Self-reflection is the best method of healing that exists on this planet; and yet, despite this, it still goes underutilized as a method of mental upkeep. Let’s explore why this is.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind, telling yourself “There’s so much to do! I don’t have time to reflect!” After all, that mindset makes sense if you aren’t aware of the benefits and think of it as a waste of time.

However, there is an error in this manner of thinking. Rather than being a waste of time, self-reflection actually provides us with tons of incredible mental benefits! Some of these—such as a deeper understanding of ourselves, more balanced emotions, and a more compassionate outlook—we already know about. For every one benefit we know about, though, there are at least five more we haven’t discovered!

That said, let’s get you started on the path to self-reflection so you can enjoy these benefits for yourself. Here are the best writing prompts out there for better self-reflection:

What is Self-Reflection?

Before we get started with our prompts, it’s first necessary to discuss self-reflection, as far as what it is and isn’t. Contrary to popular belief, there’s much more to it than simply sitting around thinking about how your day went!

Literally speaking, self-reflection is defined as having the ability to witness and evaluate our own cognition, emotions, and behaviors. By doing this, we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and why we do what we do. This can lead to us as individuals having a better grasp of why we act certain ways or have certain toxic traits. It also helps us to know when we might act unreasonably in the face of certain situations, or determine when we need to stand our ground.

Here are a few of the benefits just one self-reflective session per week can provide:

  • Helps you to understand your core values
  • Causes you to evaluate your morals
  • Can bring underlying mental issues to the surface so you can understand where they come from
  • Can decrease mental disorders such as anxiety and depression
  • Causes better decision making
  • Helps better your relationships
  • Can help you get better sleep
  • Increases your ability to think about the big picture.

And this isn’t even everything you can experience by practicing regular self-reflection; rather, these are the most common experiences among the general public. You may experience benefits that are vastly different, or your list maybe twice or even three times the size of this one!

Regardless of who you are, though, one thing is certain—self-reflection will benefit you!

How to Practice Self-Reflection

Now that we’ve gone over what self-reflection is, let’s talk about the best ways to practice it.

Ultimately, whichever way you decide to pursue self-reflection is up to you. However, some methods may be more or less effective depending on who you are. If you find something isn’t working for you or is causing you to have a subpar reflective session, be sure to switch it up!

The most common methods of self-reflection are:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Writing
  • Nature Walks
  • Ask/Answer Games with Yourself
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Reading
  • Centering Prayer

Of this list, however, one method stands out above all others as being a nearly universal method of self-reflection: Writing.

Best Writing Prompts for Self-Reflection

The most common method of self-reflection is undoubtedly journaling either on your own or by using writing prompts. However, if you aren’t someone who knows exactly where to start, or if reflection is new to you, we highly recommend beginning with writing prompts.

Here are the best writing prompts for self-reflection, as researched by behaviorists and psychologists:

  1. What makes you feel calm?
  2. What makes you feel powerful?
  3. What makes you feel weak?
  4. Why do your answers to the above questions make you feel that way?
  5. How do you encourage other people when they are trying something new? Do you encourage yourself the same way? Why or why not?
  6. What is your favorite thing to do when you have nothing on your agenda?
  7. What do you do for fun with others?
  8. How can you celebrate who you are today?
  9. What does the best outcome of today look like? How can you achieve it?
  10. Do you feel guilty for putting yourself first? If so, where do those feelings come from?
  11. Do you trust the decisions you make on your own? Why or why not?
  12. Do you forgive yourself when you make a mistake? Why or why not?
  13. How do you establish boundaries? Are there better ways than what you are doing?
  14. How do you know when you are nearing burn-out? When those things start happening, what is your immediate reaction?
  15. What sentence or phrase could you tell yourself every day to help yourself have a better day?

Hopefully, our suggestions provide new ways to intentionally incorporate self-reflection in your life and make 2022 an even more meaningful year for you!

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