How to Improve Your Relationship With Yourself

Anna Pou/Pexels

Source: Anna Pou/Pexels

The thought of adding or removing a habit from your rhythm can be overwhelming. Does your mind tend to create roadblocks or distractions? Maybe it’s secretly trying to convince you that the effort involved in making a change is just too daunting or just not worth it. You, like many others, can hide under the excuse of not having the time to make an adjustment or add something new.

What if you could save the energy associated with spending more time completing another exercise or task and instead just take advantage of what the day already has in store for you?

Daily transitions

Consistently moving forward on autopilot and failing to look after yourself can have a profound effect on your mental health and ability to stay grounded in the present. Unfortunately, when you’re constantly feeling disconnected or distracted from the present moment, it becomes more difficult to manage stress, process emotions, and pay attention.

Imagine working with someone you had a good relationship with all day and then avoiding them completely or choosing not to contact them in any way. No casual “Hello, how are you?” or ask if they have a busy afternoon ahead of them. This scenario sounds a bit awkward, doesn’t it? They would most likely make some sort of connection at some point, wouldn’t they? Spending an entire day without checking in with yourself is very, very similar. It’s cumbersome, and you’ve missed several opportunities to connect.

Change several times throughout the day. They move from one location to the next, from one role to the next, and from one task to the next. As you navigate your day, a variety of emotions and thoughts surface, giving you the choice to engage or not. Some are helpful, others can lead to futuristic thinking or self-sabotage. Paying attention to patterns and triggers encourages affirmation and growth, not avoidance and suppression.

See these changes as opportunities to stop and connect with yourself. Checking in doesn’t mean you have to fully engage with an emotion or process it before moving on and resetting. It is essentially a scan, a touch base and a way to make connections with yourself and those around you. The goals are to collect data and wipe your slate clean. At first, you may not feel any relief, connection, or clarity at all, or you may feel them for a few seconds. Keep it up! This exercise takes repetitions…be patient. You build connections to yourself and identify patterns of behavior and thought with every effort.

“What does an effective self-check-in look like?”

Ask yourself the following questions and refrain from judgment or negative self-talk, even if your answers are sub-ideal or uncomfortable.

  • How am I feeling?
  • how does my body feel
  • Where are the subjects of my thoughts?
  • How do I react to my surroundings or situation?
  • What are my senses experiencing?

Here are some times to practice self-check-ins:

  • Before you get up and connect to your devices
  • In the shower or while brushing your teeth
  • During or after a meal
  • During a walk
  • After a workout
  • In the car at a red light
  • Go from one room to the next
  • Transition from one course or meeting to the next
  • After a talk
  • When changing

Start noticing how you move through your day and how often you switch. Which transitions or tasks occur often or even daily? Once you realize this, you can start making associations with these examples and use them as opportunities to pause and connect.

Self check-ins free up space; They act like a reset. They also offer you an opportunity to attend to a need or a thought or to set a limit. The practice helps you get out of an all-or-nothing modality of life. Not only do you gain self-confidence, you also build self-confidence, reduce stress and increase your resilience.

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