Most people would rather act than take time to think.
We are a society on the go, always moving. We are busy.
We have places to be, demanding jobs, kids to raise, dinner to make, and things to do.
We move from one activity to the next without pause.
In all our doing, we can become disconnected from ourselves.
We lose sight on what matters most.
What if we stopped to think and reflect on all of this doing?
Is it getting us the quality of relationships we desire and leading to a higher quality of life (meaning more peace, better health, contentment with our lives)?
Where are we running to?
Let’s stop and evaluate. Hit pause for just a moment.
And think. Reflect.
Reflective thinking helps us distance ourselves from the in-the-moment emotions and decisions to better determine what is the best course of action to take.
It allows us to assess the truth of our lives without the emotional drama.
It stops the spinning, overwhelmed mind that we feel.
Which is why most people drink – to calm the mind.
We rush through our days of doing – our cortisol levels staying high – that fight of flight response that keeps the mind racing and makes us hungry for carbs and sugar.
Our bodies are stressed, our mind is in over-drive, and we crave carbs/sugar for a quick boost of energy and hit of pleasure.
A drink provides that perfect solution.
Ahh, we mentally slow down.
And so the habit continues.
But there is a different solution.
And the brain and body want a different solution.
One that doesn’t lead to weight gain, depression and more anxiety.
One that gives us back great sleep, better skin, and less brain fog.
One that helps us to experience the natural highs of life.
One that makes us feel more like ourselves.
Sounds great, right?
Then why don’t we choose this way and find this better solution?
Go back to reflective thinking to find out.
For example, maybe you decided not to drink on a particular day. A friend stops over unexpectedly and you offer her wine and join in. The one glass turns into a few more. The next morning, you are frustrated by your decision to drink so much (or at all). Instead of chalking this one up to “your friend stopping over” and feeling powerless in the situation (victim mode), reflect back over the event when you are not emotional over it.
Was that the best decision to make?
How would you handle it differently next time? Stop at one? Offer tea instead?
Was the connection with your friend even about the drink?
The benefits of reflective thinking are numerous:
- helps us understand why we do what we do by analyzing the past
- gives us the best data to create a strategy for future similar situations
- helps us develop emotional maturity
- increases our confidence in decision-making for the future
- is a tool to create a higher quality of life and a better version of yourself
- is free
Socrates stated, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Many feel uncomfortable spending time in self-examination or self-reflection.
These reasons include:
- I can’t focus
- The task is too boring
- I already know it all – I just need help DOING it
- I don’t have time
- I don’t want to handle the emotionally difficult issues
Spend some time in reflective thinking.
This is one of the tools I use with my clients to eliminate the habit of over-drinking.
Remember, you are the author of your own life.
You get in life, not what you deserve, but what you expect.
If you expect nothing to change, then nothing will.
You have all the power to start making different decisions.