“Self awareness is our capacity to stand apart from ourselves and examine our thinking, our motives, our history, our scripts, our acts, our habits and our tendancies.” — Stephen Covey
Dictoinary.com defines awareness as:
- knowledge or perception of a situation or fact
Awareness is the ability to directly know and perceive, to feel, or to be cognizant of events. More broadly, it is the state of being conscious of something. Wikipedia
Now that we are aware…bad joke. Really thequestion seems to be…How can it be cultivated? And more importantly practiced and implemented into a daily or actionable step.
1. Daily Meditation or Devotion.
The benefits to mindfulness are ten fold. The (All-Purpose) Definition of Mindfulness is:
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you. Mindful.org has a wonderful article on how to practice mindfullness.
This was a huge help for me personally when pregnant and in labor. Giving into my senses, noticing the world through sensation. Looking, smells, sounds and being fully aware of each moment. This helped one with taking my mind off the pain and emotions and keeping my head focused on the present world.
Scientifically speaking include the rise of alpha brain waves.
Increaseing Alpha Waves
Alpha waves are the most common brain waves that occur at the beginning of meditation as you try to go into a deeper state of mind. They are electromagnetic oscillations with a frequency range of 8–12 Hz.
Function: Alpha waves calm the nervous system. They lower blood pressure and heart rate. The waves lower the production of stress hormones and promote relaxation(2).
Scientificaly speaking, start by downloading a mindful meditation app, like Headspace or Calm.
If you are a believer or a faith-based person, coupling mindful medidation with prayer is a great way to cultivate stillness and gain clarity.
2. Fresh Air & Being Outside.
Not only is this great when coupled with prayer and devotion. When we practice breathing in the morning, when the sun rises, we breathe in the air before the world moves. When no cars have filled the air the polution. We breathe in clean air into our lungs. Fresh air is good for your health.
Benefits of breathing in outside air from Terrapin Adventures (1) sites that
- It makes you happier. Fresh air has been shown to help digest food more effectively, improve blood pressure and heart rate, and strengthen the immune system, leading to a healthier you.
- Fresh air cleans your lungs. “Fresh air helps the airways of your lungs to dilate more fully and improves the cleansing action of your lungs,” says Seepter. “When you exhale and breathe out through your lungs, you release airborne toxins from your body.”
- You will have more energy and sharper mind. Research shows that “spending time in fresh air, surrounded by nature, increases energy in 90 percent of people,” says Abigail Wise, The Huffington Post. There is a “positive impact of being outdoors and around natural elements on subjective vitality, above and beyond the effects of physical activities or social interactions that can take place in natural settings,” adds researcher Richard Ryan, et al.
3. Writing or Journaling.
A daily practice of writing to reflect on your day, a life event, or a conflict, can help bring clarity to find a solution or calm in acceptance.
This practice of writing compassionately and reflectively helps gain a better sense of self awareness and a way to personally gain objectivity and sepearte yourself from stress, conflict or situations out of our control. Over the years I’ve journaled on and off since 12 years old it’s remaind a go to practice.
And when I’ve come across stress or new problems it has been a source of reflection, pondering and a great tool to understand how to approach new situtations.
This coupled with meditation is powerful in the time to ponder and reflect. It helps to see my faults, biases and gain perspective. The clarity gained to see another’s points of view, differences and insight needed to grow through difficulties have made all the difference.
Gaining insight on how to act, serve or seek forgiveness, and studies show that it can change patterns of behavior and stress from traumaitic events have all come from writing. (3)
Research shows the that journaling and writing opens up the right brain and opens up creativity. (4)
4. Letting go of Ego.
After reflection through writing. Comes a natural influx of gratitude, love and empathy. When we let go our ego is set aside. Undestanding breaks down barriers. And a willingness to let go of pride and ego allows humilty to enter into our heart.
Ego tells us what we want to hear, when we want to hear it. But it’s a short term fix with a long term consequence. — Ryan Holiday, author of The Ego is The Enemy.
5. Putting it Into Action.
After meditating, taking a moment to breath recenter , to write and reflect. Gain empathy those you are around and the world around you. Comes the act of how to practice awareness.
This is where it takes courage to ask clarifying questions in person. As conversations and occastion arise, to pause instead of react and ask for deeper understanding. When we practice awareness we can meet the present with more freedom to say no to unhealthy circumstances, honest with ourselves and others and make more concious decisions. Practicing healthy boundaries and owning what feels right and authentic.
The Life-Changing Habit of Journaling (Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Many More Great Minds…Ever wondered why history’s great minds including Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Andy Warhol, Leonardo Da Vinci, Marcus…medium.com