Understanding Yourself Through Self Awareness and Self Acceptance

The thing I wish I was explained when I was first diagnosed with ADHD was the importance of understanding  the small things that are not really talked about in traditional treatment methods. The reason these are important is pretty straightforward. They are important because we need to understand ourselves and the internal and external factors that affect us especially when you are first diagnosed.

When I was first diagnosed it was a huge relief to me personally. At the same time, this diagnosis  also made me feel really bad about all of my past failures and how many of these failures could have been avoided. I had the mindset that if I had been diagnosed earlier, I would have been so much more successful at the things I failed or struggled with throughout my life. For this reason alone, having self awareness and self acceptance are so important to individuals having a happy and healthy life regardless of whether or not he or she has a mental health issue. Even though mental health care has come a long way since I was first diagnosed in 1999,there are  still many issues that can  cause  unnecessary problems within people’s lives. The main reason why I decided to write an article regarding these issues is because so many of  those things can be so important as well.

“Self-awareness is the ability to formulate a summary of our behavior based on past and current thoughts and emotions. It allows us to understand what’s going on in our heads and why.”

Being self aware is not just recognizing that you have issues. Along with recognition of the issues individuals must also realize the importance of what they do about the issues. Everyone has issues! It  takes a strong person to recognize these within themselves and also to do something positive  about them.  Without having a complete understanding of everything, the things that we either ignore or are not aware of have a tendency to creep back into our lives in some way. Even what we may see as minor  things, especially when dealing with psychological issues, can potentially turn into huge issues.

Having a complete truthful knowledge of who you are is undoubtedly one of the most important steps in your growth as it can help you in so many avenues you may encounter. It can help  you recognize negative triggers and thus be able to not only cope with these triggers but also to deal with them in a manner which will produce positive results, instead of ignoring them, or dealing with them in an unproductive or harmful way. Understanding yourself and why you feel as you do can produce many positive results in your life such as your ability to develop more positive coping skills and as a result bringing about a positive improvement to your overall health in general.

These are just a few of the important things that can occur as a result of you having a realistic view of who you are! The better you understand yourself, the better you will be able to understand the world around you and the better you will be able to communicate with the people who play important roles in your life.

Another aspect of self awareness is self acceptance. What I mean by acceptance isn’t accepting a person walking over you or accepting various types of stigma that you find in today’s world. It’s more about accepting your life, and the various things that you need to develop. Along with this it is  recognizing your strengths and weaknesses and essentially accepting yourself in general while building yourself up and educating yourself regarding your condition and how it’s intertwined within your life.

Developing these skills also helps with Stigma. How many people reading this are criticized regarding their treatment or taking prescription?

What stigma from others potentially does is cause self stigma. This can potentially make a person hesitant to either get treatment or talk to a medical practitioner regarding their treatment. Due to feeling hesitant or almost guilty about getting medical, therapeutic or pharmaceutical treatment for a valid medical condition, this can potentially lead to an individual avoiding getting the treatment vital to his/her condition.

When you have a strong sense of self awareness and self acceptance, you understand when someone is saying something that is either beneficial or harmful to you. Being able to take stigma with a grain of salt can take away from the negative power which can result from what a  person does or says negatively about your condition. The importance of focusing on the proper things is vital to your leading a positive , healthy life.

Some questions that you may ask yourself in order to strengthen these skills

  • What are my strengths?

  • What are my long term and also short term goals?

  • What do I want to change?

  • What are my weakness and how can I use my strengths in order to improve on my weaknesses?

  • What are my core values?

  • How does my mental health issues coincide with my life?

  • What are my triggers and how do they affect me and what can I do in order to change that?

  • What do I do directly and also indirectly to sabotage myself?

Some life hacks to remember

  • You’ll have good days and bad days. This does not necessarily mean your medication is not  working or your treatment is not effective. (unless it’s directly related to it)

  • Practice self care.

  • Accept that not everyone will understand. Understand yourself and focus on what is important to you attaining a healthy , positive life style.

  • It is not your job to educate people on their ignorance. It is their responsibility to attain this knowledge and if they choose not to then you need to be able to accept their decision.

  • Always explain issues or concerns that you have to your doctor or therapist. The more you understand and communicate with your doctor the better and more accurately they can diagnose and treat you.

  • Do not be so hard on yourself. Accept that everyone makes mistakes and that the important thing is to learn something positive from the mistakes.

  • Focus on what is in your power to change instead of being frustrated regarding the things you cannot change.

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Jung

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