In this podcast (episode #344) and blog, I talk about the importance of self-awareness and how it is a key part of the healing process.
Without awareness, we cannot change or move forward. To make changes in our thoughts and subsequent communication, we need to be strategic, proactive and deliberate about our thinking. We need to try to be aware of what we are thinking about every day. This is called self-regulation.
Self-regulation means that we don’t need to be held captive to our thoughts. Instead, we can capture our thoughts and change the way they impact our lives, and this begins with awareness.
Awareness means tuning into the messages coming from ournonconscious mind into the conscious mind, where they can be changed. Once a thought is in the conscious mind, directed neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change) kicks in, and the protein branches holding the memory information in vibrational frequencies weaken. That’s when the thought is at its weakest and can be reconceptualized.
This is why I keep talking about embracing our issues. We need to face what is bothering us and become aware of it—that is, be conscious of it—by gathering an awareness of the signals our mind, brain and body are sending us, such as feeling anxious, depressed, upset, sick, overwhelmed and so on. Once we do this, we can draw out the toxic stuff in our nonconscious mind and bring them into the conscious mind, where they are malleable. Only then can we process and reconceptualize what is bothering us and move on.
Questions that can be helpful to ask as you do this are:
3. What is the information in the thoughts bubbling up from your nonconscious mind into your conscious mind right at this moment? Gather awareness of this information, noting how many thoughts there are and what they are.
The key thing to remember as we practice self-awareness is that we need to manage what we are aware of, or the thought can go back into our nonconscious mind even more toxic than before. Self-awareness is one part of the mind-management, as I discuss in my latest book Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess, my app Neurocycle and my blogs and podcasts.
The easiest way to understand the whole process of mind management is to imagine a thought tree. Look at it from the branches to the tree trunk to the roots. The first thing you need to do is gather awareness of the branches and leaves, which are your behaviors and their attached emotions. Then you need to focus on the whole tree to try to make some sense of it—the branches, trunk, and roots, or the detail of your behaviors and emotions, what perspective they bring, and where they come from. This is a very revealing process—you are bringing the memories of the thoughts out into the open and into your conscious mind so that you can work on pruning and grafting the leaves and branches based on your process of self-awareness and self-discovery. This, in turn, will help you work towards stabilizing and consolidating the growing branches and leaves, much like those posts that are often tied to a tree or part of a tree to help it grow. Then you should allow the new branches to settle a little before you do more work on them to change the way this thought plays out in your life on a long-term basis. All of this first starts with awareness!
For more on self-awareness and self-regulation, listen to my podcast (episode #344). If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).
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2:25 Why self-awareness is so important
4:10 Your past is not your destiny
5:00 What it means to be aware of a thought
5:50 The neuroscience of self-awareness
7:50 The relationship between the conscious & nonconscious mind
13:00 The nature of thoughts & self-awareness
15:40 How to listen to what your mind, brain & body are telling you
19:35 How your nonconscious mind tries to protect you
22:30, 26:00 What to do after you become aware of an issue that is affecting your life
This podcast and blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.