WAY TO WELLNESS #6
Reflection involves consciously considering and analyzing our beliefs and actions for the purpose of learning. Reflection gives the brain an opportunity to pause amidst the chaos, untangle and sort through observations and experiences, consider multiple possible interpretations, and create meaning. This meaning becomes learning, which can then inform future mindsets and actions and encourage growth and development.
Research at Harvard demonstrated that people who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned had a 23% performance improvement within 10 days over those who had not spent time reflecting. An additional study of UK commuters found a similar result when those who were prompted to use their commute to think about and plan for their day were found to be happier, more productive, and less burned out than people who didn’t.
15 minutes may feel like a lot, but work up to it by starting with just a few minutes and building up to 15 minutes gradually.
You can become more reflective by practicing a few simple steps.
Identify some important questions. But don’t answer them yet. Here are some possibilities:
What are you avoiding?
How are you helping others achieve their goals?
How are you not helping or even hindering their progress?
How might you be contributing to your least enjoyable relationship?
How could you have been more effective today?
Select a reflection process that matches your preferences. Many people reflect through writing in a journal. You can sit, walk, bike, or stand, alone or with a partner, writing, talking, or thinking. The choices are endless!
Schedule time. Schedule your reflection time and then commit to keep it. If you find yourself trying to skip it or avoid it, reflect on that!
Do it. Go back to your list of questions and explore them. Be still. Think. Consider multiple perspectives. Look at the opposite of what you initially believe. Brainstorm. You don’t have to like or agree with all of your thoughts — just think and then, examine your thoughts.