By: Cami Gorman
Happy National Self-Awareness Day!
Have you been questioning who you are lately? Today, on September 28th, we advocate for the promotion of mental wellness and the betterment of ourselves with National Self-Awareness Day. On this day, we reflect upon our current state and reveal truths about ourselves through the practices of mindfulness and meditation. By doing this, we can better understand ourselves, acknowledge both our strengths and our flaws, and interact with others in our lives in a more respectful and effective way.
What is self-awareness, and why is it important?
The term “self-aware” is one that gets thrown around alongside other phrases like “mental health” and “self-improvement.” But what does it actually mean, and how does it relate to these concepts? Self-awareness, in short, is the ability to recognize the parts of you that make you… well, you. Do you like to play piano? Acknowledging that is self-awareness. Do you have trouble concentrating in class and often find your mind wandering? Acknowledging that, too, is self-awareness.
Being able to see different parts of yourself in an objective and non-judgemental way is a key gateway to self-improvement. To be self-aware is to not only recognize your own traits, but also how those parts of yourself may impact others. For example, you may accept the fact that you care much more about yourself than others, but with that, you must accept that that kind of trait can negatively affect your relationships with other people. If that is an exchange you do not want to have to make, that is when you can start focusing on changing that trait.
How can I become more self-aware?
There are several techniques that allow you to process your feelings and give you a better understanding of yourself. Meditation is a classic strategy, and it’s a classic for a reason. Writing down your current emotions and thoughts is another good way to discover more about yourself. Everyone has their own strategy that works for them, but here are a few general pointers:
Find a space that is relaxing for you. For a lot of people, this is a private, quiet place with few distractions. However, some people like having ambient noises around them, so their relaxing space may look a little different. No matter what it looks like, there is one for everyone.
Relax and clear your mind. Take a few deep breaths and let the woes of the day recede into the back of your memories. If you have decided to go down a meditative route, consider looking up a guided meditation audio to help guide you into a more peaceful state of mind.
Notice and wonder. Once you are fully relaxed, take subconscious note of where your mind decides to wander to and what this could mean. Notice your posture, the environment around you, and how you feel about the environment. Maybe recall past conversations with friends or family and see how you carried yourself during them. These are all clues that can help you figure out who you are.
In the end, no singular method will fit everyone the best; it is up to you to find out what helps you the most. And that, in of itself, is a discovery to be made about yourself. We are all seeking to better ourselves every day, and Self-Awareness Day is a great opportunity to make some progress on that. In knowing both what we do well and what we need to improve upon, we can communicate with others better about how we feel and build stronger relationships.
Cherry, Kendra. “What is Self-Awareness?” verywellmind, https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-self-awareness-2795023. Accessed 27 Sept. 2023.
“National Self Awareness Day.” NationalToday, https://nationaltoday.com/national-self-awareness-day/. Accessed 27 Sept. 2023.