In the post Seven Steps to Healing Anything I suggested that the things to become aware of are your thoughts and emotions. Most of us need to train ourselves to do this as the fast pace and complexity of life tend to pull us outside ourselves, so we are not always present to what is happening in our body, or how we may be reacting to things. So start by becoming aware of everything in the moment – including what you are doing and how you are doing it, how it feels physically, and the emotions or thoughts you are having.
To become aware is to be conscious of what is happening inside and outside the self. Initially it is best to start small. For example, take a quiet five minute segment in your day when you are doing something you often do, sitting and drinking a cup of tea, or washing up, and note everything about it. What is your posture like… what does that posture feel like physically…does it cause any stress or strain? If drinking tea, how do you… hold the cup…raise it to your lips…take the tea in (sip it or gulp it?) What do you notice about the taste and the heat of the tea? Are they to your liking or would you prefer them to be another way?
At the same time note things about your environment. What room are you in…is it neat or messy…what colour is it painted…how much light is there…is it quiet or is there some background noise? What effect does the state of the room have on you? Not any other physical feelings, or thoughts or emotions that arise. How do you feel overall? For example, you may be feeling peaceful even though there are things that you do not like about your experience.
Try this initially about twice a day and then build on it as it gets easier to become aware of more than one thing at a time. Aim to increase your awareness so that eventually you can stay aware all the time. You can remind yourself by sticking notices “Stay Aware” around the house or on your bathroom mirror, by practicing at a certain time each day and doing it for longer and longer, or by doing it whenevr you do a certain action (e.g., cleaning your teeth) and then starting to carry on after that action is complete. Remember to reward, or at least acknowledge, yourself for doing it. I recently took part in an on-line study that showed that those who reward themselves for making desired changes, and who share their intentions to change with others, are more successful than those who rely only on willpower,
It is especially important to be internally aware at times when your symptoms are troublesome. If you get a symptom ask yourself, “What am I thinking?What am I feeling? What just happened that may have caused me to think or feel this?
So if you have a condition you want to heal, or if you just want to stay healthy, start to take the time to become aware. This is an important step to health and healing.