To be seen and heard in the world means that we can really step into who we truly are and therefore be able to give back to the world our gifts and talents. It is sweet and touching to feel fully understood by another human being. While some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, far too many are quite adept at hiding painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions from others. Questions about well-being (“How are you feeling?” or “Is everything okay?”) may be met with a casual “fine” or even “great”, accompanied by a forced smile.

When we feel lonely, disconnected, or dispirited we sometimes perceive ourselves to be an outright failure. We question the value of our existence. When we perceive that no one sees, hears, or knows who we really are, we begin to feel despair and profound sadness. Many times, we don’t even know who we really are. This innate desire to “belong”, to be seen and heard, has recently led to an increase in anger, aggression, and violence.

In our society, we lack the practice of staying in the present moment. Due to our cognitive ability to remember the past and to predict the future, there is nowhere we can go to completely escape our psychological stress and pain. As self-aware beings, we turn our own thoughts and feelings into a problem that must be solved, and we begin to spiral. To heal ourselves, mind, body, and spirit, we first must grow to LOVE ourselves. In mindfulness, it is called NAME IT, TO TAME IT!! Let go of your shame! Tell yourself that you deserve to let go of what thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that no longer serve you emotionally or physically!

Please know that stress can sometimes cause:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other substances
  • Suicidal thoughts

The first step to being seen and heard is to see and hear yourself. To be an observer of your own thoughts and feelings, to know your own needs and desires. This is not a simple thing; in fact, it is lifelong learning. You can learn to know yourself more through mindfulness practice. It is easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads” and reacting instead of responding.

Mindfulness is an integrative, mind-body based approach that helps people to manage their thoughts and feelings and mental health. You begin noticing feelings that come up and exploring them, watching how you respond in different situations, being present for yourself, being aware of your needs and wants. Once you begin to see and hear yourself, you can practice seeing and hearing others. You can really tune in and to be present for another person and thus, learn more about yourself.

For help with practicing mindfulness and managing your mental health, call Premier MD at 616-213-0253 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment. You are worth our time at PremierMD+. Most importantly, you are worth your time. Be well.

Lisa Cobb, LMSW Clinical Therapist, Certified Mindfulness Instructor, EFT Practitioner PremierMD+