Reasons to Reflect in Every Season

  As Thanksgiving rolls around later this week, you’re likely to engage in some reflection. During Thanksgiving, you may be reflecting on your year and what you’re particularly thankful for. You may be reflecting on your values as you consider family, friends, charity, and more. You may even be reflecting on your goals - with only a few short weeks left in 2022, your ambitions for 2023 may be on your mind. This week, you may want to use these questions as a reflection exercise to get you in the spirit of Thanksgiving:
  1. What is one thing that is going right for you today? That is, what have you felt particularly successful in?
  2. What personal skills have helped you to feel successful in this task? What support from family, friends, and/or coworkers have made you feel successful in this task?
  3. How do you show your gratitude to your support system? How about yourself? When was the last time you showed gratitude to yourself or others?
Reflection, though, isn’t just for Thanksgiving! There are a variety of reasons to engage in reflection during your daily routine. If you’re interested in finding out more, check out three benefits to engaging in reflection below! Improved Personal Traits One great benefit of engaging in self-reflection is improved personal traits - that is, intrinsic values that are increased by self-reflection. One such example is creativity - studies show your levels of creativity are improved when you engage in self-reflection frequently. Another trait that improves when we engage in self-reflection is emotional intelligence, which is our ability to connect to the emotions of ourselves and others. A third personal benefit of reflection is improved decision-making - the more we know about ourselves and the situation, the better decisions we can make. These are just three of a multitude of intrinsic benefits; some more include increased confidence, self-awareness, and compassion! Better Romantic Relationships Not only does reflection improve your personal aspects, but your relational aspects, as well! Reflection helps improve romantic/partner relationships in many ways. We can determine how we want to be treated by reflecting on times we’ve felt good and felt poorly due to the treatment of others. We can also identify our own relationship patterns through reflection - for example, are we acting like our own parents in our relationship? Are we comparing our relationship to the relationship of others? Are you putting your insecurities on your partner? Reflection can help us realize our actions and the context of our relationship, and thus we can make healthy changes accordingly. Increased Mental Health Finally, your mental health can improve by engaging in self-reflection! Reflection decreases our stress and anxiety levels, keeping mental health concerns at bay. Additionally, reflection helps us to improve our emotion regulation skills - when we take the time to understand a situation, we can more appropriately respond to it. Reflection helps us to realize why we’ve reacted in an emotional way to a trigger and what meaning we’ve assigned to that trigger. Knowing these elements can help us feel less intense the next time we encounter the same stressor. We’ve covered the benefits of engaging in a reflection practice - now, how do you start one? Our best suggestion is to start a journaling practice to engage in self-reflection. Journaling helps us to write down what happened in our day, how it made us feel, and why we assign a particular meaning to events and feelings. It can also help us realize our goals and values. If you’d like to start a journaling practice today for self-reflection, we suggest trying Linda’s new guided prompt journal, “Live Intentionally”! This journal provides prompts to engage in daily self-reflection without feeling like you’re having a full therapy session. Get yours on Amazon today! Linda’s journal “Live Intentionally” would pair great with your therapy sessions. If you’d like to engage in reflection with a reflection expert, check out our practice, Therapy Beyond Healing. We have therapists that would love to reflect with you! Reach out to schedule a session by emailing We look forward to hearing from you!