No One is Watching

How many of you have gotten a bad haircut, had a blemish, fell down the stairs, or ended up spilling something on your shirt and felt like the whole world was watching?

I want to tell you that they probably aren’t! Any of the above situations is enough to cause anxiety on its own, but when you have a feeling that everyone is looking, watching, and noticing your every move, mistake, or flaw, it can be very overwhelming.

The Spotlight Effect

There is a term in Psychology known as The Spotlight Effect. This term is a description of how individuals feel that they are constantly on center stage and that everyone is noticing everything going on with them.

We start to feel anxiety, worry, and sometimes paranoia because we feel like we are in the spotlight and all eyes are on us.

In reality, most people are not watching. Most people will not notice the haircut that you do not like, most people will not notice the stain on your shirt. Most people are so involved with what is going on with them and their surroundings that things like this are not as obvious as they seem to us.

We know everything about ourselves, we know our flaws and all. Maybe someone is self-conscious about a scar that they have. They see it every day, they know it like the back of their hand, so they feel that because they are aware of it, so is everyone else. This is not the case!

Think About a Time

Think about a time when you felt self-conscious about something, you probably felt like all eyes were on you. It probably made you feel anxious to some degree. You may have even mentioned it to a friend or colleague.

If you did mention it, what response did you get? Most likely the other person said, “I didn’t notice!” Then we wish that we never said anything because we drew attention to something that no one even realized.

The Saying Goes

We have been told over and over not to worry about what other people think. It is hard to live by this, because I feel like many people, myself included, do constantly worry about what people think of them. We all have a dire need to feel love, acceptance, and respect.

Life really is so much easier when you go about it with a smile on your face and not worrying about what others think. As you can see with The Spotlight Effect, not everyone is truly watching like we think they are!

Leave What Cannot Be Undone

How many things are you currently worried about that cannot be changed? For many of us, it is quite a few things. We may be dwelling on a decision that we made, or regret some of our past behaviors. As hard as it is to not worry, analyze, and overthink the past, it is so necessary for our well-being and to be able to move forward.

As much as we may wish, our energy both physically and mentally is not infinite. We must take great care to preserve our energy and save it for things in our lives that truly require every bit of energy that we have left.

When we worry about things that happened in the past, we are using our precious energy on something that truly cannot be changed, it cannot be undone. I’m sure that you can count many times that you have said something like “I wish I didn’t leave my job,” or” I wish that I could go back in time and redo a certain relationship.”

Living in the Past

When we live in the past instead of the present, we are robbing ourselves of energy that we could be taking to solve problems and deal with life in the here and now. The past cannot be changed, what is done is done and I know that is very hard to accept sometimes but accepting that fact and also being able to leave what cannot be undone in the past is so important.

We could spend countless hours of our lives thinking we could have, would have, should have and although it can be a stress-reliever to overthink and analyze these thoughts, it serves us no purpose, it does not keep us from moving forward, it does not allow us to make good decisions now that will shape our more desired future.

Often, I find myself thinking of the past, how I would change certain things about it, and how I would have done things differently, yet if I spend all of my energy focusing on what I cannot change, I am wasting precious moments of my life where I can make a difference. As hard as it is, leave the past in the past. It is a part of you, but it does not define you, nor does it deserve any energy from you.

My Best Advice

Worrying about something that you can’t change is very common human behavior, however, it will get you nowhere. When you find yourself slipping into thinking about things that you are not able to change, then acknowledge that you are feeling a certain way and then let it go. Remind yourself that you are focusing on working towards things in your life that you currently have the power to influence.

Whatever you are worrying about today, know that things tend to happen for a reason, things happen for life to fall into place, and things happen for you to grow as a person, whatever you are worrying about today, know that the past is in the past and the present needs your attention. Though difficult, may this be a gentle reminder to put your thoughts, time, and energy into what you can control. Many blessings to you all!

Dreading Something? Read This

There are many things in life that we go through. Some good, some bad, and some in-between. As human beings, we deal with many different emotions as we process the world around us.

One of the many uncomfortable emotions is dread. In other words, when we feel anxious or worried, it can take a toll on us and prevent us from living our best life. It can even impact how we view the world and the decisions that we make.

Are You Dreading Something?

You may be dreading an upcoming meeting, long-distance travel for a wedding, a doctor’s appointment, a difficult conversation with a loved one, or a project that you are due to start at work. Whatever it may be, feeling dread for a certain date or event to come around is a feeling that is tough to sit with.

As with many feelings, there are ways to help minimize the feeling of dread. There are ways that we can look at the feeling and the situations that evoke it to help us in life.

What Can We Do to Minimize Feeling Dread?

  • We can realize that feeling dread is just a feeling no matter how uncomfortable it is. We can sit with it, recognize it, acknowledge that it’s there, and then try to let it float away. A thought is just a thought, don’t give it too much power.
  • Analyze the situation. What could be the worst that happens if you have that conversation attend that meeting, and go to the doctor? This way you can see what is the worst that could happen. Often seeing this side can help minimize anxieties as we realize it isn’t as bad as it seems in our heads.
  • Look at the positives that could come from this situation. You might feel relief, and empowerment, you may feel stronger for having conquered your fear. You never know what you might discover or learn about yourself!

What To Remember

Oftentimes, the very thing that we have been dreading for days, weeks, months, or even longer ends up being so much better than we expected. Much of our worry and anxiety comes from things that haven’t happened yet, so the anticipation of an event or upcoming date on the calendar can send our minds spinning.

If you are dreading something that is coming up, as hard as it is, remember that it will pass. It may be uncomfortable and feel like a burden, but you will get through it, and it will pass just as everything else that you have gone through in life. Here is a little motivation to get you through a trying time, you can do this!

Sitting Stationary

I was having a conversation the other day with one of my long-time friends. We were catching up and seeing how each other was doing. She let me know that she was stressed at work and felt that her job was overwhelming, and her relationship was nothing that she desired it to be.

I’d like to think of myself as a really good friend. I am loyal as anything, and I have a lot of love to give. I enjoy helping other people and being there for them with a listening ear or helping hand. I listened to her intently and offered my sincere support and advice when asked. There is one thing that I suggested, it was not meant to be harsh, but to be helpful and get her out of sitting stationary.

What if I were to tell you that I have had this conversation more times than I can count with this particular friend? What if I were to tell you that she has had this job for several years and talks about wanting to leave regularly? What if I were to inform you that the relationship that she is in has been around for many, many years?

I never tire of listening to others, everyone has a right to say what they are feeling and to be heard and understood and no matter how many times we have had this conversation, I will still always be there for the people that I love. I made a particular suggestion to this friend that has reminded me of a few things.

First, let me tell you what I suggested to her. I let my friend know that these subjects are something that she has talked about often and that for her to feel happiness and peace, she will need to make a change. Is change scary? Yes, it certainly is, but so necessary if we want our lives to become all that we want them to be.

Anytime that we are unhappy with certain aspects of our lives, or just unhappy in general, a change is needing to be made. If we feel like our relationship has gone south, we must take the necessary steps to communicate and try to repair it if at all possible, if our job is causing us more harm than good, then we need to find a way to either manage the stress or move on to another position that better suites us.

Sometimes we are afraid when we try to implement change. We don’t know what the outcome will be, we don’t know if the change is what we truly want, and we also have trouble thinking of what sort of sacrifices we must make to make our dream a reality.

Venting your feelings is one thing and it is a necessary thing, however, putting action towards those things is an even bigger step. I let my friend know that as hard as it may be and as many sacrifices that may have to be made, if she desired true happiness and freedom from these two things weighing her down, she needed to do something about it.

We have one life to live and one chance to make it everything that we have ever hoped for. We have one life to seek and obtain our goals, and to strive for happiness and balance. Anything that you desire will take a lot of effort on your part, but the result will be so worth it.

It’s hard feeling stuck in life, I’ve been there so many times, but it’s equally as hard not feeling like you can do anything about it. You have the power to change your life and to stop feeling like life is stationary, there’s no better time than now, start today!

Why I Delete My Text Messages Every Night

I am a creature of habit, as many of us are. I have a routine during the day and night although I do enjoy some spontaneity in the mix sometimes too, it’s a nice break from the monotony!

I love to text, I would much rather text than talk on the phone. I find talking on the phone exhausting, I would much rather talk in person. I could text all day though, I enjoy it. I just love my cell phone in general. There is a routine that I have every night that you might find a bit odd, but the reason behind it is what keeps me sane.

Every single night I delete all of my text messages after I make sure that I have already responded to them. I am the type of person that will analyze things to no end, I love to look at the meaning behind things and I use to go back and reread conversations especially if there was a disagreement, or if friends went quiet suddenly. I would go back to reread what conversations we had to see if it was anything that I said.

Clearly, this is very detrimental behavior to one’s mental health and for that reason, I delete my text messages every night. This way, when I wake up in the morning, I start my day with a blank slate. I don’t spend time analyzing anything, I keep moving forward with no turning back!

Do you have any sort of routines like this that you have found to better your well-being? Please share if you would like!