INCREASING SELF-AWARENESS Becoming aware of your emotions takes practice. At first, you may have a hard time identifying the specific emotions that you are feeling. But your ability to note what you are feeling will increase in time. Here are several suggestions for helping to increase your self-awareness.
1. “Check-in” with yourself. To begin to identify your emotions, you’ll need to make time for doing so. Schedule particular times in the day that you can be alone and calm. Perhaps first thing in the morning, lunch time, and bed time would be good times to start. At first, you will do this at these regularly scheduled times in order to get in the habit of flexing your ‘identifying’ muscle. Eventually, you will be able to call on the skill anytime that you feel a strong, distressing, or other emotion. Sit quietly and if possible, close your eyes. Ask yourself several questions, and be sure to answer them honestly. There is no right or wrong answer. Just listen to your responses. Suggestions for questions to ask are: • How am I feeling? • What am I feeling? • How long have I been feeling this way? • Where do I notice the feeling manifesting itself in my body? Am I tense, clenching my teeth, feeling tired; do I have a headache or a stomachache? . 2. Label your emotions. Once you are able to tell how you are feeling, you will want to be able to identify what started your negative feelings. Was there a particular ‘trigger’? As you get better at identifying your emotions, you can come up with your own labels for them. Remember that not all emotions are negative – practice recognizing and labeling the positive ones too.


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