It all started with an extempore that I was asked to give three years ago in Organizational Behavior class during my graduation. I was asked to talk about the highest and the lowest points in my life. From my seat to the podium, I had no idea what I was going to talk about. So, I started with the fillers. But gradually, when I began opening up, it was a bit surprising for me. I had no idea some things had left a deep impact on me. I had an emotional breakdown in front of my batch-mates.
What we lack nowadays is time for ourselves. Where does all the time go? If we do not have time for ourselves then no matter how much money we make, we are all slaves. This might sound a little harsh. But aren’t we all trying to escape from something? It feels like there is this constant need to do something to keep ourselves ‘busy’. Very few of us actively go to have a reflective look inward.
Today, when the world seems to be a crazy place, it is very important to keep oneself sane. There is a whole new world inside each one of us. The idea of introspection does not have to sound escapist or gloomy. It is rather a subtle yet powerful habit that can transform your life in many ways.
Benefits of introspection
1)Better understanding of oneself: Personally, I would say I understand myself a lot better now as compared to I did three or four years ago and it is majorly because of introspecting on a daily basis.
2)Emotional stability: Believe it or not, introspection does give us a deeper understanding of our emotions especially latent ones (that stay hidden until we try reaching them out). Now this one is a bit tricky. Introspection does not mean staying immersed in emotions. It just means you stop doing any activity and start thinking about how you feel and why. Sometimes, you will get answers but even if you don’t, at least you will acknowledge your emotions and perhaps try not to let them adversely affect your behavior.
3)Ability to prioritize: Successful people know what matters to them and what doesn’t. They save their energy and time for things that matter. That’s how they get more done even though they also have 24 hours in a day. Even when it comes to your social life, some people matter a lot to you and some don’t. Introspection can help us in segregating people and things into categories so that we can allocate our time efficiently.
4)Less reactivity, more patience: Many of us have a habit of reacting to new information in a way that we regret later. This can cost us heavily in life. Sitting silently and reflecting upon yourself daily can help you in building this habit of taking time before you react. It will make you a more patient and thoughtful person rather than a reactive person.
5)Better solutions to problems: Introspection helps in getting a bird’s eye view of the situation as well as an ant’s eye view. People who introspect a lot are more likely to come up with ‘out of the box’ solutions to problems.
6)Love for oneself: You cannot love others unless you love yourself. You cannot love yourself unless you understand yourself. For understanding yourself, you need to introspect.
7)Improvement in relationships with loved ones: Once you start introspecting on a daily basis, you will have a better understanding of yourself, people and the world around you. You will become more empathetic towards others and it will help in strengthening your relationship with others.
Simple ways to introspect on a daily basis
Even though it sounds sophisticated, it is very easy to inculcate a habit of introspecting on a daily basis.
- Take it seriously. It’s a matter of your mental well being after all.
- Take fifteen minutes out of your schedule (preferably at the same time everyday).
- Do not talk to anyone else during those fifteen minutes. Try going to a separate room if you live with your family or maybe on the roof, whatever suits you.
- Think about what is bothering you. It could be related to someone else or even yourself.
- If it is related to someone else, ask yourself is that person important to you? If yes, then think of a way to talk to that person about it and work out a solution. If that person is not important to you, you should not feel hurt at all! It is a wastage of your time and energy. Tell yourself that whatever you feel is temporary.
- If it is related to you, then try figuring out what can you do about it or maybe someone can help you out. In that case, try reaching out for help.
What is the best time to introspect?
Well it depends on your daily schedule. I personally like to introspect in the evenings. For someone who is very busy throughout the day, night could be a better option. Also, instead of having one round of introspection, you can have two rounds of introspection in a day, if that helps you. But I would recommend to have some fixed time reserved for your daily dose of introspection.