You’re alone and it’s quiet. The only noise you can hear are your own thoughts, and they start to catch up with you real fast. Will you listen to them? Or will you turn on the TV and scroll your feed for distraction? If it’s the latter — you’ll eventually find that no matter how much time you avoid your own thoughts and emotions they’ll start piling up. And it’ll weigh heavy if you don’t acknowledge or express it.
We often look for answers, yet we tend to overlook the necessity to reflect upon ourselves. Sometimes the answers we seek can only be found when we find the courage to ask ourselves the right questions.
1. How am I feeling?
This question will get you out of your head and back in your body. How do you feel in this moment? Are you content and happy? Are you sad? Are you angry? Why? Where do you feel it? Our emotions are usually triggered by repetitive thoughts. By identifying your emotion in the moment, it’s much easier to get to the root of the thoughts that caused it. And when we acknowledge and accept how we feel instead of sweeping it under the rug like dust — we can set ourselves free.
2. Am I taking enough time for myself?
Nowadays, productivity is often tied to our self-worth. Most people believe that if they are not efficient with their time, then they’re not good enough. But the truth is, our time for recuperation is just as important as our time for work. It’s crucial to take breaks, and to truly revel in the pause instead of seeing it as time to enhance our productivity. There’s an Italian quote called “La Dolce Far Niente” which translates to “the sweetness of doing nothing”. It could be as simple as sitting on a bench under a tree and watching the clouds pass by, or listening to music while allowing yourself to just be. Sometimes all we need to reset and regain clarity is to bathe in the nothingness, and actually let ourselves enjoy it.
3. What am I holding onto that I need to let go of?
Researchers say we think over 50,000 thoughts per day, and more than half of those thoughts are usually negative. Imagine carrying the weight of all those thoughts on a daily basis, feeding the repetitive unconscious belief systems we’ve held onto since childhood. Most of these thoughts are intrusive and usually holds us back from evolving and becoming better versions of ourselves. We must learn how to dissect the origins of these thoughts through deep introspection. Reflect on your mind by journaling or sitting quietly, then pick which ones are serving you and which ones are holding you back. You’d be surprised at how much easier you can breathe when you let it all go.
4. Am I staying true to myself?
It’s easy to fall into others’ expectations while feeling the need to please the people around us. But it’s worth it to ask yourself once in a while if you’re doing things solely for other people, or if you’re constantly putting people’s needs in front of your own. Because when you compromise your needs and values for other people, you deplete your own soul. We have to look within the core of ourselves and ask if our values in life are matching our daily actions. It’s through these small actions, in which we can find the truth of who we are and learn how to own it.
5. How can I make the most out of today?
Making the most out of the day doesn’t mean it has to be productive. It could simply mean a day wherein any of your physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional needs are met. What are the things you can do to meet these needs? If you feel stagnant, try moving your body through yoga or going for a run. If you’re feeling down, try journaling to express your deepest, unfiltered thoughts and pour it onto paper. And if you need someone to talk to, invest in a therapy session or find some time to call your loved ones.
No matter what you choose, make sure you check-in with yourself daily. Find a cozy corner indoors or a peaceful sanctuary outside and write out everything you’ve been feeling today. You can even document and upload your musings in the Reel You app. Through introspection and self-reflection, we can improve all aspects of our lives. Nurturing this internal relationship with ourselves creates growth — not only within but also in the relationships and connections that shape us.