The most obvious is to help us feel more in control of our lives. This is where it can become difficult to understand the concept of self-awareness. We tend to think of it as something that is something we need to develop, and that you need to get a good handle on before it is possible to enjoy and actually enjoy yourself. The truth is, that developing self-awareness is a lot of work.
Most of us aren’t really aware of what we think and do. We may be aware of our own habits, routines, impulses and reactions, but we don’t really know why we go in the direction we do. Or we may know that something is doing something, and we think, “Well, it’s okay, I’m just going to do it.” Most of the time, it is not okay to do.
One of the most common ways you can learn to develop self-awareness is through exercise. In fact, according to Harvard University’s Project for Excellence in Education (PE), it is the number one way to increase a student’s self-awareness.
The problem is that exercise is a habit, and is usually done while we are in a state of relaxation or in a very calm and meditative state. When I am in a state of relaxation, I am doing nothing, and I can relax into my own thoughts. When I am exercising, I am doing something, and I cannot relax into my own thoughts. But when I am in a state of relaxation, I am not even aware that I am in a state of relaxation.
A study of exercise imagery showed that it can be used to make us more aware of what we are doing, and more mindful of the purpose of our actions. It was also shown in a study by researchers that the act of moving a pencil tip up and down for just a few seconds can cause short-term mindfulness. But the longer it takes to do this, the more short-term mindfulness gets lost.
A study done by researchers at Ohio State University concluded that after only 10 seconds of exercise imagery, the subjects showed greater short-term mindfulness, and that this mindfulness lasted longer than after a full-body yoga session.
As I said above, mindfulness is all about taking the long view. You might think that exercising, or any other behavior that requires you to pay closer attention to the present moment, will always feel fresh and exciting. But if you’ve ever watched a video of someone jumping rope, you know that after the first few seconds they’ve just been doing a whole lot of stretching.
It’s not that jumping rope is a bad thing. In fact, it can actually be very good for your heart and mind. The reason that people tend to skip rope over and over again is because when you’re walking you are always thinking about the next jump. The more you think about the next jump, the better that jump feels.
The same principle holds true for the concept of exercise. If youre not paying attention, you are probably not doing it right. But theres not really a right or wrong way to exercise. Its about getting the most out of your body. Theres also benefits to getting your body to know what to do when doing certain things. People tend to skip rope if theyre doing exercise because theyre not in the mood.
One of the most common exercises is to jump rope and then sit down and work on your breathing. This is actually the opposite of the previous thought. If you are doing this you are probably not doing it right, but theres not really a right or wrong way to do it. Its about getting the most out of your body.