In this post, let’s explore self-awareness and how it leads to a better self.
Let’s first explore what it means.
What is Self-Awareness?
Self-awareness or being self-aware is about noticing things about yourself. It’s about being able to notice your feelings as well as physical sensations. Also, your reactions, habits, behaviors as well as your thoughts.
Self-awareness is understanding how your reactions, habits, behaviors as well as thoughts affect yourself and others around you.
It’s related to mindfulness or being mindful. To be mindful is to change the nonjudgmental awareness of yourself.
Why Is Self-Awareness Important?
Being self-aware is important. When you have a better understanding of yourself, you’re able to face the world as a unique as well as a stronger person. As a result, you become aware of your strength as well as your weaknesses. Then, you take action to build on your strengths as well as identify areas where you’d like to improve on.
Benefits Of Self-Awareness
When you become self-aware there are many tangible benefits. For example, it helps you to better manage your emotions. As a result, you’ll have better relationships.
Also, it leads to better stress management. As a result, you’ll become aware of what triggers your stress as well as your anxiety.
Examples Of Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is vital for a meaningful life and leads to a better self. Let’s explore some examples.
- Being Able To Identify Your Emotions And How You’re Feeling:
Emotions are an obstacle to rational thought. When they’re involved, you may not be aware that you’re losing your ability to think rationally. As a result, emotions give way to thoughts and defenses that can throw off your areas of focus.
Emotions, especially negative ones can take over your body and mind without you realizing it. For example, you may get frustrated at work and you might react to it by getting angry.
Getting angry doesn’t help you nor does it help those around you. Becoming self-aware involves identifying what is making you angry and then learning to let that emotion go.
2. You’re Able To Recognize Your Coping Mechanisms:
A coping mechanism is a strategy you can use in the face of stress and/or trauma. It helps you to manage painful as well as tough emotions in a healthy way.
When you’re facing stress or trauma, you may not be aware that you’re coping in an unhealthy way. For example, you may be facing stress triggered by a past experience, which causes you to put things off.
When you’re putting things off because of stress, you’re unaware that this is a self-sabotaging habit. In a previous post, “Habits That Lead To Success”, we learned that habits can be changed once we become aware of them.
When you become aware of a healthy coping mechanism, you’ll find that you’re able to be mindful in the face stress without it triggering a bad habit.
3. Being Able To Identify Your Strengths And Weaknesses:
Becoming aware or mindful of your strengths and weaknesses helps you in many ways.
It gives you a better understanding of yourself and how you function. For example, if you’re looking at career options, you’d be able to identify right away what you’re good at. As a result, you’ll grow more as a person.
4. Getting To Know Yourself On A Deeper Level:
Getting to know yourself on a deeper level is self-knowledge.
It’s important to have a deeper understanding of yourself, because it makes you independent of the opinions of others.
Also, self-knowledge allows you to make positive changes in your behaviors that hurt your mental health. For example, you may become mindful of your poor relationship between sleep hygiene and bipolar disorder. When this happens, you’ll change that behavior and your bipolar symptoms get better.
Knowing who you are and what you stand for leads to a strong sense of self-confidence.
Let’s Explore How Self-Awareness Leads To A Better Self
Self awareness is the ability to monitor your own emotions and reactions. If you have it, you’re mindful of emotions that trigger reactions. As a result, you’ll respond better to that trigger. It’s a great tool for boosting self-confidence as well as for better relationships.
Did you know it’s also a tool for taking care of your mental health?
Self-awareness is taking a step back and being mindful of your thoughts and feelings as they happen. It may be something as as simple as noticing the emotions that you feel while around other people. Also, it may be the thoughts that run through your mind when you’re too scared to get outside your comfort zone.
Sometimes self-awareness can be more complex. It may be layered awareness of how your emotions, feelings and behaviors are fed by your thoughts.
Bipolar Disorder and Lack Of Self-Awareness
Bipolar Disorder is marked by episodes of mood swings. They range from depressive lows from manic highs.
In between mood swings, you may have stable moods and be able to carry out day-to-day tasks. Also, you’re able to manage relationships with your loved ones.
When your mood changes, you may have an unusual shift in energy that leads to problems with carrying out tasks. A really sad part of bipolar disorder is not being aware of the harm that mood changes cause.
For example, you may not be aware that mood swings cause changes in how you think, feel and behave. As a result, it leads to self-sabotaging behaviors that ruin relationships as well as affect daily functioning. Also, you may not be aware of specific triggers that cause mood swings.
Self-Awareness For Better Mental Health
Let’s explore self-awareness and go even deeper into how it leads to a better self.
Even after you accept your diagnosis, you still have to be mindful of your bipolar symptoms.
Bipolar disorder can come with a lack of awareness. This is true if you’re having hypomania, which is a less severe form of mania. It’s hard to detect when it’s happening, because you might mistaken it for being overly happy.
Hypomania can cause you to engage in self-destructive actions. Also, you may not be mindful of the end result of those actions.
Hypomania is a stop on the way to either full-blown mania or major depression, depending on what type of bipolar disorder you have. This is when self-awareness becomes important.
Becoming self-aware when hypomania is happening causes you to become mindful of subtle clues. It helps you pick up on mood changes early on to prevent an episode from getting worse.
If you start noticing symptoms such as decreased need for sleep or an inability to focus, stop and take a step back. Along with taking medication to manage symptoms, it also helps to be aware of triggers that cause mood episodes. One of your triggers might be not getting enough sleep or even consuming too much caffeine.
By taking a step back and becoming mindful of your symptoms, you’ll be able to respond to them better.
When you explore self-awareness for a better self, you’ll find that it’s an effective tool to manage your bipolar symptoms.
Have You Ever Explored Self-Awareness?
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