Metacognition - Deepstash
Metacognition

Metacognition

Metacognition is the ability to observe and think about your own mind and how it works.

If you took a minute to observe and get curious about your anger, you might realize that behind your anger is some fear. Which means that anger, and all the behaviours that come out of it, are merely a distraction from the real issue — your fear and insecurity.

The next time you feel a strong emotion, hit the pause button. Then ask yourself: What’s going on in my mind right now?

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MORE IDEAS FROM 4 Habits Everyone Needs for Better Mental Health

Behavioural Flexibility

There’s an old saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time.

We all tend to get stuck in habitual ways of responding to stress and painful emotions. We feel bad and our default behaviours kick in, often without much awareness. 

Be a scientist in your own life: observe what’s not working, formulate a new theory, test it out, and see how it works.

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Self-compassion

Self-compassion means that in times of pain or suffering, you treat yourself like you would treat a good friend — in an empathetic, balanced, non-judgmental way. It doesn’t mean that you’re soft or spoiled, it just means taking a balanced view of your mistakes and failures.

I see little evidence that being hard on yourself improves either your success or happiness in the long run. If anything, people who are successful probably got there despite their lack of self-compassion, not because of it.

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Assertiveness

When you spend all your time running away from what you don’t want, there’s little time left for running toward what you do want.

The cure to a life of chronic avoidance is assertiveness.

Crafting the habit of assertiveness means learning to go after what you want with confidence and setting boundaries on what you don’t want with strength.

Let reason and values guide your decisions and trust that your feelings will follow in time.

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RELATED IDEA

Staying mentally strong and healthy

Prevention is the best medicine. It is really difficult to pull out of negative spirals once we've fallen into them.

  • It's hard to pull out of a major depressive episode once we're in the habit of beating ourselves up.
  • It's hard to stop worrying once we've started imagining all the worst possible outcomes.

Not that pulling out of these problems is impossible. It isn't. But it can be a struggle. Life can be much better if we can creatively avoid these negative cycles in the first place.

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1. Check out a mental health podcast. Mental health podcasts can provide self-care in multiple ways: You might learn something new about how to deal, feel less alone.

2. Take on a small, doable, uplifting home project. Giving your space a little upgrade can create a nice, comforting sense of control—especially helpful when you’re feeling anxious or uncertain.

3. Or...color! Art can be healing in many ways. You can use your creations to zone out from the world. Basically, coloring is always a good idea. Download coloring book apps on your phone here , adult coloring books we recommend here.

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1. Denying your habits

Denying your problems in hopes that they’ll disappear over time is a terrible habit. While time does help to ease the pain, deep down, it still hurts because it’s not solved.

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