The Art of Self-Reflection
Are you feeling stuck? Are you unsure of what you really want, whether that’s today, next week or in life in general? We have all been there. Life happens, we get busy and we forget to press pause to think. Self-reflection is a wonderful way to get unstuck and find your purpose.
Not stopping to pause every now and then, to reflect on what works and what doesn’t, can result into getting stuck. You may find yourself in a certain funk, not really knowing what it is that you want. Learning about yourself and turning inwards can help clear your mind. Here are three steps to help you practice the art of self-reflection.
Define your Reflection
There are various ways to reflect, which is why it is important to find a way that suits you. In order to reflect uninterrupted and in peace, we recommend to think beforehand how you are going about this.
Whether it is an hour set apart weekly, or ten minutes every day. Open questions, a stream of thoughts or a categorized topic list. Thinking back about last week, last month or last year. And most importantly; what is the goal you hope to achieve through self-reflection?
These things are all personal to each individual. Mapping out your practice will contribute towards a peaceful reflection, helping you to obtain a better focus. Ask yourself the following questions before you start:
– When are you going to reflect?
– Where are you going to sit?
– Which questions are you going to ask yourself?
– What period of time are you reflecting upon?
– How long are you going to spend on your self-reflection?
– Why are you practicing self-reflection?
When you have defined a practice for yourself, you can start. It is suggested to start small, and see what works for you. Self-reflection is an endless process that changes ever so often.
A straight-forward way of practicing, is as follows:
Identify something you would like to change.
Think about why you currently do this in a certain way you are unhappy with.
Consider an ideal end-point.
Map out how you’re going to get to that ideal point.
If you need help setting a goal you’d like to work towards, you may find the following meditation program helpful:
As much as it is important to start your self-reflection, it is just as important to know when to stop. Over-reflecting can be harmful to the mind, as it comes with the risk of overthinking without a clear resolution in mind.
If you know how to identify getting stuck on a certain thought, tell yourself to stop. But an easier way to protect yourself is by setting a timer for a certain amount you wish to spend on your self-reflection, and stop when the time is up.
Afterwards, make sure you entirely remove yourself from the space you were using to reflect. Therefore, it is not recommended to practice self-reflection in your bed, before going to sleep. When you have removed yourself, try and distract your mind with something completely different shortly after. Read a book, or exercise, for example. This way you can prevent ruminating on your thoughts.
If you need help calming your monkey-mind, the following meditation can help:
A lack of personal reflection may lead towards irrational behavior. But looking back on a certain period of time will provide you with more insight to your life, helping you learn how to live your live to its fullest.
Being aware of yourself is an essential step towards personal improvement. Self-reflection is something accessible to all of us, if you take the time for it. It is perfectly okay to start small. The most important thing is that you start.
Completed your first session? Let us know in the comments if you were able to reflect successfully, and if you have any tips for others.