How are you? This is a question we most probably ask and get asked daily. But how often do we give it thought and answer it honestly? How often do we ask ourselves this question? Modern life is fast and busy and we can move through it on autopilot without taking time to notice how we are. This is really important because we are human beings with emotions and feelings, not machines or robots. This may sound like a such an obvious point to make, yet we often push ourselves to burnout or breaking point because we expect ourselves to keep powering on and ignore these emotions and feelings.

Carl Jung self-awareness QuoteNotice Your Feelings

Our emotions and physical responses are there to tell us something. It’s important that we pay attention to these cues so we can respond in a way that is helpful for us. For example, irritability may be a sign of stress. If we can notice that we feel irritated in the first place, we can question why this may be. We may then realise we’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed and can then consider what’s causing this. Perhaps our workload is too high or we’re juggling too many different things at the moment. Once we know the triggers, we can try to slow down, problem-solve and re-prioritise. But if we continue feeling irritable and behaving in line with this feeling without even recognising it, we’re in a much weaker position to make changes that can help us.

So many clients I’ve worked with over the years leave their initial consultation feeling lighter and relieved, simply because they have been allowed the time and space to really think about this question and answer it honestly. In doing so, and in being listened to, understood and validated, they find that the way they’re feeling makes sense. They can then shift their focus from ignoring or fighting these feelings to finding ways to feel better. Once they have realised and accepted how they feel, we are then able to work together to understand what’s been causing these emotions to build up and how to acknowledge and respond to these emotions in a more helpful way.

Practice Building Self-Awareness: How are you Today? Really.

Taking time to pause and simply ask ourselves, ‘how am I feeling?’ can make a significant difference in building our self-awareness and so improving our wellbeing. Here’s a short self-help exercise to help you check in with yourself:

Take a moment to get comfortable.

  • Ground your feet flat on the floor, relax your jaw and your shoulders.
  • Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  • Ask yourself how you are feeling right now and notice the word that comes up.
  • If this is aligned with how you want to feel, think about what’s helped you feel this way and how you can keep feeling this way.
  • If this isn’t how you want to be feeling, consider what has contributed to you feeling the way you are? What’s one helpful thing you can do right now to help improve the way you feel?

Becoming Self-Aware

It takes more than a moment to build self-awareness. Ongoing practice and monitoring is key to us really starting to understand ourselves. Try building the above exercise into a daily routine. Tagging it on to something you already do regularly can help with consistency. For example, you might check in with yourself before starting work, or before dinner. You might choose to think about it, or you may choose to make notes or journal. We all have emotions that can feel difficult at times. We may want to avoid to try and protect ourselves. But ignoring them doesn’t make them go away. The best way to deal with unwanted emotions and feelings is to acknowledge them and make a conscious choice about how to respond to them.

Support from Brighter Minds

Sometimes it can be tough to know how to make change. If you feel like you would benefit from a helping hand to better understand and improve the way you feel, get in touch.

 

 

Updated on 15th March, 24.