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Four ways to practice self-awareness for a happier life

Readers Lounge By Gloria Nyang'iye
Being aware of yourself improves your mood, relationships communication, productivity, and decision-making process (Shutterstock)

Self-awareness is a powerfulskill that can improve several aspects of your life. When you are self-aware, you’re able to be honest with yourself and observe the way you feel, think and behave. 

ALSO READ: Four simple ways to get a new lease on life

‘Self-awareness’ should not be confused with negative ‘self-judgement’. It is simply an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. Being aware of yourself improves your mood, relationships communication, productivity, and how you make decisions.

Below are four self-awareness practises you can adopt for a happier life.

When you’re not aware of who you are, you allow other people and life situations to define you (Shutterstock)
  1. Write things down

Putting your thoughts down on paper clears your mind and creates space for new information. Self-reflecting on a daily basis puts your thoughts and feelings into perspective and reveals any changes you need to make.

Get a journal and reflect over lessons learned, acts of kindness you did, meaningful people you met and things that you’re grateful for. Your journal is like a secret diary where you can be authentically raw with yourself so there is no need for it to sound perfect.

  1. Get to know yourself

Many of us have been in situations where we’re asked, “So, tell me about yourself”. Right there and then, you start thinking, “Who am I?” When you’re not aware of who you are, you allow other people and life situations to define you.

Look within and observe how you identify yourself. Are you defined by your relationship, job, or money? Go back to the drawing board and imagine how your six-year-old self would effortlessly describe your personality, interests, achievements and values.

Putting your thoughts down on paper clears your mind and creates space for new information (Shutterstock)
  1. Understand your emotions

Emotions shift all the time. They can be up one minute and down the next. Try and understand how you react to certain life situations. Doing so will help you get a hold of yourself when you’re about to emotionally react to a situation.

ALSO READ: Seven ways to practice self-care postpartum

Additionally, identify people and things that trigger you emotionally so that you can pause before reacting in a way that you may regret later. In those situations, work to deal with your emotional state before reacting.

Being self-aware to begin with will make it hard for you to allow negative external factors to dictate your life (Shutterstock)
  1. Accept feedback and criticism

As much as you should be in tune with yourself, opinions from honest and trustworthy people can further help you improve. Surround yourself with people who have your best interests at heart, because other people may use their opinions to hurt you.

Don’t let criticism define you, work on those weaknesses to better yourself. Just remember that being self-aware to begin with will make it hard for you to allow negative external factors to dictate your life.

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