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!

Clamming Up

When we are dealing with a major life event, or with very heavy emotions, we typically respond in one of two ways. We either clam up and withdraw, or we seek comfort and support from our loved ones.


There are benefits to both, but typically letting your feelings out in some way is beneficial and can help you understand what you are going through. After processing the event and emotions, then you can try to cope and learn from it. Some of our natural response comes from past experiences and some from our personalities. There are also reasons why we respond one way or another.


For those of us that withdraw, we may be the more introverted type, we might have had experiences in the past where we didn’t feel listened to, or we were judged or bullied. Learning to withdraw and not share comes naturally to us because it’s what we have done in the past and what we find comfort in.


I tend to withdraw from others when stressed and overwhelmed. I am trying my very best to break this cycle because there are so many benefits to being able to openly share what you are going through. It’s very unnatural, but part of growing is facing your fears and trying to rid of past behaviors that no longer serve us.


One thing for sure is that everyone will respond differently. Whatever works best for you strive for that, whether it means withdrawing and preserving your resources, or leaning on others during difficult times.


I think it’s wonderful and I am truly inspired by those who speak their minds and their feelings. I think there is a lot to benefit and learn from it. When we share what is going on with us in our lives, we can release that stress and tension that we hold bottled up, which in turn greatly helps our health both mentally and physically.


While talking with other people about life, we can see that everyone has hopes and struggles, everyone is dealing with something in life, and we are all human. It helps you feel not so alone when you can open up to other individuals. You may even hear the comforting “I thought I was the only one,” “I feel the same way,” or “that has happened to me before.”


I am sure that most of you feel the positive effects of being there for someone that you care about. You are more than happy to lend a hand and ready with a listening ear. As much as you love to help and be there for your loved ones, imagine how they will feel reciprocating the help! Other people want the chance to be there for us as we are for them. Relationships are something that we should strive to balance, they are a mix of giving and taking.


In the end, whatever comforts you the most during difficult times is what you can count on. For those of you like me who wish to change how you respond to stressful life events, I encourage you to express how you are feeling to a trustworthy someone and see how much better it makes you feel! Slowly, but surely, we can release what no longer serves us and adapt to new ways of living as unnatural as they may feel. There is no greater reward than fixing what no longer serves us in life!

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!

Why the Difference?

One of the greatest things in life is the love and support of family and friends. Why do we treat our loved ones so much differently than we treat ourselves? We should make taking care of ourselves mentally and physically our utmost priority. We cannot give much of ourselves to this world if we are not whole.

Most of us are very hard on ourselves, I know that I am. I’m told this over and over again, yet I don’t see it myself.

Imagine that you made a mistake on a project that you are working on at your job. You might tell yourself “I can’t do anything right; I am such a failure.” Flip this situation around. A family member or friend is in the same situation, they just made a huge mistake on a project they were working on. What do you tell them? Would you tell them that they cannot do anything right and that they are a failure? Probably not. Instead, you might tell your friend that they did the best that they could do and that they are only human and it’s natural to make a mistake now and then.

You and your significant other just got into a fight and you start saying to yourself “I am never good at relationships,” you keep telling yourself “I am a terrible communicator.” What if a friend was going through this, what would you tell them? Maybe you would say that they should take some time for themselves to regroup and try to remedy the situation, maybe you would tell your friend that relationships aren’t easy, that constant effort is needed, and this doesn’t make them a bad person.

Do you see the differences in how people typically speak to themselves versus a loved one? One’s internal dialogue is so very important because we start to believe what we tell ourselves. Negative self-talk is very detrimental to us and those that we have a relationship with.

Why is it that we can so easily support the people that we love, but we cannot give that same grace and support to ourselves? Why is it that we can quickly build someone else up, while so easily tearing ourselves apart?

We are so hard on ourselves due to human nature; we know all of our faults and weaknesses and we tend to not have patience with ourselves. We also know about our pasts, and we carry parts of that with us. Whether we like to admit it or not, it does affect our confidence. We like to place other people on a pedestal, while we are the ones that are flawed as we strive to be perfect, something beyond human capability.

The next time that you are dealing with something in life, and you find that you are being hard on yourself remember to stop and ask yourself what you would tell a loved one that was in your exact situation. You give so much kindness, hope, and empathy to others, be kind to yourself…you deserve it.

I Knew That Was Going to Happen

Have you ever just been going about your life when all of a sudden you are hit with a very strong gut feeling, an urge/push, a premonition about something that ended up happening? That little feeling is called intuition.

Having a sense of intuition is something that is innate, it is inside us all, but in varying degrees. Some of us are extremely in tune with our ability by either gift, or simply working on strengthening the ability and others are not in tune, or even possibly not aware that they possess such a trait. You may have noticed for example when someone calls, or sends you a text message, you may automatically get a sense of who is contacting you before you even reach your phone…that’s intuition!

Ever since I was a little girl I had a very strong intuition, this ability has only grown as an adult. I’ve always been interested in this topic and I do try hard to strengthen this ability, so perhaps that is why I notice it more as an adult. When you are at one with your intuition, you will notice that it just “feels right” and you feel at peace. Have you ever gone against your gut feeling? How did that make you feel? Chances are it made you feel pretty uncomfortable and worried. Our bodies are telling us information all of the time. We can discover some pretty amazing things if we sit down to listen to what it has to say.

Try to follow your gut feelings because most of the time they will be correct. Your mind and heart can get in the way of a lot of things, including messages that your true inner self is trying to tell you. I have such a passion and interest on this topic. Please feel free to share any intuitive experiences that you have had!