The value of self-reflection.

The value of self-reflection.

Ideas for family to sit together and reflect.

Reflection is an important learning tool that helps you evaluate your experiences and learn from them. This makes you more effective and successful in the future. This is a known fact, but we still struggle with it in the fast-paced world that we live in, to take out time to reflect properly.

What is self-reflection? Basically, it is exploring the question, “Why do I feel/act like this?’ Self-reflection is the practice by which you are able to look at yourself objectively. You are able to dig deeper and question your very being. It makes you aware of yourself. You can assess yourself and your ways of working. Through self-reflection, you can examine your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions.

However, being obsessive about self-reflection can be dangerous too. The objective should be to allow self-reflection to lead you to growth, positivity, and happiness. Going overboard on this activity could obviously become counterproductive.

But why is self-reflection so significant? If you don’t find time to self-reflect, you would be going through life without thinking, just jumping from one thing to the other, without pausing to see if you are going in the right direction. You would end up doing the same things again and again even if they are not producing the right results. This is like being stuck in an endless loop of meaningless actions.

Self-reflection allows you to;

  • step back and gain an insight into what things are important and what can be ignored
  • achieve clarity in your mind
  • consider the consequences of your words and actions
  • carefully consider and lead the best, most effective way to act in a given situation
  • think deeply and ponder the meaning of your circumstances, emotions, and motivations
  • live a holistic, integrated and healthy life

So, what can you do? As a family, how can you sit together and reflect? Here are a couple of ways in which you can devote time for self-reflection:

  • Schedule Family Time – It can be all too easy to create a life in which family members do not spend much, or any quality time together. If required, remove some pre-planned activities and make room for new ones that involve the entire family.
  • Eat meals together – Aim to eat at least one meal together where everyone can communicate openly and clearly. This hour can be used to laugh, learn, and enjoy together.
  • Have one-on-one time – Sometimes people are more comfortable talking about things important to them, alone. You can do this by taking them aside for gardening or going for a stroll, etc.
  • Show kindness and appreciation – We can foster positive emotions in family by regularly supporting each other. Criticism is okay. However, we must ensure that love and care is behind these critiques and that our loved ones are in the forefront when we communicate those concerns.
  • Be an active listener – Ensure that you are focused 100% on what your loved one is communicating. One way to do this is by completely switching off your electronic devices and not getting distracted by them.
  • Establish family routine – Routines help to create stability in the lives of children. Having a schedule helps them relax, and gives them something to look forward to, with a sense of anticipation. You could indulge in activities like reading a book to the young ones, or have family movie time with popcorn, or board games which will bond the family together.

Given that self-reflection is the key to giving life more meaning as an individual as well as within families, it might be well worthwhile to schedule it into our weekly calendars. Over time, it will become a habit and enrich our lives exponentially.

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