1. Reflect on your health
All of us are health conscious to varying degrees. Everyone wants to stay fit, look good and live long active lives. Wherever you stand on the health scale, reflecting on your physical and mental well-being from time to time is very useful.
First, mentally list the things you do that are beneficial for your health, such as going for regular medical checkups or getting enough sleep. You can do this in writing as well if you enjoy keeping a journal. Next, list the things you do that are harmful to your health – don’t worry, most of us have a pretty long list! It might be smoking, going on fad diets, or indulging your sweet tooth too often.
Now, go over the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ lists. Add more health-promoting things you could be doing to the good list, or what you could be doing better. From the bad list, pick two unhealthy habits and make the intention to break them.
Reflect on your current diet and eating habits and make a mental or written list of foods you should be eating more/ less of. Are you eating three regular meals a day? If not, why? What can you do to correct this?
Reflect on three good things you did for your health recently as well as three things you should have avoided. Identify specific issues like frequent colds and flu, fatigue, or recurring headaches and make the intention to get these checked.
Don’t overlook your mental health either! This includes clarity, focus, and memory. Do you suffer from mood swings, depression, or brain fog? Most of these issues are related to diet or sleep habits and are indications that you need to eat healthier and sleep better. They could also be due to the lack of exercise so reflect on that one a little bit as well.
There’s no ‘best’ way to reflect on your health, so just do what works for you. Ask questions, create lists, or make resolutions. Just remember, you owe it to yourself to take good care of yourself because oftentimes we tend to neglect our health under the pressure of our hectic lives.
2. Practice mindfulness
Learning to be mindful will up your self-reflection and really help you hone in on what’s important. The practice of mindfulness means being always present and being grounded and focused on what’s happening at the moment. It also involves paying attention to what’s happening without judgment and without
letting feelings impede you’re thinking. Or in other words, there’s no right or wrong way to think of a given situation while it’s happening.
You can see how self-reflecting mindfully can really help you focus on what matters. Firstly, you don’t allow emotions such as fear or anger to run away with you and impede your rational introspection. Secondly, being present means you don’t revisit the past or jump ahead to the future. You simply reflect on what’s going on in your life while being grounded, nonjudgmental and present.
Mindfulness also spills over into other aspects of your life and can help you experience dramatic improvements. Here are some additional benefits of mindfulness:
- It improves overall brain health and cognitive function. You’ll experience improved clarity, focus, and memory and less brain fog during the day.
- It’s good for your health! Studies have shown that people who practice mindfulness report having more energy, vitality, and overall optimism.
- Mindfulness is a great way to keep your stress levels down because it helps you gain more control over your emotions.
- It helps you express emotions calmly and rationally.
- It fosters tolerance, acceptance, and compassion as well as
- It improves relationships.
- It ups your productivity and efficiency.
The best way to develop mindfulness is through mindfulness meditation and mindfulness exercises. YouTube offers a huge variety of these so do your due diligence and start growing this amazing quality!
3. Don’t dwell on the past
There’s a difference between briefly revisiting the past and dwelling on it. It’s common for past experiences to come up during self-reflection and these could be positive or negative. The goal should be to review the lessons learned from both and move on.
The goal isn’t to dwell on the past so that it overshadows the present. You might find yourself too often reliving memories of good experiences and past successes and longing for ‘the good old days. Instead, let them motivate you to seek opportunities for greater success and happiness.
Most people, however, spend too much time dwelling on negative experiences such as childhood traumas, painful breakups, and embarrassing failures. Reflecting on these creates a flood of negative emotions like guilt, anger, bitterness, and fear of moving forward.
You can train your brain to stop dwelling on the past by being alert to your thought process. When you find your thoughts drifting back in time, tell yourself that the past is out of your control. You can’t go back in time and do things differently. What you can control is the present and you can take action to shape a better future.
When you send these thoughts to your brain consistently, you’ll find that you begin to dwell on the past less and less. Naturally, practicing mindfulness is another powerful way to release the past and stay present in the here and now.
4. Make it a ritual
Self-reflection should never become a dreaded task or a dull routine. It should be something you look forward to like a visit to the spa or a relaxing meditation. It’s a great form of self-nourishment and self-empowerment that you should get pleasure from.
Make self-reflection an enjoyable ritual with a few simple tweaks. Start by creating a relaxing ambiance. Designate a comfortable quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. Light candles or diffuse a few drops of your favorite essential oil and make sure you have a comfortable chair or cushions.
When outdoors, pack a lunch or bring a thermos of coffee or tea. Consider various ways to practice self-reflection outdoors when the weather permits. A pretty park or quiet beach are ideal spots. Practicing self-reflection while stargazing on a warm night is an amazing experience. Try alternating between indoor and outdoor self-reflection to maintain your enthusiasm and pleasure.
Consider preceding your self-reflection with a warm bath or a favorite snack. Have everything you need in your hands such as headphones for listening to music, your journal and pen, and a cup of cocoa or herbal tea. Once you start your self-reflection; you should ideally not break your thought process by getting up to fetch things.
Making self-reflection a relaxing ritual will not just make it something you look forward to, it will develop a habit that serves you well for the rest of your life.
5. Visualize the future (bonus tip)
The keyword here is ‘visualization’. Studies indicate that consistent visualization keeps your brain fired up so that it generates ideas and behaviors that propel you toward your goals. Visualizing the future is very different from worrying about it or planning for it.
When you visualize your future, you create scenarios where you have achieved all your goals and dreams. You’re exactly where you want to be in life. The resulting flood of positive emotions tells your brain that this is something that makes you happy. It will then work overtime to guide your thoughts and behaviors toward that future outcome.
It’s simple. Just close your eyes and imagine that you’re running a successful business or that you’ve become a best-selling author or whatever your life goal may be. Be as imaginative as possible and experience the scene with all your senses. This includes colors, smells, conversations, and other people who are sharing your success.
Naturally, visualization is a great way to end a self-reflection session on a very positive note. Do feel free to practice visualization as often as you want to – the more, the better!
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to get in touch and we will discuss things.
If you’ve happened to come across any of these then please leave a comment letting me (us) know you are not alone.