Sometimes life can get to be… a lot. Maybe there is too much going on lately at work or home, or something majorly stressful has just happened, or life handed you a bit of surprising news that you’re still trying to digest. There are times when life can really take our breath away, and that’s one of the many reasons why these 6 questions to ask yourself can be an important asset in a life well lived.
Just like your weekly one-on-one with the boss, checking in with yourself gives you a chance to take stock of what’s been happening lately, and how that might be contributing to your sore neck, or erratic sleep, or lack of interest in things you normally love.
Life is so loud it’s hard to see
We are sensory beings; we experience the world through a variety of inputs and a wide range of stimuli. And just because we’re not consciously focusing on something, doesn’t mean another part of us isn’t soaking it up and having its own experience with it.
Ever turn down the car stereo to find an address? Sometimes there is so much input, so much flying at us, that we have to take action to lessen the stimuli. We turn the stereo down. Other times, I don’t think we notice so well. The noise from the meeting last week where our colleague said those awful things is clashing with the fun we’re trying to have now, at this softball game, or on this date. Maybe that noise is clashing with internal things like our self-esteem, or our perceived success as a parent.
If we’re not careful, we can drag things around with us, and they can get mixed up with other things. Events that happened last week can spoil this week’s plans, because we don’t even realize how badly that colleague hurt our feelings, or how that breakup really did a number on us.
But with a periodic timeout to take our mental and emotional pulse, we can do two things:
- pinpoint the source of our discomfort
- give it some attention, smooth it out
By asking with love and answering honestly, we can unpack the reasons we do some of the things we do. We can look with compassion toward our situation, and possible find solutions for it, when we bring it into the light where we can see it. Think of these 6 questions as eensy weensy spotlights.
6 Questions To Ask Yourself On A Regular Basis
- How am I doing mentally? Check in with your mood and demeanor lately.
- Does my body feel healthy? As well, take stock of how your digestion has been.
- How’s work going? Think about not just day-to-day, but recent and upcoming events like annual reviews.
- Have I been sleeping well? If sleep quality hasn’t been great, look to lifestyle factors first.
- Do I feel mentally stimulated lately? All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
- What am I looking forward to? It doesn’t have to be a vacation, looking forward to dinner this weekend, seeing your niece, or beating your personal best are all totally digable things to look forward to.
The More You Know…
When life is doing that thing where it’s moving so fast you can hardly keep up, a lot is happening that you’re not always consciously registering. By taking a few minutes to assess where we’re at on a weekly, monthly, or perhaps even daily basis, we can get to know ourselves better.
I think that checking in like this can help us learn to trust ourselves more too, because it allows us to see what we have experienced and to feel how we feel about it. Often in life we gaslight ourselves… “oh, it wasn’t that bad”, or we second-guess our sanity… “maybe that colleague was just being honest”. And we don’t put much more thought into it than that, yet we carry it with us, and every time we question ourselves in this way it undermines our trust in ourselves. We can’t afford to lose one bit of that trust, any more than any of our relationships can afford a loss of trust.
Love yourself enough to ask yourself: “How are you doing, buddy?” Your life will thank you.
If you’d like to do a more in-depth check-in your mental health and wellness, here’s one from Princeton University that’s worth checking out.
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