Increasingly, I find people are asking me what they can do to become more self-aware. I love to field such questions, because self-awareness is valuable. It’s a key foundation of emotional intelligence.

One strategy I often suggest is to focus less on what’s going on around them, and tune in more to what is going on inside of them – to become more familiar with their inner world of thoughts, emotions and the physical sensations their thoughts and emotions create? Does their thinking and emotional reaction lead to shallow breathing, tightening of the throat, tense shoulders or neck muscles, headaches, sleepiness or sleeplessness, etc? Or do their thoughts and feeling generate excitement, joy and a sense of ease, peace, happiness?

Tuning into the quality – positive or negative – of your thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations is important because, ultimately, they influence your outward behavior – the message you convey to others.