I am a big proponent of soul-searching and introspection. So many people in this hasty world have a painful lack of self-awareness, which is sad, because the self is the only person who is truly inescapable. Getting to know the mind and heart is such a rewarding journey. To many, I’ve recommended starting a diary.
However, there is a side to this coin that is scarcely mentioned. Introspection can often be detrimental. This is primarily directed towards those who do it incessantly. Too much time spent inside one’s own head can eventually lead to rumination, bitterness, and ultimately a doubtful tangle of self-absorption. I have experienced this firsthand. Most of my time is spent reflecting on what I want, what I need, and what I feel. At my unhealthiest points, I’ve gotten so wrapped up in my head that I’ve become oblivious to other people’s feelings and the actual state of reality. The lens of my internal schema, through which I see the world, would become narrower and foggier with each irrational thought. It took a lot of nudging from the outside world to realize that I was living in a house of mirrors. Even now, as a relatively healthy individual, my natural inclination is to become suffocated in my thoughts. For me, spending a good amount of time reflecting on who I am can quickly turn into festering and rumination.
That’s not to say that you starry-eyed navel-gazers can’t be benefited from further introspection, because it’s probably something that you already enjoy; it’s just that you–and I–have to be careful not to let it go too far.