“People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy.”
Here are some amazing benefits to self-realization:
1. The ability to monitor your emotions.
Rather than being controlled by your emotions, you can now use your observations about them during the experience to learn how to effectively handle things like fear, anxiety, and stress. Self-realization helps you do this by giving you the skill of letting go of debilitating feelings and taking hold of the empowering ones instead.
2. Improved focus and concentration.
Guided by your own inner goals and values, self-realization helps you easily identify when you are entering into distractions and eliminate them. By getting rid of the meaningless things in your life, you stay committed to what matters most and you begin to see real results as you reach your fullest potential.
3. Increased confidence, self-awareness, and self-esteem.
“Without self-awareness, we are as babies in the cradles.” – Virginia Woolf
By being connected deeply to your truest self, attaining self-realization frees you from any insecurities, worries, and a low sense of self-worth that you feel tangled up in by helping you really grasp the truth that you are not defined by them.
4. Becoming more accepting of yourself and of other people.
You are able to be more authentic and express emotions freely and clearly. As a result, you are able to form deeper relationships and spend more time connecting with people rather than trying to impress them.
When people don’t have a strong sense of their own self, they get easily swayed to live life the way other people tell them to live it.
The truth of this has been shown through Bronnie Ware’s famous work, which has shown that one of the top regrets of people who are dying was:
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
There can be tons of pressure whether it’s from work, society, and even friends and family for you to be a certain way. Maybe your rough upbringing instilled a strong need for other’s approval in you so you do what others expect of you. Maybe you’ve stopped trusting people because of your struggles with letting go of the thoughts and experiences that hurt you.
Whatever the situation, self-realization gives you the safe space you need to heal and grow.
“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.” – Heath L. Buckmaster
How to Start Developing and Attaining Self-Realization
1. Start Meditating Regularly
Aside from all the scientific evidence that shows the health benefits of meditation, it is also a prime way to attain self-realization.
One of my favorite apps that guide you through meditation is Headspace.
I particularly love this app because it is very straightforward without all the woo-woo types of things you normally associate with meditation. It does a great job of demystifying what meditation really is and how it can benefit you in achieving self-realization.
Here’s a great explanation of what meditation does for you:
You can get the basic meditation guidance for free or pay for a premium version for access to more specific meditations that improve things like self-esteem, creativity, and relationships.
In case you don’t want to download the app, here is the simple meditation practice you can do right now:
1. Sit comfortably on a chair.
2. Start by leaving your eyes open with a relaxed soft focus.
3. Take about a minute to take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
4. After a few deep breaths, gently close your eyes while you are breathing out.
5. Resume normal breathing.
6. Take a moment to pause and enjoy being present in the moment with having nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to check.
7. Take a moment to feel the pressure of your body on the chair beneath you, the feet on the floor and the hands and the arms just resting on the legs.
8. Gently bring the focus back to your breathing.
9. As you sit there beginning to notice the breath and the body with its rising and falling sensation, don’t try and stop your thoughts. Simply allow them to just come and go.
10. At this point, the only thing you need to do is when you’ve realized your mind has wandered, gently bring the focus back to your breath again.
11. Gently bring the attention back to your body, back to that feeling of contact to your chair and the space around you and when ready, gently open your eyes again.