First Muscle to Train: Self-Awareness – Food Pharmacy


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First Muscle to Train: Self-Awareness

The EQ GYM contains 10 emotional muscles. These help you heighten your emotional intelligence – your consciousness. Here we’ve listed the first 5, known as your shadow side. 

Self-Care Muscle 

Congrats! The fact you’re reading this indicates that you have a trained self-care muscle and that it is active at this very moment. The more you reflect upon yourself, your behavior, and your actions – the stronger it gets. So yes beloved, keep reading!  

Self-Awareness Muscle

If you’ve never gone to therapy or another form of self-reflective counseling, chances are that your self-awareness muscle is weak. It can still be weak, even if you have been to therapy. You can have plenty of self-awareness and know a lot about yourself and your childhood and yada yada, but still not understand what obstacles it has put in your way. Obstacles you live with everyday and which control your actions.

Explain yourself, defend yourself, and belittle yourself a lot? Shame others, lie and set yourself out to be something you’re not? Then you’re heavy with guilt and shame! Most people are not aware that they feel shame. This means that they are not aware or in contact with the very feeling that consumes the most energy, space and time. 

Self-Perspective Muscle

If you are controlling, judging, dominant, misinterpreting, and looking for problems in situations, it means you have a hard time being present in your anger in a healthy way – a transparent, liberating way. This indicates that you have a weak self-perspective muscle. Most likely, were told at a young age that you shouldn’t be angry. Angry is ugly. Angry is bad. You might have been shamed and guilted when you’ve been angry or perhaps been told that there is something wrong with you. This might be why we have a difficult time feeling anger without also feeling uncomfortable, shameful, or guilty to some extent. 

We don’t want others to be angry at us. This can make us afraid of conflicts, to become limitlessly solution-oriented, and build up anger that transforms into bitterness. This can also lead to being angry at the world, society, countries, or organizations – everything we can be angry at that we don’t have any control over. This becomes a way for us to release some anger without it affecting anyone. All these are signs of a weak self- perspective muscle.

Self-Acceptance Muscle

Are you prone to isolating yourself from the world around you? Do you feel low on energy, unmotivated, worried, and depressed? Chances are, you’re holding in sadness that needs to be released – in some way. Been told from a young age that you shouldn’t be sad? Maybe you were rejected and ignored when you were an infant. Maybe you were laughed at by other children when you cried at kindergarten? This means that you may believe subconsciously that crying is weak and being weak is bad. Weakness becomes disdain. We are usually not aware of this, but the signs can mean that this is true if we, for example, haven’t cried for a long time or have trouble crying.

Sometimes crying is associated with a lot of shame. Not in our consciousness, but in our subconsciousness. We need to understand that our subconscious is what is controlling us 95% of the time, unconsciously. We have a strong self-acceptance muscle when we have healed our wounds and sadness without fleeing or denying it. If we have a weak muscle, it means that we have built up sadness. Built up sadness expresses itself by making you feel unmotivated, indifferent, low on energy, depressed and worried.

Self-Esteem Muscle

Most people don’t know what self-esteem is. We have strong self-esteem when we can stay in our own emotions without wanting to shift them, deny them, evaluate them, or ignore them. Anger and sadness are pure core emotions. There is no need to value them as good or bad. Simply enough, they are what they are, and we have the ability to feel them. And we do. When we think that it’s bad to be angry or sad and that we would rather not feel that way, then we start suppressing our feelings. In these situations, our subconscious creates behaviors that make us feel these feelings anyway, and usually much more intensely. Signs of this are that we aim to please, seek affirmation, and become manipulative and co-dependent. Most of us don’t even realize when we act these ways, which means that we are unaware of our fear of emotions. We then don’t have the ability to be true to ourselves and share our emotions in a transparent, vulnerable way.

First Muscle to Train: Self-Awareness

The first muscle that is relatively weak in most people is the foundation of all emotional muscles. If you feel you have a weak self-awareness muscle, congratulations! You’ve come to the right place. Here’s a technique you can use to get to know yourself better.

Let’s enter the subconscious mind. To do so, you need to leave some small things behind. Your logical mind – your expectations, the need to perform or analyze, and any doing, control, or judgment. See if you can play with your imagination and intuition for 20 minutes.  And yes, to be able to leave things behind, we need to work with acceptance.

The exercise goes like this.

Close your eyes. 


What’s inside you today? 
What feelings do you feel? 
What thoughts do you think? 

Try to ask yourself questions. What do I feel, think, judge, expect, control right now? Sit in silence and wait for answers without evaluating them. Give yourself time. It may take some time before you start hearing your inner lovely voice. First it’s only the noise of thoughts, the echo of judgements, expectations, and a calling to perform. Probably thousand of thoughts you have suppressed that want to come up to the surface. Just sit with them without letting them control you. Sit for 10- 20 minutes. 


Was it easy for you or do you have too much else to do right now?

Write down your reflections in private or in the space below. 

This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are the writer’s own.
Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash



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