There is no silver bullet for improving health. It’s the cumulation of many small things to create a large difference. This is where my Add a Pebble Series comes in. Adopting small but significant changes permanently is associated with the greatest long term success.
Let’s put nutrition aside today. Instead I want to talk about the significance that self reflection can provide.
I’m a pondering human. I like to reflect and chew on ideas. This can be wonderful because I love dreaming about the future, planning my weekend, and examining my interpersonal relationships.
It can also drive me crazy, when I have too many feels, too many ambitions and too many people to compare myself to.
It’s during times like these I turn to a small but significant habit which helps lay everything in my brain out on the table… a “brain dump” some people call it, in the form of journaling. How do you journal if you’re a newbie? Here are my tips for beginners:
Ask yourself questions.
- Why do I want to achieve?
- What stresses me out?
- What makes me feel overwhelmed?
- Why am I procrastinating?
- Am I eating foods which don’t align with my health goals?
- What makes change hard for me?
- What would I be risking if I made a change?
- What could the benefits of change look like?
- What worries me most about the future?
- What have I given up?
- What is one habit that brings me daily joy?
- What is one habit that I have wanted to change?
- What is worse, failing or never trying?
- Does it really matter what others think about me?
- Am I using my time wisely?
- Am I taking anything for granted?
- Do I have a healthy perspective?
- Am I being true to myself?
- Am I waking up in the morning ready to take on the day?
- Am I thinking negative thoughts before I fall asleep?
- Am I putting enough effort into my relationships?
- Am I taking care of myself physically?
- Am I letting matters that are out of control stress me out?
- Am I achieving the goals that I set for myself?
Contemplating answers to these questions can help you learn more about yourself, lead to greater self-confidence, more patience for others and can overall lead to a life full of meaning and purpose.
Learning more about yourself can be challenging for some.
Those of us who live busy lives and barely have enough time to eat (let alone sit and ponder questions) may brush the idea of self reflection off as a silly waste of time. Yet, I beg to differ. Self-reflection can help ground you during times when you are feeling overwhelmed, divided, or during those difficult times when tragedy strikes. Understanding the motivation behind our actions and attitudes can help us to design more successful plans for overcoming challenges.
When I encourage clients to listen to their thoughts, I like to remind them this is a time to gain insights, not to be judgmental. Don’t get upset with where your mind takes you, instead respond to your thoughts with “hmm that’s interesting”.
I would recommend you write a little every day. It’s incredibly relaxing. Brush off the old moleskin, sharpen your pencil, and get scratching!
How do you like to decompress?
What do you like to journal about?
Do you have a favourite notebook to write in?