Being an Observer

As I write this I am standing at Waverley station in Edinburgh awaiting a train to York. I’ve got another 45 mins before my train departs but people watching is truly fascinating!

While I’m in a calm chilled state waiting for my platform to be announced I observe people waiting for their train.

Some are families with lots of kids…how do they keep an eye on the kids and steer the suitcases? It’s a skill that parenthood has clearly taught them! I struggled with my wee case but the wheels are a bit dodgy!

I can see groups of young men heading home after a weekend in Edinburgh. They look weary but are eagerly positioned to go, when their platform is announced.

Lots of people around, coming and going, just like ants around food. People are coming in all directions with the one aim – to get where they want to be!

But do we actually take time to stop and observe ourselves. Do we look at our feelings or emotions or how we are physically? Do we look at ourselves in the same way as I’m people watching? No we don’t. We tend to project on others when observing. We see a family and even though they are battling suitcases and kids I think they are happy! They didn’t look stressed or upset so I deduced they must be happy. Just like when your online and see someone smiling on a beach….we assume they are happy but they may be having a bitch of a day but want to be observed as happy.

Think about what you were doing before you read this blog. Were you watching tv, cooking, walking, looking on social media? Whatever it was or wherever you were, if I had observed you, would I have perceived you as happy? Sad? Excited? Or content?

Observing ourselves can include our thoughts, our feelings as well as our physical body.

Our thoughts can be anything. Are your thoughts positive or negative? Are they about you? Are they about someone else or something specific. Are they making you happy or sad or angry? Whatever they may be, why not set a timer for five minutes to observe them. Just sit and let the thoughts come and go. Let them pass without judgement. Once the timer goes off, think about your thoughts. Are these typical of you? Do you wish to change them? You are not your thoughts but sometimes we can get into a cycle of similar thoughts all the time whether positive or negative. If negative, try not letting them be a conversation in your head, just let them pass, don’t fuel them. This takes practice but can help you to get out of a negative space.

Feelings; what are your current feelings? Observing my own I feel pretty content and excited for my journey ahead. I feel happy and am in a great place. A few days ago if I had observed myself I might have said I was feeling anxious for the weekend as there was lots I had to do.

My physical body, well it feels a bit tense round the shoulders…I’ve been feeling the tension in my body build and so have been standing here trying to drop my shoulders. So I’ve been shrugging them for a while to help. Do you do the same? I observe some pinching on my foot as one of my laces is tied a bit tight. Sometimes it’s easier to observe what is going on in your body if you close your eyes and lie down. Start at your feet and work your way up scanning your body. Is there tension or tingly feelings or are you relaxed? Go slow and just observe. There might be a sensation or feeling you haven’t noticed before.

Spend time getting to know yourself and observe how you are in different situations such as driving in heavy traffic, standing in a queue or talking to work colleagues. Notice the patterns that start to emerge. You may find you are aware of a change in your body language, thoughts, feelings and emotions. Are these positive changes or are they negative? If they are negative, what could you do to stop them or lessen their effect in future? Why does a certain situation affect you in that way? Observe.

There are so many observations you can make with yourself, and it is a really interesting experiment to try on yourself. Start small. Do as I did, people watch, observe others and then turn it in on you and observe how you are feeling? Pick a situation such as sitting on a bus, observe your thoughts for a few minutes. Notice how they make you feel, but just notice, don’t react.

Observing yourself allows you time to check in with you and notice how you are, both physically and mentally.

So don’t just observe others, take time to observe you and see what you learn!

Have a wonderful week and look after you!

Love Emma 😍


4 thoughts on “Being an Observer

  1. Thank you for this post which I think is truly brilliant! I used to have a reminder in my phone that popped up every two hours throughout the day, and I would take 2 mins to check what was happening in my thoughts, my emotions and physiology (breathing, posture, sensations, etc). This really helped me how to understand how I was being in my interactions with others, and also to work out what might be more useful for me. Back then, I often used to think of the world as “happening to me” and taking my “virtual binoculars” and observing what was happening within me helped me to understand why I thought everything was happening to me, and how I wanted to do things differently. Fabulous post, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. That’s a great idea to set a reminder….I think I will start doing that and observing myself. I often find my mind runs away with thoughts so yesterday opened my eyes to observing them rather than taking them on. It really does help to see what’s going on for you and like you say helps move away from ‘what’s happening to me’. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post. When you asked whether you would see us happy or not, it was a mind-blowing moment. ‘Oooops’. This morning I wrote down as a goal to be happier and kinder, but to be honest that was the last item of the list and in the end, I thought if I was thinking it right. Perhaps the first step is really this, to be observers of ourselves and ask if we are looking happy or anything else. Thanks for the prompt! 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. 😀 Yes, you are right, we should see how we are feeling and how we are being before focusing on others! Take care xx

      Liked by 1 person

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