7 Ways to Increase Self-Awareness in Writing

writingWhether you are a seasoned or emerging writer, the start of a new year is a good time to become self-aware. Being self-aware stimulates the mind-body connection. It is also a way to monitor what works in our lives and what does not. Self-awareness can also lead to positive thinking. In doing so, self-awareness can lead to change and transformation. In the writing world, self-awareness is also a key ingredient to being a compelling writer. One of the many benefits of writing is to learn or change your way of looking at a situation or story.

Being self-aware while writing involves the ability to monitor and be cognizant of your reaction to different situations. If we remain self-aware while writing a memoir we are able to identify certain issues and negative emotions that might come forth, affecting the quality of the writing process.

There are many ways to practice self-awareness. Basically, they involve ways to stay true to the story you have set out to write.

Here are 7 ways to practice self-awareness in your life:

1. Mindfulness training. Being mindful means being completely present in the now and seeing things are they are, rather than seeing them the way you want to see them. It means living completely in the moment. This is a perfect frame of mind for the memoir writer who aims to stay true to the story of his or her life. To remind yourself to remain mindful, breathe in and then say to yourself: “I know that I am breathing in.”

2. Practice yoga. By maintaining certain asanas or positions, yoga helps quiet the mind.

3. Journaling. Stream-of-consciousness writing or writing without lifting your pen off the page is a great way to practice being in the moment. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling right now?” And then write it down.

4. Psychotherapy. Gestalt therapy is one type of psychotherapy that focuses on the moment and the here and now. This is usually done with a psychotherapist.

5. Creative Visualization. This technique improves body and mind awareness using conscious breathing, images, and sensation to realign the thought process. Specific intentions are set in the mind.

6. Meditation. Meditation elicits self-awareness and involves sitting quietly with legs crossed in a chair, or on the floor on a cushion. There are many ways to meditate. These usually involve focusing on the breath, music or special mantras.

7. Hypnosis. This is a way to explore the subconscious mind and helps to release certain beliefs, personal demons or traumas. While in the hypnotic state, the person receives positive messages from the hypnotist that can help empower and facilitate change.

Read more from Diana Raab at www.dianaraab.com

About the Author

Diana Raab, Ph.D. Diana Raab is a memoirist, poet, blogger, workshop facilitator, thought provoker, and speaker. She’s the award-winning author of eight books, including two memoirs—Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal and Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey—and four poetry collections, the latest called Lust. She’s also the editor of two anthologies, Writers on the Edge: 22 Writers Speak about Addiction and Dependence, and Writers and Their Notebooks. Dr. Raab has published more than 1,000 articles and has been anthologized in various publications such as The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, The International Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Qualitative Report, Boiler Room Journal, Elephant Journal, Boomer Café, The Writer, Passager, and Rattle. She was also a Pushcart nominee. Her doctoral research focused on the transformative and empowering aspects of memoir writing, connecting Maslow’s theory of metamotivation and creativity, and emphasizing the advantages of reaching one’s full human potential. For more than fifty years, Dr. Raab’s passion and expertise has been writing for healing, transformation, and empowerment. She has been on this creative path since she was a young girl, when her mother gave her a Kahlil Gibran journal to help her cope with the suicide of her beloved grandmother. She is also a two-time cancer survivor who inspires others to chronicle their journeys as they seek wholeness and self-realization. Dr. Raab is very interested in creativity and what drives the creative process. In addition to a PhD in transpersonal psychology, she holds a BA in health administration, nursing, and journalism; and an MFA in nonfiction writing. She is also a registered nurse and was a medical journalist for more than 25 years. Dr. Raab serves on a number of boards, including Poets & Writers, and Beyond Baroque; and she is a trustee for the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She blogs regularly for Psychology Today and also pens an inspirational monthly newsletter featuring writing for transformation, psychological tidbits, book reviews, and upcoming events. Readers may sign up on her website at: www.dianaraab.com.

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