Your Self-reflection Guide | Start Practicing It Now For A Better Life
When you stand in front of the mirror what are the first few things that you notice about yourself? Probably your physique, hair, looks, clothes, and other such external factors. Based on this reflection of self in the mirror, you work on yourself.
But, what about the internal aspects of your life? Where and how will you ever get to check your inner workings and subsequently work on them? Well, there might not be a real mirror in which you can reflect your inner self but there exists a virtual one! This virtual mirror that helps you reflect on your inner self and help you transform your life is known as “Self-reflection.”
It is found to be an important tool focusing on your mental wellness and overall well being. You can inculcate it as a habit in your daily routine and the positive changes are likely to follow.
What is Self-reflection?
Self-reflection is a tool of introspection and a way to look in yourself. It is a thought mirror that helps us reflect on what is going within us and in our lives. Through self-reflection, one can observe and analyze his growth. It is a way through which we can enhance our over well-being as it is related to all the 8 dimensions of wellness in one way or the other. To know more about this magical tool continue reading further.
How Important is Self-reflection?
“We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience”
We keep running in our life being unstoppable thinking of it as a way to achieve all our goals. But that often results in burnout causing more harm than good. Therefore, it becomes important to stop, take a pause, and reflect on your progress towards life, after all, we can’t be guinea pigs running in a loop.
To understand the importance of self-reflection let us take an analogy into consideration.
Situation 1: Think of yourself as a machine. Now imagine you are running day and night without any maintenance and check on the output that you are producing. Won’t you just crash at one point?
Situation 2: Now let us look at the second situation, if you are running day and night provided maintenance and informed on how well you are doing. Won’t you progress much better in this situation?
The maintenance and progress report that is addressed in these two situations is what self-reflection is all about. So, to get going with life with a healthy approach you definitely need to practice self-reflection.
Benefits of Practicing Self-reflection
Self-reflection definitely makes our life better by working as an opportunity to measure our progress positively. But, there is more than the practice of self-reflection has to offer. Here is a pool of benefits that self-reflection has to offer you:
1. Let your relationships improve
You can lead a harmonious relationship by reflecting on how you treat others and what changes can be made in that regard. Self-reflection also helps you in understanding how you feel for that particular and what value can this relationship create in your life. Thus, making you more appreciative of people in your close contacts.
2. Gives clarity to your thoughts
It goes without saying that when you are being more aware of your inner and deeper self your thoughts become clearer. The mind fog gets cleared as you tap on the questions related to different and uncovered areas of your life.
3. Offers better sleep
Generally, we go to bed with regrets and unanswered questions of the day which creates a bumper in our good night’s sleep. But it is through self-reflection that we bring closure to our unresolved feelings and instead of slipping in the cycle of rumination we allow reflection. This ends up improving the quantity and quality of our sleep.
4. Lower down your stress & anxiety Levels
When you practice self-reflection you feel more grounded and connected to your senses. You are neither being dwelled in the past nor in the future. Which ultimately leaves a positive impact on our brain. Thus, reducing the levels of stress and anxiety experienced.
5. Creates Self-awareness
The biggest benefit of practicing self-reflection is that it allows us to understand ourselves at a deeper level. Studies have time again shown that self-awareness and self-reflection are closely related. They lead to self-improvement by enhancing our success rate in all the areas of life.
How To Practice Self-reflection?
There are different ways to practice this magical tool and transform your life. We have picked the top 2 ways to practice self-reflection for you.
Ask 5 W’s and 1 H to Yourself
Sounds like a password? Well, this is one of the best ways to practice self-reflection in your life. As it covers many major areas and questions that are at the heart of self-reflection. Let us first decode these 4 W’s and 1 H.
4 W’s that you need to answer to begin self-reflection are:
Why? What? Where? Who?
And the 1 H to add to your self-reflection task is:
You can now pick any situation or event of your life and ask yourself these 5 self-reflection questions. They will work as a mirror to look deeper within yourself.
Pen It All Down
Penning down is always a great tool to channelize and get control over your thoughts and feelings. You can start journaling as your daily self-reflection activity. It will also help you keep a track of your progress in your life.
Find the pool of these 4 W’s and 1 H here and start penning down your self-reflection journey.
Process of Self-reflection
While you work on any of these ways to practice self-reflection make sure you don’t skip on the process of self-reflection. You can simply remember it by thinking of it as a traffic light process:
- Red Sign: STOP: Whenever you face a situation step back to think before acting on it.
- Yellow Sign: LOOK & LISTEN: Look at the other aspects of the situation to get a better perspective. Depending on that listen to your inner guide and let your wisdom take control of it.
- Green Sign: ACT: Check for the best steps that you can change to move ahead in the right direction.
You can also take into account this small and powerful self-reflection exercise called- “Life Satisfaction Chart.”
The aim of this chart is to help you assess how well you are meeting your goals.
How to practice self-reflection exercise “life satisfaction chart?”
- Draw a scale from 1 to 10. Where 1 denotes not at all satisfied and 10 denotes extremely satisfied.
- Vertically, list the ten areas of your life. This will include:
- Now assess your satisfaction in each of these 10 areas using the scale you created.
- Pick the areas from this list that rank between 4 and 7. Go back to these areas and rate them between 1 and 3 or 8 and 10, limiting your options.
- Sit back with the sheet and ask yourself why did you rate a particular with the given number?
- Next, ask yourself what will make you change the rating of that particular area.
- Repeat these exercises anytime you want to check on life satisfaction with your life.
This “life-satisfaction” exercise helps you find out what’s exactly going on in your life and what are the areas that you have to focus more on.
When to practice self-reflection?
You can practice self-reflection anytime, anywhere, and any day. However, it is recommended that you reflect on yourself before going to bed. It will help you track your progress throughout the day.
3 Best Books to Read on Self-reflection
If you are interested in learning more about self-reflection before beginning your journey then here are the three of the best books on self-reflection for you to read.
1. Being Present: A Book of Daily Reflections by David Kundtz.
2. 52 weeks of Self Reflection by Erika R.Dawkins.
3. Question Your Life: Naikan Self-Reflection and the Transformation of Our Stories by Gregg Krech.
3 Best Videos to Watch on Self-reflection
1. Learning from the self, for the self: a process of self-reflection | Emma MacDonald | TEDxUNB
2. How Important Is Self-Reflection?
3. The Life-Changing Magic of Self-Reflection | Tips & Hacks
“Time spent in self-reflection is never wasted- it is an intimate date with yourself.”
~ Paul TP Wong
So go on a personal date with yourself and enjoy your time reflecting on yourself. Do share your self-reflection journey with us in the comments section. We would love to hear your story.
More love and power to you.