So, finally we are into the final part of the 4-Part series where I will talk about how to self-reflect, what this process entails and how I used some of those things to help me. In case, you missed part 3 of my series on why this process is important- then here is a link for it http://meghamathur.com/2020/06/30/part-3-how-can-self-reflection-help-you/
Self-Reflection is something that you can do on a day-to-day basis or once a week or at any point of the day. What you need to remember is that you need to be in a calm state of mind. Though this means that you have to be stress-free and in a happy place.
When I started so self-reflect, I chose to do it at the end of the day when my children were asleep and I had some time to myself. This also entailed that I was device-free and not watching anything on the television for at least half an hour. There is a particular reasoning behind the time frame I used. When you are on a device, your mind is fixated on what it is watching and will be analyzing information that it receives. It takes at least 15-20 minutes to detach from information that your brain is processing to make it move on to the next activity.
Next, find a quite place in your home to do it or you can venture outside to a place that calms you down.
LISTEN TO MUSIC THAT IS CALMING:
I think the one thing that brings you to focus on your process is music that soothes you, and calms your mind.
What it does is that it tells your mind to focus it’s energies elsewhere. Close your eyes and listen to the beats and start your process.
START A JOURNAL:
I am a big fan of writing in a journal. There are a lots of benefits that one experiences from this exercise.
First and Foremost, it is the biggest way to let go of what you are feeling. It allows your mind to free-flow those thoughts onto a paper. It provides a cathartic release in my opinion of ideas, thoughts, feelings and questions that you have accumulated in your mind through the day, week, month, year or your past. But I do want you to remember: Once you start writing, just keep writing and don’t stop till your mind has exhausted itself.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:
Everyone is in a different phase in their lives. The questions you ask yourself could vary upon what you are looking to achieve but here are some of them to get you started:
Reflecting on your day:
How was my day?
What was good about it?
What was bad about it?
How was I feeling throughout the day?
What was I happy about? Sad About?
What am I thankful for?
Reflecting on your day allows you to be more present in the moment and make subtle changes in your life.
Reflections on your thoughts and actions:
How many thoughts were positive? How many were negative?
Did my actions affirm those thoughts?
Could I have done anything differently?
What risks did I take?
What did I say to myself when I was positive? When negative?
When you decide to reflect on your thoughts, you are focusing on your day to day way of functioning.
Reflecting on Belief Systems:
What are my beliefs? towards myself and others?
What are my moral and ethical values?
What needs to change within me to sustain me better?
Are my beliefs limiting me in some way?
How does religion factor into my values? How does spirituality? Or Both?
Belief systems challenge you to the core. Maybe what you learned while growing up is no longer working for you and require subtle changes in your adaptive processes.
Reflecting on Relationships:
What do I value most in my relationships?
How do I interact within those relationships?
Are those relationships making me grow? or hindering my growth?
Can I rely on someone?
Are people in my life supportive of what I do?
Reflecting on your relationships allows you to weed out people who are negative influencers in your life.
Reflecting on Personal Life:
Am I happy where I am?
What makes me happy in life?
Do I get to enjoy life? If not, how do I go about it?
What do I want from my life?
What triggers me? Do I get angry then?
What strategies do I use to calm myself down? Are they working?
This type of reflection strengthens your strengths and you learn new coping strategies to keep you balanced in your life.
This is not an exhaustive list and are examples of what you can ask yourself. The questions that you pen down are limitless and will depend on what your pen-ultimate goal is with this process.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Once you process everything that you need to, you will go through a range of emotions and it is perfectly natural to feel them. But there is something you need to remember: it is a learning process and here the lesson learned are about you. So keep an open mind- the process of self-reflection will show you your weaknesses and strengths at the same time.
It is what you do to change your course that will help you become more self-aware of your triggers. This in turn allows you to use the strategies in place that bring you back to your “calm place”
FINDING YOUR PURPOSE:
This is a tough one for me to answer for you. Everyone has a different life goal in their lives and how you go about achieving it becomes your purpose in life OR you get a gut feeling in your soul about not being where you are truly supposed to be.
In that case, your self-reflection questions will take you down a different path with questions looking more like this:
Am I happy where I am?
Have I seen a sudden shift in my behaviors?
Have I seen a sudden shift in my emotions?
What was it that I wanted to do before I did what I am doing now? Remember, this question is a tricky one. If you read Part 2 of my series, it takes you down a path of delusion as well. When answering this question, you should ask yourself if this is what you truly wanted. The best way to try something new is to add it to your life as an adjunct- before you completely decide to move on.
Self-Reflection is a self-evolving practice that you will learn to do over and over again; always re-evaluating what needs to be changed in your life. This process is not easy but it is very illuminating.
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