Importance Of Reflective Thinking: How It Can Improve Life
Updated on January 31, 2024
6 min read

Importance Of Reflective Thinking: How It Can Improve Life

Table of Contents

Reflective thinking is the ability to encompass all perceived thoughts and feelings of reality into a bigger picture of occurrences and foretell outcomes of events based on all acquired information.

In moments of deep reflection, the mind embraces its hidden recesses, stimulates us to think about the meaning and purpose of life, and creates space for pondering events and situations intently.

Thinking processes occur in our brain every second, and it is a part of our existence. Some thoughts are casual, while other types of thinking can be conscious and require mental efforts. One of such cognitive processes is reflective thinking. It occurs when we strive to analyze or contemplate what we do and the knowledge and experiences that we gain. This way of thinking and analysis encompasses a spectrum of strong mental skills. By making these skills sharper, any individual will be capable of making the right decisions, detecting areas for personal improvement, and judging without prejudice in favor of something or against it. An individual who thinks carefully about actions and thoughts gradually grows as a personality—monitoring how your behavior or attitudes have been reshaped means working hard on yourself.

What is Reflective Thinking?

Analyzing your situations deeply, decisions, ideas, and opinion is a part of reflective thinking. It allows cogitating on the implications of your actions or deriving the correct conclusions by bringing fragments of information into one workable solution based on what you have learned earlier. There are impressive advantages to practicing a reflective pattern of thought. Though you have to understand the qualities of such thinkers. Generally, knowing the types of thinkers can help you identify your thinking styles and spot weaknesses to efficiently fight them. Thus, you will be able to build a holistic picture and unlock the potential upshot or a consequence. Of course, it still doesn’t mean that you will succeed in your every action and undertaking. Moreover, reflecting on something is not a straightforward activity. But it entails the genuine desire to understand your mistakes and how to fix them.

Baltasar Gracian once produced a great phrase about reflection. He gave the world the opinion, which shows the importance of constant reflecting on things. He said that self-reflection is the school of wisdom. It definitely can be a great way to gain prompt and powerful insights. The way of cultivating inner knowledge and hearing your inner voice is based on reflecting on your past decisions or flaws you’ve made. Moreover, it is a mind tool for finding inner balance, controlling sensations and feelings, and growing the power of your intuition.

Tips For Thinking Reflectively and Using Its Power Smartly

Getting into the habit and adding to elective thinking method to your routine will probably reap the rewards at work, university, and any type of accomplishment. To succeed with practicing, you must be critical of every choice and decision you make, question them, and look for alternatives that potentially can bring better and more productive results. In addition, you must be ready that your point of view, beliefs, attitudes, and vision might be transformed with time. Lots of factors may affect such changes, but they are possible, so predict them.  Training your conscious reflection thought generation gives you mental space for re-framing your ideas, approaching existing concepts differently, considering events from another perspective, and responding smartly to evolving daily challenges.

Every mental process for reflecting starts with focusing on your own emotional state; in other words, with self-awareness. Your thoughts must always be aligned with your set standards and worldview. Being in dissonance with yourself, it will be really difficult to overcome internal barriers and achieve the required results from your reflective thinking session. Mute your biases, give an assessment of your feelings while reflecting, and try to always stay broad-minded, as a limited mind means poor reflection capacity.

Learning Cycle: Four Important Stages

To embed new information and learn complex materials, there are four stages introduced by Kolb. This model contains different manners for grabbing new knowledge, but together they are combined into one powerful strategy. Dealing with new experiences, as well as interpreting existing ones, must be your first step. What does it mean? When performing any type of task, a learner must be fully involved in the process. In the second phase, we must generate reflection thoughts and cogitate on our obtained information. The next one is to draw conclusions through conceptualizing. And finally, you must test those derived conclusions.

Activating Two Types Of Reflection

Another model for reflection entails a deep analysis of events, situations, information, and experience during the activities and after something has happened. It was introduced by  Schön and became one of the most recognized ways of reasoning. It allows you to look thoughtfully at things, the world, and personal experience. The two-staged method of in-action and on-action reflecting was designed to identify weaknesses, keep track of what is working in your life, and detect areas where mistakes have been made. Having the right algorithm of how to reflect on things, it is possible to recognize one’s powers and strengths.

Reflective Thinking Examples

First of all, reflection is needed for students who are challenged with academic tasks and must solve perplexing problems. Properly trained reflective thinking allows monitoring advancement, generating appropriate tactics to deal with a task, and find our which areas must be improved. After completing the tasks, it is needed to reasonably reflect upon those actions you’ve made while solving the problem. Thus, you will always keep track of shortcomings and never repeat them again. Effectiveness also can be assessed in such away. Without reflective thinking skills, it will be hard to make your priorities straight and decide on life goals with accuracy and clarity. So let’s explore key strategies on how we can evoke deeper reflection and benefit from it.

Studying Word Meanings

Unlocking the meanings of the new word is imperative not only for our capacity to express our thoughts and views clearly. It allows us to grow our attention to detail. Grasping new words or even new language boosts memory and makes you mentally alert. But lacking the linguistic set of skills may lead to poor reasoning and criticism. As a result, it will also negatively affect our reflective thinking. Immersing yourself in new word meanings improves your observation skills, so recognizing or analyzing one’s surroundings becomes a straightforward mental task. New words encourage our mindfulness and stimulate us to be conscious of the details.


The goals of meditation sessions vary; however, one way or another, it promotes focus, helps to get rid of symptoms of stress, and allows reaching a balanced state of mind through directing your awareness on the particular moment. With such body and mind settings that we can achieve during mediation, it is possible to get insights into your desires, emotions, and thinking. Reflection must always have an explicit purpose to produce the outcome from such a thinking type, and this purpose can be found with the help of meditation practice. Getting a deep understanding can become a precursor to transforming your life through progress and positive changes.

Memory Palace

Immersion aids and mnemonics for stronger memory can be used to gain better facts and information retrieval. Apart from boosting your mental performance and cognitive functions, it nurtures the desire for a deeper understanding of things and learning about the connections our brains already have. Essentially we use minor forms of the Memory or Mind Palace memorization skill daily. It is a skill that aids World Memory Champions in harnessing vast amounts of information.

Critical Thinking And Reflective Thinking

The concept of a deep-thinking method is akin to a reasonable one. Dealing with problematic issues or challenges for a successful outcome, it is advised to reflect on them and activate our critiquing potential. Therefore, refining your thinking capacity with the help of critical thinking exercises is of paramount importance because it will be challenging to dive into the process of reflection without honest thought and sensible consideration.


What is a reflective thought?

It is a careful evaluation of motives, desires, actions, and character. It supports an individual’s self-awareness and helps understand what to do next.

What is reflective thought in psychology?

Our thoughts can be categorized as mindful and unconscious ones. The intentional examination of the first category is known as reflection. It comprises diving into our mental condition, reflecting on experiences, beliefs, our perceptions of the surrounding world.

What are the steps in the reflective thinking method?

You must come up with the problems you strive to solve. Having this centered problem, try to generate multiple solutions based on your initial goals. Give an estimation of potential outcomes taking into account the broader effects, and pick the solution that is in line with your desires and emotions.

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