Over the years, my relationship with therapy has ebbed and flowed. I’ve gone from being skeptical about it to going twice a week and everywhere in between. The common thread is that I’ve never been with one therapist long enough to making any long-term changes – until now. And now that I’m noticing some things about myself and how mental health affects my life, I’m facing a new challenge. But now that I’m self-aware about these these things, how can I use this information to improve?
I’ve been on a bit of a self-awareness kick for a few weeks now. A lot of that is related to personal development, but I’m also interested in the concept and how it relates to mental health. So, what is self-awareness? Simply put,
Self-awareness involves being aware of different aspects of the self including traits, behaviors, and feelings. Essentially, it is a psychological state in which oneself becomes the focus of attention.Very Well Mind
Self-awareness is more than just getting to know ourselves or feel comfortable in our own skin. It’s being aware of many the different facets of our personalities and who we are as people – something that can be hard to figure out sometimes. We live in a busy world where things move quickly, and gaining self-awareness requires slowing down and looking inward to reflect and work toward growth.
After months seeing the same therapist, I’ve been able to notice habits and patterns with how my anxiety/depression affect me and how I live my life. I’ve started to understand why I say and do certain things about myself, things that have helped me internally and also communicate with others externally.
And while I’m glad I’m learning these things, it also creates a tricky situation with my mental health. Because even as I’m learning more about myself, it can become even more frustrating when I can’t prevent those behaviors. The fact is, I just became aware of a lot of things that have been laying dormant for years, if not decades. When something is that ingrained in you, change takes time.
This is the first time I realized how important self-awareness is to the goal of long-term mental wellness. Anyone can want to change, but if you don’t know what needs changing or adjusting, where do you start? As it turns out, self-awareness is not the end goal I thought it was. Instead, this process helped me learn more about myself and the type of person I am. Armed with this knowledge, I can try to make choices with much more knowledge than I had before, which is extremely helpful. Self-awareness is certainly not the end-all be-all I thought it was, but it’s a very useful step toward changing our attitudes around our own mental health.