself as well as answers and feelings associated with them. This can also help you pinpoit where your distress is coming from.

While these are simple tips, they can greatly improve your self-reflection and mental health. If you feel like you could benefit from guided self-reflection or the help of a professional, contact one of our staff today!

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