In my last post 10 Ways to Get Back Your Missing Mojo the 10th way was “Get in touch with your own thoughts”. I know some things that work for me and am more than happy to share them including meditation, walking, writing, and yoga. I am keenly aware that these might not be your thing and if you don’t already have a way to get in touch with your own thoughts you are going to need to find an activity that helps you clear your mind. Maybe you find that peace of mind from running. I know a lot of people that run and they tell me that it clears their mind and provides an opportunity to analyze an issue with new found clarity brought about by the physical nature of running, especially when done alone. Here is a key, if that activity can be done alone and provides some sense of peace you stand a much better chance of analyzing your thoughts and making choices more inline with what you really want. You cannot really generate any introspective insights while interacting with other people or engaging in activities that don’t by their very nature lead to clarity of thought.
So why do I need to understand what I am thinking? Doesn’t all this seem like a lot of work? I’m pretty happy the way I am or maybe I’m not. Here are a few reasons why self analysis and introspection can enrich your life:
- Understanding that you may be repeating patterns of destructive behavior is right up there on the top of the list. If you never take the time to analyze why you continue to do these things they will be repeated until they bury you, destroy your relationships, or both.
- Your insights will lead you to making choices instead of oscillating back and forth or standing still. This will ultimately assist you in determining what is most important to you and moving in that direction.
- These activities or disciplines that lead you to self analysis will be themselves provide benefits such as improving your physical and mental health. So for instance if yoga is my way of connecting with myself I will also become more flexible, stronger, and mindful. Maybe those moments of clarity come from running and I will improve my cardiovascular endurance and muscle tone. Maybe I like to paint and it allows me to express myself in a way I could never do before.
- Introspection will lead you to be more present by increasing your awareness. If you analyze your thoughts you will begin to realize that many of them are focused on the past and the future, and you will begin to understand how this is destructive in appreciating today. Once you reach this realization you begin to live in the now and less in the past and the future.
Here is a list of activities that may depending on your interests lead you to introspective thought:
- writing poetry
- writing fiction
- Tai Chi
- listening to music
- playing an instrument
You say well I would never be interested in writing poetry, and I would say have you every tried, or I can’t do yoga I have no flexibility. Don’t limit yourself to what you do today especially if you don’t already have an outlet that provides an opportunity to think. Give yourself a chance to understand your thoughts and behavior. I understand we are all very busy and have a to do list a mile long, but if you don’t take time for yourself no one else will. Carve out a little time each day to listen to your own thoughts.