Consciousness may seem like something we know yet we can’t fully understand its meaning. Some might say it’s something related to the human soul, others might say it’s just some functions within human brains. Consciousness is, however, what drives humans to feel emotions. It’s something behind our awareness. Yet, awareness can be something we tend to put away when we’re sad, stressed, or down.

Mindfulness is always about being aware and conscious of anything that’s happening within ourselves. One way to be happy is to be aware of how ego and compassion treat ourselves. Ego drives ourselves to unhappiness. While compassion leans towards basic satisfactions. By being conscious of the two sides of coin, we need to know when the two is taking control of ourselves. These are the simple ways to recognize that we’re in ego’s control :

1. Self-doubt

Some self-doubts are indeed healthy. But when ego takes the lead, self-doubt can be unhealthy. Recognizing the “I can’t”, “I didn’t”, and “I shouldn’t” thoughts are important to break the cycle of self-doubting. Numerous studies have been conducted and showed that self-doubting leads to other psychological problems such as low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.

2. Constant Worry and Stress

The appearance of worry and stress can be a sign that our ego has taken us to another timeline, the past or the future. The two feelings are best to be recognized before they take our thoughts further down the line.

3. Self-comparing

Another sign to recognize is self-comparing. When we compare ourselves to others — like how they have that nice car, those good grades, or that beautiful house — that means that we, unconsciously, insult ourselves. Those nice things other people have might not be as nice as we think. And those bad things we have, might still be the things we’re thankful for.

4. Material Gains = Satisfaction

Today’s world might give us the outlook that material gains is satisfaction. In fact, research has found that happiness is 50% genetics, 40% mindful activities (the one we do it because we want to), and 10% situations, including material, health, and money. This suggests that material gains is only a small part of the happiness we feel.

5. Needy and Unworthy

Ego drives our need further than what’s rational, what we actually need. When we feel unfulfilled, we gotta take some steps back to think about our needs, and be true of ourselves, that we might not actually need everything.

The 5 signs are some simple ways to recognize that ego is controlling ourselves. They can be the best indicators to take a stop and ponder about our feelings. There are some ways to recover from ego’s control. These ways are easier done if we do it with no rush. Here are ways to grow compassion :

1. Forgive Self Before Others

Everyone has their own flaws and imperfections. So it’s normal to have some things we’re not good at. With those things in ourselves, all we have to do is to forgive ourselves. Learn to embrace everything about ourselves. It’s a simple, yet crucial way to deal with ego.

2. Accept Internal Emotions

When the worries and anxieties take over, we need to find what we’re actually feeling. Take a deep breath and ponder, slowly but surely. After we find what makes us worry, sad, or needy, we then need to start accepting them. Accepting internal feelings can make greater impacts than we might have known, research suggested.

3. Appreciate the Given

What we’re sad of having might not be as bad as we think they are. Sometimes, it can be hard to accept everything, but it might be the only way to do life. Beside appreciating what’s given, we also need not to be jealous of what we don’t have. This will create a healthy relationship between us and ourselves.

To run from the ego, all we need, in summary, is to make peace with our own selves. The consciousness of ego and compassion can lead us to a happy, worry-free life. Start accepting ourselves before we accept anything else.