Dissociation

Have you ever felt like you were going through life with your head in the clouds? Maybe you were going about the daily motions of life, but you had trouble remembering what you did from one moment to the next, maybe you couldn’t recall certain details or conversations because they felt like a distant memory even though they just happened. You might have found yourself on autopilot.

Dissociation is feeling disconnected from yourself and the world around you. You may have heard this term if you have studied Psychology. Dissociation is a type of coping mechanism that our bodies turn to while trying to prevent the overload of stimulus that is present in our everyday lives.

Life is even more stressful nowadays than it ever has been. We find ourselves trying to juggle and balance all aspects of our lives from family, friends, relationships, careers, and hobbies, to just having some time for self-care and relaxation. If we keep going without recognizing that we are negatively impacting our minds and bodies, then we start to head for a burnout.

Some ways that you might find yourself slipping into dissociation is when you start to have trouble remembering even minor details, your brain feels foggy, you feel like you are living out of your body, and your head is in the clouds. You may start to feel as though you are going through the motions of life, but not able to take in what is around you appropriately. There is a great disproportion between what you are experiencing in life and what you are truly taking in.

When you start to feel this disconnect, it is important to take action right away. Your mind and body are trying to flee trauma and stress and there are ways to help yourself connect again. Mindfulness is extremely important in helping you get out of a state of dissociation. Practice living in the moment and truly focusing on everything in front of you including your thoughts, feelings, and your surroundings.

Other ways to help this feeling include being in nature and noting everything that elicits your senses. Note the smell of the air, the cool breeze that touches your skin, focus on the birds chirping, and the water flowing down the stream.

Being aware of your mind and body is so important. Your mental and physical health is of utmost importance, and we must take every action that we can to preserve them. Listen to what your mind and body are telling you and take the necessary steps to prevent burnout!

The Parking Lot

There I sat, in the parking lot of a grocery store, waiting for a family member to finish their shopping trip. The sun was shining bright, and the sky was filled with fluffy white clouds. The trees were a beautiful green and there was a slight breeze in the air, which was more than welcomed on this hot and humid day.

I, like many, am a very busy person these days. Months feel like weeks and there is always a lot to do, I am very much living a life full of hustle and bustle at the moment. There is hardly any time in my day that I can truly sit and be at one with myself and my surroundings, a little piece of bliss that I truly miss.

As I sat in this parking lot, I had such a sense of peace and serenity come over me. I wasn’t focusing on what I had to do next, or knocking anything off of my to-do list, I was simply focused on the beautiful nature that surrounded me and the sound of my breath. I was focused on just being. At this particular moment, I felt as if the world had stopped, this was true mindfulness, something that we all could use more of.

So often as I am driving, I’m thinking about so many things, but hardly about the gorgeous scenery that surrounds me. So often I am cooking, but I don’t pay attention to the beautiful colors and invigorating smells in front of me. So often I am watching TV, but instead of getting lost in a good show, I am thinking about what I need to do tomorrow. We could bring so much more peace and joy into our lives if we practiced mindfulness, if we truly exist in the here and now.

I sat there in the car without a care in the world. I admired nature’s beauty as I felt the warm sun on my skin and realized just how nice, rare, and precious this moment was. Sometimes the happiest moments are ones where we are alone and can turn our busy minds off for even a few minutes. Who would have thought that something as simple as a parking lot could remind me of a very important practice…the practice of mindfulness.

Dear Regret: You Are My Teacher

There are more times than I can count that I have walked away from a relationship, or situation and felt a sense of regret. I would tell myself that I knew better and then came the hamster wheel of thoughts including the should have, would have, and could have. Regret is a very difficult feeling to have to sit with and one that can plague us for years to come.


I can think of many times that I regretted a certain behavior of mine, or how I handled a certain situation. I know that the saying goes to “live life without regrets,” and for the most part, I do, however, I also replay certain events over and over because they didn’t pan out how I had hoped. I don’t regret anything 100% in life because I believe that everything happens for a reason, but if I was able to go back in time I would have done certain parts and situations of my life differently.


The most recent situations that I regret are how I handled the end of a relationship and how I handled a conflict at my old job. As hard as it is, there is no use dwelling on the past because what is done is done and there is no way possible to change any of it. What can we change? We can change the way we respond to a similar situation in the future, we can learn from what we didn’t like about something in our lives and we can grow from it and try to implement it in our daily lives today and moving forward.


Regret is a teacher in our lives. When you feel a sense of regret, that means that something didn’t align with your beliefs and values. Most of the time, we know how to better handle a person or situation, but for some reason, it didn’t work out that way. We are only human, life is not going to always happen exactly the way we want it to.


I can tell you that both of the situations that I mentioned above could have been handled much better if the communication was different. We all know the value of communication and how things can very quickly fall apart without it. I have learned my lesson and hopefully, those two instances don’t ever repeat themselves in my life, but if they do, I will be much better equipped to handle them.


Think of a situation that you regret. Think of how it made you feel then and how it does now. What did you learn about yourself in this situation? What did you learn about life? Some of our darkest moments in life, although painful, can be our biggest teachers. Whenever I find myself dwelling on something from my past, I try to quickly stop that pattern of thinking and I counteract it with thoughts of what I learned and how I am a stronger and better person today because of what I went through. Life is one big test and there are teachers all around us, keep going and working towards the person that you strive to be and you will end up passing with flying colors.