On being smacked with awareness

Sometimes the fact that i am a breathing living human hits me so hard that everything feels surreal and i forget how to walk and breathe? Usually it wears off after a few minutes but recently this feeling can keep going for about an hour. Its like i get freaked out of being alive and aware of every little movement and thought. I truly feel that i am here and completely conscious about everything around me at that point. Its like i have taken psychedelic drugs.

This can at times be a wonderful experience but lately it just freaks me the fuck out.

Any idea what this is?


Yes, totally. What you’re describing is a shift in consciousness from a mental state of identifying with your thoughts and emotions to a mental state of present moment awareness. Essentially, you’re being smacked upside the head with a rather aggressive and involuntary form of mindfulness.

It’s kind of awesome, actually. Most folks have to meditate their faces off to reach that mental state. You’re one of the people who just gets it dropped on them. Treat it like a gift. Don’t resist it. That’s why it’s freaking you out, because you’re trying to control it. Don’t do that. Just go with it. You can play with it a little, and by that I mean be playful, but it has to come from a place of peace and/or joy.

If you start to get freaked out, just let your breath anchor you. You can always fall back on a gentle awareness of your breath, and you will be fine.




21 thoughts on “On being smacked with awareness

  1. Chris says:

    This person is experiencing the kind of thing that makes people say, “what are you on?” and what it is, is the best of this world – reality. Totally awesome.

  2. Mem says:

    This is a thing I’ve been experiencing since I was a kid! It used to freak me out when I was younger (and Catholic) but nowadays I try and enjoy it. I have some trouble, however, when people try and talk to me and I’m in this state because I’m beyond spacey- does anyone know how I would deal with that?

    • Chrissy says:

      If you can hazard a warm smile (or a hug), I’d go with that. Or you could always tell them that you’re in far too sublime a mood to conversate. Or blow spit bubbles at them.

    • Rose says:

      That’s funny, I was a Catholic kid and I used to experience this all the time- especially when I was transitioning to atheism. I guess that makes sense. I’ve had it much less as I’ve grown comfortable with my worldview.

    • WhoAmI says:

      Right ? I didn’t know it was a thing™. Just thought it was some sort of flow. Like, when you try to come back home to your parents late at night without a noise and you can hear everything in the house from your bowels to them breathing in their bed.

    • Strangely Rational says:

      Same here. I’ve been feeling this way since I was a young child. My mom tells me about a time when I was five and I looked at her suddenly in wonder as if I’d just solved some great mystery and said, “Life just keeps going and going.” Not quite the same thing, but a precursor to a greater awareness, I think. I remember being six or seven and standing outdoors in a storm, being very aware of my physical body and mind in that moment, and a sort of connectedness to everything around me. That’s a hollow description of what it was like – both profound and amazingly simple at the same time.

      I don’t know. Maybe some people feel it earlier than others. Maybe we all feel it when we’re children, and some of us just forget until later.

  3. J Lynn says:

    1) An ex called this sensation “flavor crystals” — in reference to the chewing gum!

    2) So long as you don’t hate writing that’s about nature, I recommend Annie Dillard’s classic Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, it’s full of this feeling. Read it as a senior in hs and it was really influential on my brain.

  4. VeryOn says:

    I fucking hate that forgetting to breath thing. I’ve had people tell me that I stop breathing when I play video games. What’s worse is when I am aware of the intricacies of facial expressions and the weird running monologue of assessment it precipitates. I know that’s all the exact opposite of what was described, but the described has happened as well. Sometimes when I take my migraine medicine it’s like reality has a sun burn. Then when it abates and the internal loops of screaming nerves stop there’s a moment where I can feel every fiber of cloth and I stare at the ceiling and truly wonder what the fuck it all is. And the answer settles before me, as if on my nose, that it’s whatever we want.

    But god damn if I have any energy to make that happen after all that.

  5. definitely not batman says:

    Wait. This is the thing people use drugs for? When you can get the same feeling from staring at the back of your hand for a long time?

  6. Melinda says:

    This happens to me regularly. More often when I was younger. It always scared me so I pushed it away until it almost never happens now.

    I’m going to try and embrace it and contemplate it next time.

    I tried to explain this feeling to a teacher and a peer in middle school and they both looked at me like I was nuts. I thought everyone had this happen all the time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *