Many people lack self-awareness, or the conscious awareness of their character, values, motives, and feelings. Active addiction often creates a severe lack of self-awareness, as your actions are often in conflict with your internal beliefs and character. You may “lose yourself” in your substance use disorder, and those who know you may not even recognize you anymore because your behaviors no longer match the person they thought they knew. During addiction treatment, one of the first and most important goals is to re-establish a sense of self-awareness through education and therapy. What does self-awareness look like?
Self-Awareness in Your Thought Processes
One very significant area of self-awareness is in how you think. Your thought processes often influence your behavior and your emotions. When your thought processes align with your internal beliefs and character, your behaviors and emotions will also reflect that. This will demonstrate to yourself and others a sense of self-awareness.
However, when your thought processes are skewed by negative thought patterns, addictive thought processes, or other patterns that do not align with your character, motives, and feelings, then you lose your self-awareness, and your behaviors and emotions will also diverge from the traits that are inherently you. Because your thoughts are essentially hijacked, you are often unaware of this change. During treatment, you will need to look at your thought patterns in therapy to ensure they align with who you are.
Rediscovering Emotional Self-Awareness
Similar to your thought processes, your emotional self-awareness impacts your thoughts and behaviors. From the outside, this can look irrational, overreacting, or especially emotional when dealing with others or in everyday situations. Others may see this, but most likely, you do not. You probably do not notice that your emotions and reactions do not align with your feelings or motives.
Rediscovering your emotional self-awareness can also take place in therapy. You can look at how you react and interact with others emotionally. You can also work on learning to manage your emotions better through various therapeutic exercises and activities and also through mindfulness meditation. As you learn to take control of your emotions better, you will create more emotional self-awareness, which will also impact your thoughts and behaviors.
Aligning Your Actions With Who You Are
The most obvious lack of self-awareness for others is how you behave. When they say “actions are louder than words,” it is true in the context of demonstrating your character and values or not. You may need to hear things from others that are difficult to hear about the way that you behave or things you have done before you begin to be self-aware about your actions.
Like your thoughts and emotions, when your actions align with who you are, there is integrity and also an awareness of self. During treatment, you are learning to reconnect your feelings, motives, and values with your behaviors and actions. The disconnect you may have had during addiction can be bridged with hard work, humility, and a willingness to learn self-awareness to better yourself.
Creating Physical Self-Awareness
Another way that you need to reconnect your self-awareness is physical. All too often, during addiction, a disconnect happens with your body, a lack of awareness of your body’s needs and even your basic senses. You may not eat, sleep, or exercise in healthy ways, or you may even be acting out in ways to harm your body. Creating physical self-awareness involves helping your body to heal.
Learning to live in your body again through sensory awareness techniques, yoga, and mindfulness meditation will help you create a sense of physical self-awareness once again. Even simply learning to sit and be still can be an important challenge in physically developing self-awareness. This is important to your overall self-awareness and a whole person's healing.
Developing Self-Awareness Socially
Once you have developed a sense of self-awareness in your emotions, thoughts, actions, and your body, you can focus on developing self-awareness in your social interactions with others. This includes how you present yourself to others, treat others, and communicate with those around you.
Another part of developing social self-awareness is learning to interact with others by setting boundaries and limitations and being true to yourself. These interactions should also reflect your core values and beliefs, express your feelings, and make your motives clear in healthy communication. Finding yourself and being yourself is at the core of what self-awareness is all about. Learning self-awareness may take time, but doing so will help you have integrity and look yourself in the mirror each day with joy.
What does self-awareness look like to you? Self-awareness looks like learning to align your thoughts, emotions, and actions with your character, values, and beliefs. You can reconnect with your body to find a physical self-awareness while you also develop a social self-awareness with others through your interactions. At The Ho Tai Way – Recovery For Women, we believe that self-awareness is at the heart of the addiction recovery process. Through education and therapy, including trauma-informed care, we help you to find your way again. Our calm, peaceful facility is a refuge for healing in Southern California and is located near major freeways for your convenience. Our staff offers compassionate, non-judgmental care and has many years of experience. We offer both evidence-based and complementary therapies to create a truly individualized treatment plan for you. How can we help you become more self-aware? Contact us at (714) 581-3974 today.