Is too much self-awareness a bad thing?

I was driving the other day and I suddenly became slightly frustrated about something. I don’t really remember exactly what about, but I do know that I felt hard done by about something… for a moment. Anyhow, I quickly became detached from what I was feeling, knowing it wouldn’t last and the emotion just passed.

I’ve also been doing similar things with positive emotions I experience. If I do, I quickly create distance between what I’m experiencing, telling myself not to get too excited as it’s going to pass anyway.

I have to admit, I’m getting quite good at this. 🙂

However, I’m beginning to get a bit concerned that by developing more and more self-awareness at pretty deep levels, am I not denying myself to experience completely normal emotions (in healthy doses), be it frustration, anger, a sense of loss and so on?


  1. Hey Hiten–

    Lovely little introspective piece, here :). I think when too much self-awareness is well, too much, is when we ruminate about our situation and fail to take into account the present moment and those people and situations directly in front of us. Are we dwelling? Or are we afraid to allow ourselves to feel the good emotions b/c, “well, happiness is just a fleeting thing, anyway, so why revel?”

    I used to be really good at rumination, now I just try and “be.”

  2. Linda, thanks for your comment. You’ve just opened up a new way of seeing this. Instead of worrying about whether I can still experience good emotions and bad ones, just allow them to arise and keep experiencing them as they are.

  3. Yeah…I just want to add a few insights. Just as individual air bubbles arise and move up to the top and burst on the surface of an aquarium tank.. so are our thoughts and emotions. It is we (our minds here) which connects and sees it as a single string, and label our life as “My life is full of depression”, “My life is full of fear, grief, joy.. so on” We create a strong identity to our emotions and thoughts and want to believe them as the ‘real’ we. So, even the label of good or bad emotions is all the work of the mind.. which thrives on duality. Truth has no duality, right?..
    Well, I just shared my understanding from an inspiring Spiritual Master amidst us.. Paramahamsa Nithyananda

  4. Aruna, thanks for sharing your insights! I agree with what you say. One of the biggest causes of emotional problems, is by identifying with what we are feeling and mistakenly believing it is what/who we are.

  5. Oh, I wouldn’t be worried about a good cognitive behavioral strategy. People die for the gift, being able to distract and detach from negative emotions (some literally).

    As long as we don’t have to detach from the negative emotions of others, or have to fix those, we’re okay. “Fixing” other people without them asking, even when they do, doesn’t make us popular. Even suggestions usually are blocked at the door.

  6. Well said therapydoc! The frustrating thing is when you come face-to-face with someone who could do with some “fixing”, but any suggestions are responded to with massive resistance. These days I try and be a subtle, but beyond that just keep my mouth shut.

  7. hi Hiten
    that’s a good question
    i believe as long you intervent in the right time and remain a bystander in other times your interference won’t cause any problems
    thanks for the post 🙂

  8. Hi Farouk,

    I loved your comment. It really is a balance, right? To just observe when it’s right to do so, and to act at the appropriate times as well.

    Thanks for your contribution Farouk and for dropping by.

  9. In my opinion self-awareness is never too much. Noticing our reactions and emotions and being curious about them without judgment is great. Also, I find that self-questioning without judging: “l wonder, why did I reacted with anger to situation X?” Answers will come from our inner-self and it can be revealing and healing

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