Do you think you can handle a lot, but later it turns out that you experience too much stress because of this?
Do you sometimes risk losing control of yourself because of thoughtless decisions?
Do you often find it difficult to place your own thoughts and behaviors?
You are probably not self-conscious enough. However, we can do something about this!
In this article you will find out why self-awareness is important to become more resistant to stress and I will teach you to increase your self-awareness. So read on quickly!
Purpose of this article: In this article I’m going to explain to you what self-awareness is and why it’s important. In addition, I will talk about the relationship between self-awareness and stress.
What is self-awareness and why is it important?
According to the Grote Van Dale, self-conscious means ‘with awareness of one’s own inner strength, value’.
If you are self-aware, you have the following qualities:
If you are self-aware, you have a clear insight into your personality.
But why is it so important to know yourself well?
Well, the better you know yourself, the better you know your weaknesses and your strengths. Moreover, you also know very well how to react in certain situations, so that you can go through life with less stress. But more on this later.
Above all, don’t think that self-conscious people can’t fall prey to negative emotions at all. Even if you are self-conscious, you can sometimes feel overwhelmed, stressed or disappointed.
The big difference is that you can handle this better. You know very well which emotions trigger certain situations in you and how you can deal with them in a balanced way.
Daniel Goleman, psychologist and creator of the concept of emotional intelligence describes self-awareness as follows: “A person who is self-aware knows what he is feeling and why.
It forms the basis for intuitive behavior and decision-making. Self-awareness is like a compass that guides you to a less stressful existence.”
Self-awareness is one of the most essential skills to be strong in life and to avoid stress.
Curious why self-awareness is important for your stress resistance? Then read on carefully.
Self awareness and stress
If you are self-aware, you are less likely to feel like you are losing control of your life.
And that is often what chronic stress is all about: the thought of losing control over your mind, your body or your life.
If you have trouble concentrating or don’t remember things very well, you may feel like you’re losing control of your mind.
Questions such as: “Could I be suffering from dementia?” or “What if these are signs of Alzheimer’s?” may crop up.
If you experience physical complaints due to chronic stress, you may think that you are suffering from a physical condition. For example, you do not realize that the hyperventilation attacks that you sometimes experience may be the result of chronic stress.
You immediately think there is something physically wrong with you. Result: you no longer have any control over everything that happens to your body.
Chronic stress is very often caused by overstrain. Overwhelm can make you feel like you’re losing control of your life. You look irritable when you really don’t want to.
You are increasingly procrastinating that makes your life a mess. You look apathetically at life and find it increasingly difficult to enjoy things.
The better you know yourself, the sooner you will realize that your mind, your body or yourself react ‘differently’ in certain situations.
This allows you to sound the alarm in time and avoid chronic stress.
Self-awareness and stress are also related on another level. Let me explain:
Typically for highly sensitive people , they experience everything much more emotionally than others. If you, as a highly sensitive person, receive a comment about a task that you have not performed so well, you can react very strongly.
You feel attacked and you immediately counterattack. You realize your response was “over the top” and you feel guilty about it.
You keep worrying about this and that causes you even more stress. The better you know yourself (read: the more self-conscious you are) the better you can deal with this high sensitivity.
Okay, you may have reacted a bit harshly, but that’s just how you are put together. You accept who you are, worry less about it and experience less stress about your reaction.
If the relationship between self-awareness and stress is not completely clear to you, be sure to watch the video below.
This video shows you in a very simple way why people with low self-awareness experience so much stress:
Now that you know why self-awareness is important for stress resistance, you probably also want to know how you can increase your self-awareness.
Why, you might think? Is it possible to become more self-aware? It sure is!
Ready to get to know yourself better and become more resistant to stress?
Please read the tips below carefully. They will certainly help you with this!
6 tips to increase your self-awareness
Above all, don’t think that you can raise your self-awareness overnight. The whole process from getting to know yourself to dealing with your reactions, thoughts and emotions in the most efficient way takes time.
My personal advice: take that time and work on it!
Tip #1 Recognizing warning signs
Only when you know the warning signs of low self-awareness can you work on raising your self-awareness.
Now that you know the warning signs, you can practically start building your self-awareness.
Tip #2 Pay enough attention to these warning signs
Increasing your self-awareness doesn’t mean you have to change yourself at all.
It does mean that you should try to get to know yourself better so that you can deal with the warning signs listed above. This is the only way to avoid stress.
Tip #3 Compile your personal toolkit
This toolkit mainly contains questions. It’s up to you to formulate an answer.
If you find yourself in a certain situation where you immediately become defensive, check with yourself what the underlying reason is.
Do you feel threatened? Do you feel insecure? Do you feel like you have no control over the situation?
Do you blame someone else for your failure? Then ask yourself why you don’t want to or can’t bear the responsibility.
The more deeply you think about your emotions or reactions in certain circumstances, the better you will understand them. The better you understand your emotions, the less stress you will experience.
Tip #4 Keep an emotion diary
By keeping track of all emotions, you are taking an important step in increasing your awareness.
Don’t just keep track of your thoughts and emotions in certain situations. Also note what exactly happened at that moment.
Then analyze the underlying reasons why you experienced a particular emotion.
An example might make things clearer to you.
Suppose you suffer from a form of fear of heights . You have a teambuilding afternoon with your colleagues and you go wall climbing. You break out in a sweat when you hear about the planned activity.
You talk to your colleagues about this. They suggest trying it anyway: “You don’t have to climb that high anyway and maybe you can just watch us do it. Afterwards we can enjoy a drink together.”
You immediately go on the defensive: you accuse them of not asking your opinion, that they look nice and that you do go out for a drink with ‘real’ friends.
In this case, what can you write in your diary?
Next, analyze why you lashed out at your colleagues. You were afraid of experiencing too much stress during the activity.
In fact, it wasn’t their fault at all. You have become aware that you have been acting too hard.
Tip #5 View yourself from the point of view of others
Feedback from others is important to become more self-aware.
But the lower your self-awareness, the harder you find it to ask others for advice. You already feel quite insecure, so feedback from others may just increase this uncertainty.
Do it anyway! Asking a friend to clarify your strengths as well as your weaknesses is an important step towards greater self-awareness.
Even if you think you know yourself quite well, an outside look from others can be helpful to get a clearer picture of yourself.
Tip #6 Test your self-awareness
There are many tests to evaluate your self-awareness. The most well-known test is the ‘Self Consciousness Scale (SCR-S)’ by the American psychologist Michael F. Scheier.
On the basis of the questions in this test, you will get to know yourself better so that you can work on your self-awareness.