Welcome to part thirteen in this series of Practical Tools for Improving Your Mental and Emotional Well-Being.
Of all the suggestions, tools, concepts, and techniques in this series, there is one that is imperative for supporting and improving your mental and emotional well-being.
It is also the one that brings up the most discomfort because once invoked you can never turn back. You cannot ‘unknow’ what you know.
Here I take the liberty of borrowing a phrase from The Lord of the Rings and modifying it.
One tool to rule them all, and in Awareness bind them.
Awareness is the one tool to rule them all.
Awareness is the key to self-improvement, living more peacefully, conscious decision making, achieving your goals, increased authenticity, and becoming more emotionally cognizant. It can also be damn uncomfortable because it requires you to take a deep and truthful look at yourself.
Awareness can be referred to as observation, insight, or self-reflection. Choose the words that work best for you. The premise remains the same.
Without the awareness of what is going inside of you (what you are thinking, feeling, and how and why you are behaving the way you do), you will not change beliefs, emotional states, or behaviors. Your unconscious default way of reacting will stay as it is.
Awareness provides the opportunity to invoke the rational mind and empowers you to be responsible for, and accountable to the choices you make in your life.
Advanced awareness (which is an outcome of implementing the tools in this series) is a process that goes like this:
- Observe: How you react/respond, what you are thinking, physically feeling, and your emotional state.
- Accept: Observe without judgment. Just notice. Recognize what is in and out of your control.
- Reflect: Ask yourself insightful questions as to why you think, feel, and behave the way you do, what is triggering you, and review past experiences and conditioned beliefs. What stories are you telling yourself? Be open to new ways of thinking and behaving.
- Choose: Conscious choice, change perspectives which shift your emotional state and resulting behaviors. You get to choose your response. You get to choose the meaning you give to any situation.
- Respond: You have made your choice, now act. Change your beliefs and any unhelpful narratives. You get to decide to either respond rationally or react irrationally. Your choice. You have the power.
- Repeat: Create a new habit by repeating this cycle of awareness, and over time you will strengthen neural pathways where this becomes your default way of behaving. You will become inquisitive about yourself and your behaviors. Repetition breeds success.
Awareness: Continual self-improvement towards your desired authenticity (values/principles/character traits) and emotional state(s).
All the other tools in this series build upon awareness to improve and support your mental and emotional well-being. Make this tool the cornerstone of your ‘life practice’.
Now, what choice are you going to make next?
Stay tuned for the final post in this series, Putting it All Together.
For a free copy of a comprehensive PDF workbook on these tools and concepts, send me an email at [email protected].
I look forward to your comments and feedback.
For more techniques and tools for your mental and emotional well-being, check out my unique and engaging self-improvement novel, The Shift Squad
I write to inspire others to greater self-empowerment, authenticity, and improved emotional and mental well-being.
I am the author of the unique personal development novel The Shift Squad.
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