Self-Care is an accurate reflection that acknowledges your internal state to yourself and labeling it accurately is the secret to creating a new NOW.
In a world that is constantly telling people how they should act, speak, think, dress, and present themselves, it can feel odd to look inward and pay close attention to what you are actually thinking and feeling!
Feeling “informed” by the world around us can feel comforting as if there is always a template people can follow if they’re feeling lost about how to think about something or what to do in certain situations.
However, choosing to go with the flow isn’t always the best choice. If you really want to understand yourself and how you fit uniquely into the world around you, it is best to learn how to acknowledge your own internal state and label it correctly. That is retreating within to put self-care first and writing in your journal.
Why is it so important to be able to accurately label your own internal state?
When you can look inward and reflect on your own thoughts, feelings, and emotions, you can gain a clear picture of how you are doing. Think of these inward reflections as “check-ins” with yourself. Rather than depending on some external factor or metric to tell you how you’re doing or feeling, you can depend on yourself to give you that information every single time you pause.
Understanding your own internal state can teach you a lot about yourself. By being able to acknowledge how you’re currently feeling and what you’re currently thinking, you can be honest with yourself and do whatever is necessary to support yourself during that time.
What happens when you don’t or can’t acknowledge your internal state?
There are some common maladies associated with not being able to acknowledge your internal state. To begin, a person who can’t acknowledge their internal state likely has issues with processing emotions. If you can’t admit to how you’re feeling, you can’t possibly begin to work through those emotions in a productive and positive manner.
Not being able to label your internal state to yourself can create a sense of self-distrust. When you can’t reflect on your thoughts and feelings well, it creates a sense of internal miscommunication.
You struggle to understand how you’re feeling – in turn, this can make you feel even worse. This cycle will continue, creating a bad reputation within yourself. You learn that you can’t trust yourself to be honest with yourself.
If you struggle to acknowledge and label your internal state, what can you do to make it easier?
Consider these strategies for improving your skills by acknowledging and labeling your internal state.
- Practice speaking your emotions and feelings out loud.
When facing a strange, difficult-to-describe emotion or feeling, start talking out loud about it. Even if you are speaking out loud to yourself, actually talking about your current feelings can help you work through the details and identify some coherent thoughts about what you’re experiencing.
- Accept that it is okay to not be okay.
Life will not always be happy and joyous. During those less-than-ideal times, remember that it’s okay to have a hard time. Being able to identify these hard feelings within yourself and acknowledge out loud to yourself that you’re experiencing a difficult time is a powerful, self-care validation of what you are feeling.
- Allow yourself to change course when presented with new feelings or information.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to change your perspective on a situation. However, if you notice that you’re feeling something different or if you’ve learned some new information, allow yourself to change course. It’s okay to recognize that your thoughts and feelings may change – your internal state is going to constantly change, and accepting these shifts can make self-reflection retreat within times easier. It’s the secret to making each day your best and what I call living in the NOW.