Know Yourself

No one knows you better than you know yourself! Knowing ourselves is really important to our wellbeing, and being confident about this can help you to show off the amazing person you are. It can also help us in our decision making, and in working out why some things don’t always sit right with us.

Knowing yourself can mean a range of things, including knowing…

  • What things make you feel good
  • Your cultural heritage
  • Your ancestral heritage
  • The things that make you laugh
  • Knowing your limits, and when you might need to say no

Knowing yourself is also about knowing your emotions. Emotions just are. Sometimes they are awesome and sometimes they are not what we want – it’s important to realise that all our emotions and feelings have a role in helping us understand ourselves, communicate to others and stay focused on our goals. The important thing is learning how to bounce along with our different emotions.

  • We all feel them – sometimes for short bursts, sometimes they seem to go on and on (for hours, or even days).
  • Remember to ask: what is this telling me?
  • Emotions affect people differently – don’t compare yourself to how other people appear to be coping. Your experience is unique to you.
  • Like our fingerprints, we are all different and unique. Likewise, emotions affect us differently – so we shouldn’t compare ourselves to how others appear to be coping with things. Your experience is unique to you. Bounce along in the way that works for you.
  • Get help if your emotions are troubling you – they should be helpful not harmful.

Here are some tips for dealing with different emotions:


  • Count to ten before you act, it is simple but works!
  • Take a walk – it is amazing what a breath of fresh air can do.


  • It is totally healthy to cry – crying is the body’s way of dealing with loss.
  • Talk about it with someone you trust.


  • Take time to do something nice for yourself.
  • Write a list and tick things off one at a time.

Getting extra support

It's better to get information and advice earlier rather than later. Some people choose to seek informal help from whanau, friends, colleagues or through their church.

Sometimes, however, this might not be enough.

Think about getting professional help if:

  • your emotions or physical symptoms are too intense or just won’t go away
  • you feel numb or cut off
  • you have continued nightmares, poor sleep or flashbacks
  • your family, social or work relationships suffer
  • you experience ongoing loss of memory and concentration
  • your performance suffers at school, work or home
  • stress is affecting your health – you’re getting sick all the time
  • you increase smoking, drinking or drug taking
  • you want to talk but feel you have no one to talk to about your experience
  • blocking out feelings and memories isn’t working
  • you find yourself not wanting to leave your house
  • you have lost faith in yourself or the world
  • you have feelings of hopelessness, despair or suicide

Maybe you have noticed these things in someone close to you. Remember, it's okay to say something if you're unsure how to help them.

These services are free and confidential:

Or you could visit your GP.

Check out the more good stuff page for other resources and services.