The life-changing benefits of self-reflection

Sometimes small steps we take bring large changes in our lives and self-reflection is one of the steps one can take to kickstart personal growth in their life.

Self-reflection is an action of reflecting on oneself (pretty obvious and self-contained, when you think about it) but where does one start? There are never-ending layers one can peel off and still never reach the core of their identity. But there are ways to start! 

Basics of self-reflection

Let's start with the foundation: how do you feel at this moment? Consider your body and mind, and how much energy you have. Those are very tangible insights about yourself you can take at any time. You can track them and see how they change over time (the Howdy app is perfect for that!)

We often want to believe the body doesn't affect the mind (and vice-versa), or that energy levels are separate from mental health. With self-reflection, you can see if those assumptions are true in your life and if (and how) these three conditions coexist and intertwine affecting your overall wellness.

Wellness awareness

The reality of being a human is that our choices are deeply dictated by how we feel at the moment — a balanced person will have a lot of patience, while somebody feeling ill or stressed might react violently to the same situation. Knowing your wellness state is a great way to instill a mindful approach to the chaos in your life: knowing you're stressed, you might be more careful when dealing with delicate matters. Likewise, being aware of feeling great might give you that extra bit of motivation and resilience to manage your day and everything coming your way.

That wellness awareness is a life-changing effect of self-reflection. It may act as an early warning when your natural defenses are down or may give you a green light to do more than you would normally do. It's a tool that helps you regain control over your body, mind, and energy.


Wellness awareness is just the foundation for the ultimate goal: growing and achieving full self-awareness. The dictionary definition of self-reflection touches on that:

Self-reflection is meditation or serious thought about one's character, actions, and motives.  

When you know your wellness state, you can start unpeeling the inner working of your mind, knowing the background noise of your body, mind, and energy, that fuels your decisions, actions, and motives. You may see patterns of constructive and destructive behaviors and triggers for various thoughts and actions.

You might find yourself motivated by positive emotions and physical input, like love, belonging, connection, and safety. Those are valid motivations showing you the things that work in your life and things you gravitate toward.

You might also find yourself motivated by negative emotions and physical input, like fear, loneliness, or hunger. Those are valid motivations, too, so don't shy from them as they can tell you a lot about the inner workings of your body and mind. You can use those as warning signs in your life and focus on removing their influence on you.

Whatever you might find about yourself through self-reflection (and journaling, too!), it's valuable insight allowing you to understand yourself and be self-aware — you can use this insight to make conscious decisions and take choices aligned with the life you want. It's a powerful and life-changing tool at your disposal. 

We will explore the self-reflection approaches and ways to grow self-awareness in other posts in the Self-reflection category.

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