Importance of Daily Self Reflection in Recovery

Importance of Daily Self Reflection in Recovery

Taking time to self-reflect as you work through recovery is a vital step in the healing process that we often forget to participate in as we journey down the path to healing. However, a life which is unexamined is not worth living according to the distant philosopher Socrates. Therefore, as you work you way through recovery and you heal, make sure you take time out for daily self-reflection as it is very important!

What is Self Reflection?

Daily self-reflection is defined as the ability to look within yourself and learn more about your fundamental purpose in life. Why are you here? Why do you keep working towards recovery? What is your purpose?

Taking time to self-reflect allows you to look deep within yourself at your motivation, vision, behaviors, attitudes and beliefs--and learn how they come together to help you achieve your purpose.

Why is Self-Reflection Important?

Reflection in recovery improves several functions of your inner self including your awareness, happiness, and strength. By addressing your inner thoughts and emotions, you can confront some of the beliefs that may have led to your drug or alcohol use while you also take steps to heal and ensure that those same beliefs don’t trip up your recovery efforts.

Introspection or self-reflection can be viewed similarly to taking the time to view the inner details of a book. On the outside cover, we may see a drama or a thriller, but as we read the inner pages we find a romance that is heartwarming. Similarly, on the outside, you may see failure and an inability to succeed, but as you look deep within you find that you do have the tools to overcome your past mistakes and heal, you in fact, are not a failure.

Self-reflecting in recovery is also important because:

  • It helps you to learn from your mistakes and prevent future mistakes from occurring. 

  • It helps you to learn who you truly are rather than the shell of someone that you maybe tried to be as you followed the paths of others.

  • It allows you to eliminate beliefs that do not help you to grow and heal. This reduces suffering.

  • It allows you to spot signs that your life is not moving in the direction you want it to. Thus you can take steps to change your path.

  • It allows you to become more aware of your strengths and potential weaknesses. As you learn where those strengths are you can take on more roles utilizing those strengths.

  • It allows you to communicate your thoughts and feelings with others in a positive way. If you don’t know yourself, how can you get others to learn who you are?

  • It allows you to have a stronger idea of your own values.

  • It allows you to find purpose and meaning in your life.

  • It allows you to feel empathy towards others as you learn how to recognize the inherent differences between everyone.

Self-Reflection Activities

As you learn how to self-reflect you can begin thinking critically about your own life and the role that you are living. Various skills will help you to become more self-reflective in your day-to-day routines. For instance:

  • You can critically examine your own thoughts and challenge others to think critically too. Objectively examining your thoughts and beliefs will help you to find new motivation in everyday tasks.

  • You can self-reflect on your honest. Are you truly being honest with yourself or are you trying to mask a situation? If you can’t be honest with yourself, can you truly be honest with others? Probably not!

  • You can begin to understand your individual needs better and portray those to others. This will help you to build lasting friendships too. To do so, consider how your beliefs and needs differ from others and how you can share your opinions in a way that will help others to get to know you better without you potentially harming their belief system--uniqueness is a grand thing!

  • You can self-reflect on the logical fallacies and cognitive biases that you have as you try to think more clearly. This is a time where you must recognize that your thoughts are just that--thoughts.



Avoid Being Overly Reflective

While it’s great to look deep within yourself to define important things like your values and beliefs, it’s equally important that you don’t spend too much time introspecting. Balance is key to recovery and healing and that holds true when we think about self-reflection too.

Avoid excessive introspection that could render you lost in your own inner world. Instead, take time out once a day to self-reflect and then try to enjoy life the rest of the time. Be mindful of your surroundings and don’t get too caught up analyzing things to a point in which they are no longer interesting and fun.

If you find yourself directing too much time towards self-reflection, practice some steps to be more mindful and enjoy the world around you. You can breathe, slow down, and seek time with those you enjoy spending your life with to validate your need to exit the inner self and enjoy the outer world.


Safe Self Reflection Tips

Finally, we have the following tips to help you practice self-reflection safely:

  • Work on your critical thinking skills. Learn how to weed out sections of thought that are not critical and have less value.

  • Recognize the value of self-reflection and balance. Use your time wisely.

  • Keep a daily self-reflection journal. Write down the important thoughts and emotions, reflect on them occasionally to see how far you have come.

  • Learn to meditate on your own time and focus inwardly. Mindful meditation is a great skill for self-reflection and will help you to learn how to deeply reflect at a scheduled time.

  • Consider self-reflection as you exercise. Many find they are more clear-headed when they go for a long walk or spend an hour at the gym. 

  • Take time daily to self-reflect and destress. Use that time wisely.

  • Be completely honest with yourself. If you are not being honest, it’s time to look deeper within and make positive changes.

  • Powerful self-reflection can help you to gain insight into yourself that could be shared with a therapist or friend. Don’t be afraid to talk about what you learn about yourself as you reflect deeply in.

Using these self-reflection tips, take time out each day to check on your beliefs and the inner workings of your own being. You won’t be disappointed--and chances are, you will grow!

Category: Pocket Rehab
Tags: self-reflection, daily self reflection, self care, daily reflection, journaling, exercise, mind and body, recovery