Dr. Lisa Firestone, Dr. Robert Firestone and Joyce Catlett, authors of The Self under Seige state:
There is an important difference between introspection and rumination. Time spent alone in thought can be positive – a rich environment for personal growth and creativity, but it can also be dangerous when we are negatively turned against ourselves. Introspection can be a process of healthy self-reflection, examination, and exploration, which is good for your well-being and your brain.
Introspection allows us to learn from our past, understand who we are, and develop a closer sense of self. If we can look into ourselves for exploration and clarification, we can become wiser and more self-aware. According to Elite Daily in 2015, introspection can help us to notice negative patterns in our lives, keep us focused on the bigger picture, prevent us from worry about things outside of our control, face our fears, define happiness in our own terms, make decisions based on our conscious, and make changes that will finally lead us to the results that we want.
The Right Way(s) To Do Introspection has some great insight that can be used. Here are some investigative strategies that you can use to get the most out of introspection:
- Do not interpret and reinterpret your emotions. Simply explore. If you begin examining your feelings about how you’re feeling, that’s rumination. Simply ask yourself “What am I feeling right now?” Do not place any positive or negative connotation to it.
- Do not let reflection prevent you from acting. Ask yourself if the way you are right now will allow you to continue doing what’s most important in your life.
- Consider adding structure to your introspection. Writing your feelings down, even if for just 20 minutes a day, can help you to discover new things about yourself and to clear your mind.
- Consider practicing meditation. Meditation allows us to simply sit and be still in the present moment. It allows us to practice watching our thoughts flow, and to accept the feelings that we currently have.
Introspection can be a powerful tool when used in a healthy way. In doing this, we open doors for learning and growth, causing us to become better people. We are more easily able to work with those around us when we have a better understanding of ourselves and how we fit with others. Hopefully these tools can help you garner some insight into yourself, giving you a chance to lead a more enriched life.
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