Developing self-awareness of one’s own mental health involves paying attention to your thoughts, emotions and behaviors, and understanding how they impact your overall mental health and longevity. To honor Mental Health Awareness Month in May, we are sharing some steps you can take to develop self-awareness of your own mental health, as well as how our community can support you more specifically, so that you can thrive.
Mindfulness involves being present in the moment and observing your thoughts and emotions without judgment. Regular mindfulness practice can help you become more aware of your own mental state.
*Apps are great for practicing mindfulness on your own, but consider how joining a supportive group might hold you more accountable as well as give you new resources for self-study. Consider joining our upcoming mindfulness offerings this month, like our Self Care Circle (online), the Guided Imagery Workshop (in-studio) or the Sound Bath Meditation (in-studio).
Keep a journal
Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you identify patterns and triggers that impact your mental health. It can also help you track your progress over time.
*Writing allows you to freely process your inner world without concern of being judged by others AND writing has therapeutic benefits in and of itself.
Check in with yourself regularly
Take a few minutes each day to check in with yourself and evaluate your mental state. Ask yourself how you’re feeling and what might be contributing to those feelings.
*Consistency is key with developing emotional intelligence and self-awareness. Start with a Self Check-In guided practice from Stephanie Poulos in TribeTV.
Seek feedback from others
Ask trusted friends or family members for feedback on your behavior and how they perceive your mood. This can help you gain insight into how others view you and identify any blind spots.
*Keyword here is TRUSTED. You must be open and willing to hear what others perceive about you and that can only happen if your nervous system is in a relatively calm, non-protective state with the person you’re engaging with in this tender conversation. See why sharing is caring and how to practice labeling with others.
Pay attention to physical symptoms
Physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, and muscle tension can be signs of stress or anxiety. Pay attention to your physical symptoms and consider how they might be related to your mental health.
*This is a great opportunity to learn about the gut-brain connection as it relates to physical symptoms you might experience with stress or anxiety from an ayurvedic perspective. Have a listen to this TribeRadio segment on the Gut-Brain Connection with Dr. Philippa Norman to learn new ways to pay attention.
Learn about mental health
Educate yourself about common mental health conditions, their symptoms, and the available treatments. This can help you recognize any signs of mental health issues in yourself and others.
*We recommend everyone learn more about recognizing mental health conditions, symptoms and the need for critical care, as well as busting through stigma and addressing this head-on with Mental Health First Aid training.
Seek professional help
If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A mental health professional can help you gain a deeper understanding of your own mental health and develop strategies for improving it.
*Tribe has practitioners specialized in working with addiction, anxiety/ overwhelm, brain fog, depression, emotional health, trauma support and more. Use the search filter on our practitioner page to find the professional help you need.
Remember that developing self-awareness of your own mental health is a process and takes time. Be patient with yourself and commit to ongoing self-reflection and self-care, as well as outreach to support your continued self development. Long-term, your brain health, your relationships and your day-to-day outlook will benefit!