How to be more aware of ourselves?
Reaction (unconscious) vs Response (conscious)
Most people are constantly in reaction mode, they are constantly reacting to events, news, media, Television, or anything that is external to themselves.
Now I am not here to judge anyone, I was once in that position too, the more we are in reaction mode, the more we are externalizing our power to say. I was also unconscious about my own behavior by letting the external environment control my inner state, however one thing we have to realize is we are 100s of times more powerful than our external environment, all we have to do is be consciously aware of ourselves.
We have to understand, that our body is designed for fight or flight response for the survival of our species. Our central nervous system has two elements, the sympathetic nervous system, and the parasympathetic nervous system. The reaction comes from the sympathetic nervous system which causes three effects, fight, flight or hide. We have a very narrow timeline or short period of time to decide how to perceive an event, an occurrence of a scenario or a particular situation.
Now the following tips will help you to be more aware of yourself and learn to respond to stimulus and not react, which can only lead to depleted levels of energy and tire us out.
- Take a deep breath and slow down: “When you own your breath, no one can take your peace”
Whenever you feel like reacting to something, or an external stimulus, focus on your breathing, because when you focus on your breath, it is not possible to think at the same time. it is very important to slow down in this fast-paced time that we are currently living in with bombarding news, media, social media and t.v that are constantly trying to grab your attention.
So slow down, take a deep breath, breathe slowly and breathe deeply, mindful breathing is like a reset button to the central nervous system.
2. Stop watching television and reading news: Now I can understand you might say, it is important that I am informed about what’s going on around me, the idea here is to first off start limiting the time you spent on watching television or reading news, an average American spends 6 to 7 hours every single day. now this will definitely shut down our rational thinking and our questioning ability. for example, a program or news that I am watching is really useful, or its just a way to pass the time. First off reduce the time you spent on the news and tv, or I would say even social media. Now the brain wants them to be replaced by something better. Replace those with good habits, good books, etc
3. Questioning the source: Its really important to rationally question the source of the information. the information may be manipulated many times by the time it reached you, causing you to react rather than respond with a rational mind. it is crucial as it will impact you in the long term of how things are being perceived by you. At the end of the day, the truth is often hidden and encrypted.
4. Become more mindful, by acknowledging and becoming more aware: Bringing acceptance to what is liberates us from giving our vital energy to reacting to something. Acknowledging what we cant change helps to free us by being observant of thoughts, feelings, experiences, events, objects.
One should develop mindful awareness by becoming aware of our own thought patterns, how we used to think in the past, how could you be more appreciative and have gratitude.
Before we react, we learn to respond by the 3 sub-points, (i) Freeze: observe the changes within you,(tension, heart rate, temperature) continue to breathe mindfully and cool down (ii) Analyze: Develop being rational by understanding what happened and not take it personally, be neutral and compassionate and (iii)Act: Act and express with grace without personalizing it and finding a better way to re-channel our feelings
5. Stop bottling up emotions: Oftentimes reaction comes from unresolved issues, past events, and emotional leftovers, in this masculine society of structure, productivity, mission, we are told not express our emotions fully, you may have been told like me, “boys don’t cry” or “its feminine to cry”, so when keep suppressing our emotions it can lead to accumulation of a volcano that can explode anytime, psychiatrists call it “flooding”.
So it causes us to react to a life circumstance with amplification of that unresolved emotion or unconscious behavioral patterns
In order to deal with this, we should talk to our friends and be open about it. Write a journal by writing how we feel which can help us know thyself and when we look at it in the future, we can understand why it happened, it can help us develop emotional intelligence.
We should also stop expecting anything from anyone too, it is very easy to misinterpret and create emotional clutter and get into thought patterns of entitlements, we should remember no one owes you anything.
I hope this blog post helps you in any shape or form and claim your power back by taking a step back and being rational and curious to know the truth before we react and lose our cool and peace.
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