Self awareness exercises are the most effective method for learning about yourself, your needs and your potential than anything else you can do to learn about yourself. It’s about observing your thoughts, habits, and actions as if you were watching yourself and understanding the consequences to those behaviors and how them align with who you want to be and where you want to go in life.
So how to practice self-awareness and use it to learn about yourself? Here are few recommended exercises:
- Awareness of positions of the body – This can be practised in any time and place. Being to focus your attention on your breath. Breathe quietly and more deeply than usual. Be mindful of the position of your body, whether you are walking, standing, lying or sitting down. Know where you walk, stand, lie or sit. Be aware of the purpose of your position. For example, you might be conscious that you are standing on the basketball court or on the ward to refresh yourself, stretch your legs, or just to stand. If there is no purpose, be aware that there is no purpose.
- Awareness of connection to the universe – This can be practised any time, any place. Focus your attention on where your body touches an object (floor or ground, air molecules, a chair or arm rest, your bed sheets and covers, your clothes etc.). Try to see all the ways you are connected to and accepted by that object. Consider the function of that object for you. That is, consider what the object does for you. Consider it’s kindness in doing that. Experience the sensation of touching the object and focus your entire attention on that kindness until a sense of being connected or loved or cared for arises in your heart.
- Awareness while doing a slow motion activity – Prepare a cup of coffee, tea, or a warm snack with total awareness of each minute movement. Take a warm bath, do laundry, smoke, breath the fresh air, or do chores very slowly and deliberately, with you focus absorbed completed on each tiny movement and sensation of the task. Do each moment slowly, even 1/3 the speed at which you would normally move. Notice each sensation (touch, smell, sight, hearing, taste, and body position/movement with a fascinated absorption. If your mind strays, gently bring your focus to the breath and softly describe in your mind the movement of that moment until your natural fascination with the scenes takes over. Be aware that you are refreshing yourself with mindfulness as you do this task, and move forward in each moment with renewed energy and calm.