How Can We Develop Self-Awareness?

Self-awareness is one of the most important tools we can develop when recovering from addiction and mental illness. Self-awareness is the ability to be conscious of our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. When we are self-aware, we are able to monitor our self-talk, our choices, and how we interact with other people. When we are not self-aware, we live most of our lives unconsciously, never being fully aware of how our fears and pain are influencing us. When we lack self-awareness, we limit our growth. We don’t learn from our mistakes, and we don’t evolve. We tend to stay stuck and complacent within the safety of our comfort zones. Self-awareness is a skill we can develop and practice in order to help us apply mindfulness to how we live our lives.

When struggling with addiction and mental illness, we often are so embroiled in the toxicity of our problems and issues that we aren’t able to be clearheaded or self-aware. We often aren’t thinking clearly, and our judgment is impaired. We haven’t learned how to connect with our inner selves and follow our intuition. Our emotions and instincts can feel as though they’re out of control and all over the place, and we’re unable to make sense of them. We are not able to be honest and open with ourselves, especially about the ways in which we want to grow, change and develop ourselves. Without self-awareness, personal development is impossible.

We can grow our self-awareness by practicing connecting to ourselves and becoming more aware of how we think and feel. We can use a journal and write in it regularly to help ourselves keep track of what things we’re most sensitive to and what areas of our lives are still causing us difficulty. We can journal about any troubling issues we have, and any stresses we have in our daily lives. Writing down our thoughts and feelings helps us to process everything and make sense of everything. Committing to self-analysis enables us to learn more about ourselves. We reconnect with our true selves. We start being able to decipher what steps we need to take in order to heal. The process of growing our self-awareness is so important for our well-being and our ability to recover.

Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you get back the life you love. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.