Think of self-awareness as a kind of meditation in which you focus your attention on different aspects of yourself — your feelings, your thoughts, your behaviors. Self-awareness is often the first thing to go when something triggers us, even something below the level of consciousness. Practicing self-awareness regularly can bring us from living in the part of the brain that is constantly scanning for threats (remember that last mental roller coaster ride you went on that took you hours to get off?) and into the frontal lobes, where we can begin to add in a more rational base for eventual action. The more you practice self-awareness, the easier it will be to do this work in real time, giving you the ability to make decisions that reflect who you are and what you value.