It’s amazing how we lack awareness about the simplest things. When you are hungry, you eat. When you are tired, you rest. We forget to eat when we are busy even though our stomaches are growling. We fail to get to bed early even though we are exhausted. Even when we are chronically stressed out, we fail to recognize it might be time for a change.
The truth is, we are often unaware of what is going on in our bodies, thoughts and emotions. Awareness is when we stop and observe what we are doing and explore the reasons “why.”
Awareness helps us to understand what we are feeling and based on that, what choices we need to make. Awareness is the first step to change because we cannot created change unless we know what needs to take place. With awareness, we identify those behaviours, habits, actions that do not serve our overall wellbeing. In order to remain aware, I use 4 simple steps: Check, Breathe Deeply, Pause and Reflect. What do these steps look like?
Check: Is this circumstance an emergency? We have to recognize not everything is urgent and we are not required to respond immediately.
Breathe Deeply: Move to deep breathing which will force your body and mind to slow down bringing clarity to the present moment. Take 4 long deep breaths in, hold for 4, release for 4.
Pause: Don’t do anything. Create space between your thoughts and actions, opening up the possibilities for creativity and decision making.
Reflect: What was the result of my actions? Would I do something differently next time?
Keep these 4 steps nearby as a simple reminder to becoming more aware.