Today’s world puts an emphasis on constant action and always staying busy. When you have a spare moment, you likely look to mindless tasks like reading or television that give you space to rest your overworked mind. As a result, few people take time to reflect on everything that happened during their days.
Regular daily or weekly self reflection is one of the best ways to increase your happiness. By taking a step back from a daily routine that continuously keeps you going, you give yourself the opportunity to acknowledge successes and sources of happiness and come to terms with disappointments, enabling you to move forward with a more positive outlook.
How Self Reflection Can Lead to Happiness
When we think of our pasts, our minds often jump to mistakes. The emotional response we have to failures often makes the memory of them clearer than more pleasant moments. This is partially why many people naturally avoid reflection and dread the process when they are forced to do so.
But positive self reflection is about giving yourself permission to think about your day and reveal all of the good events. This type of activitiy will help you:
- Organize Thoughts and Emotions – A daily reflection is time to process the individual thoughts and feelings and decide which are priorities.
- Solve Problems – We face problems everyday. If you use your reflection time to outline the problem to yourself, you might see a new solution or approach that you missed in the moment.
- Understand Setbacks – Setbacks will happen. You can use your self reflection to consider what led to the setback and where you will go next. If you face a similar situation in the future, you will likely handle it better.
- Track Your Progress – When you make a habit of self reflection, you will start to find that you are always learning and that most setbacks are only a minor problem, not a defining moment as you work past them. Reflection gives you an easy way to compare where you are now mentally to where you previously were.
Especially as your self reflection habit progresses, you will begin to see how much you are learning each day and how your resilience improves when facing future challenges. You will have a better understanding of yourself, what you are capable of, and where you have succeeded, which will naturally lead to greater happiness and self confidence.
The way you incorporate self reflection into your life will depend on your own preferences. Many people find taking a few moments at the beginning or end of each day to journal, talk with a loved one, or simply dedicate some time for quiet thought to help them reflect on their days. Using your commute, your lunch hour at work, or any other time where you can reliably dedicate a few minutes of thought will work as well.
As you get started, it is helpful to schedule in your self reflection by adding a daily appointment on your calendar or an alarm on your phone. After a while, you’ll likely start to look forward to the minutes you spend reflecting and the feelings of peace, happiness, and direction that result.
Another way to get started with self reflection is through therapy. During psychotherapy at Long Island Psychology, reflection is a key task that we walk through with our clients. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a self reflection process.