Did You Reflect Today?
Possibly more important for your health than breakfast in the morning.
Let's talk about reflection.
I'm not talking about what you see in the mirror, I'm talking about an analysis of your day.
As an arts student, I am constantly writing essays and reflections on articles, books, media, art, songs; you name it I can analyze it. So reflecting and analyzing is basically second nature to me. I also haven't only been recently into reflecting, but growing up I would reflect every night with my family. It would be more of a trick though; my parents would ask me about my day and we would go over how I can improve and how I could react differently to a situation. Having this discussion with my parents growing up has definitely helped me unconsciously reflect everyday since then. Although, most of us might do this every day or every night, but we do it unconsciously without really acknowledging it.
I was talking to a friend yesterday about this article and how I'm discussing why we all need to reflect on the daily. My friend told me about one strategy they use with a child with anger issues at their work. My friend will take the child on a daily "reflection walk" and they simply talk about the good and bad throughout the day and what the child can improve for the next day. Apparently, this has helped the child calm down a lot and by setting their intentions for the next day has helped the child create goals. I was so happy knowing that even children are learning to reflect in school and be held accountable for their actions. Just goes to show that any age can be reflective and conscious of their actions. If this child keeps up his reflection walks, they'll be going far in life.
Imagine if you took five minutes a day to reflect your actions, your choices, your emotions; you would be so in tune with yourself. Imagine if every night before bed you talked with your kids about their day and discussing different ways of action; you would show interest in your child and teaching them lessons at the same time. Imagine you journaled your thoughts and how your day went; you would have all your thoughts written down and therefore making them real and out there.
There is so much that I can talk about the subject of reflection, but the bottom line is that reflecting in the day can help you appreciate the good and can help you learn from the bad.
When Should I Reflect?
Reflection can happen at any time and can happen multiple times in a day. For example, waking up and setting the intentions for the day can help you reflect how you want the day to go; trust me, this works wonders.
You are in control of your life, you control how your day goes.
Reflecting at night is probably the most beneficial (in my opinion). This is because you have experienced your day and you can go to bed knowing how you can achieve greatness for the next day when you wake up.
As I said before, reflecting can happen unconsciously and sometimes even happens during a situation. An example of this, which has happened to me way too many times, is when I'm in an argument and I get too heated too quickly. This has taken me a so long to realize, but I have to work on reflecting instantly and calming down and thinking, 'How could I have reacted differently?' We have all been in this situation, sometimes it doesn't hit us until later that night, 'Oh, I shouldn't have said that' or 'I should have said that instead.' This is a perfect time to reflect as well.
How Do I Reflect?
There are many ways to reflect and each person is different. Journaling, chatting with family and friends, thinking to yourself before you fall asleep at night. These are all ways that help up discuss what is on our mind. I truly believe we learn a lesson every single day, either from yourself (if you are reflecting properly) or from someone else.
The most important part of reflecting is being honest with yourself. How are you able to make changes and analyze your life if you aren't being true with the past? This has also taken me a long time to realize, once I realized that I cannot change the past and can only change the outcome of my future, I became a happier person. Be honest with your mistakes and grow from them.
Being in denial of your mistakes is not helping you grow or become a better person, it is making you spiral into bad habits.
Yes, we are constantly reflecting, but are you practicing it everyday? In metaphorical terms, think of someone going to the gym. We all know that person that sits on a machine, texts their friends, takes a selfie, goes to the sauna, gets in their car and drives home. Seems silly that a person can do this, but in their mind they might believe that physically being at the gym is enough. Props to them for getting out of bed, but if you want to results overtime for a longer period of time, that person needs to get their head out of the phone, work up a sweat and do the hard work. This is a perfect way to think of reflecting, we reflect all the time, but if you don't take the time in the day to do it, then you won't see results.
When you're reflecting, you can think about the following...
- Who am I affecting?
- What am I grateful for?
- What did I do today that made me feel a strong emotion?
- Is this person, thing, activity benefitting me?
- What could I have done better?
- What feelings can I strive for tomorrow?
- What are my plans tomorrow?
- What makes me happy and how can I implement that into my day?
It is all about appreciating and figuring out how we can improve.
So to leave you with a thought...
Knowing yourself is the most important thing you can do for your health. Reflect on your greatness. Reflect on your flaws. Reflect on your growth.
It's time to change your life for the better.