Expanded Awareness & How It Can Help You Think & Feel Better

“In order to properly understand the big picture, everyone should fear becoming mentally clouded and obsessed with one small section of truth.”

Xun Kuang

What Is Expanded Awareness?

Expanded awareness is a state of conscious awareness that allows us to be open, receptive, resourceful, and calm.
It involves the intentional observation of one’s thoughts, feelings and sensory perceptions in the present moment: very much an open, mindful way of being.

It is also about becoming aware of and receptive to the energetic links between oneself and others and oneself and the environment.

“Expanded awareness” involves maintaining attention moment by moment on all that is happening at once in your broader environment.

What’s the Opposite of Expanded Awareness?

I think there is two types of opposite. The flip side of the coin, if you like, a completely opposite type of awareness called focused attention. And then there’s a lack of awareness, closed awareness or tunnel vision.

“Focused attention” has its place. Sometimes we need to have absolute focus. It is often used in mindfulness: maintaining our attention moment by moment on a specific chosen object or task and drawing your mind back to that object when you notice your mind wondering. Narrowly focusing on only one thing at a time allows us to deal with a problem or task efficiently (catching a ball or driving our car), however it can lead to a limited perspective on the world, a person, a situation, or a relationship.

What is closed awareness or tunnel vision?

“Tunnel vision” is defined as “the loss of peripheral vision with retention of central vision, resulting in a constricted circular tunnel-like field of vision”.

But we’re talking more metaphorical, “the tendency to focus exclusively on a single or limited objective or view”.

So, it’s like focussed attention, but tends to be more internal, and often, detrimental. It’s overthinking, focusing on the worries, concerns and negatives. It can result in spiralling thinking, often in the negative sense. It can cause us to get stuck inside our heads making problems larger and more insurmountable than they really are. I’m sure you will have experienced a time when you have been caught in that mindset.

What Are The Benefits Of Expanded Awareness?

The Practice of Expanded Awareness can help us to

  • become more sensitive to the world around us
  • gain perspective
  • observe from a distance
  • be less reactive.
  • notice, think about, feel about, and connect with what is happening around us in a new way
  • enhance our intuition
  • generate new ideas
  • encourage a calm, receptive, and resourceful state
  • reduce feelings of stress
  • promote a sense of interconnection with all aspects of the self, with others, with nature and with ‘everything’
How Do We Do Expanded Awareness?

We can adopt expanded awareness easily, with practice, by simply expanding our peripheral vision, taking in all that we can see. It’s a good idea to practice this in a quiet space on your own to start with. Once you’re used to it, you will find that you can adopt this state when you are with others in work or social settings.

We can also develop this awareness through a closed-eye, meditative practice.

  • The process of expanding your awareness typically begins with taking your attention to your current sensory experience: What can you hear, smell, see, feel?
  • It then progresses to a more subtle extension to a more energetic awareness of the space around you and beyond. The expansion can be both inward within yourself, and outward, to the energetic self, and world beyond and around you.

Helen Leathers

Transformational Women's Coach, Trainer, Speaker & Author

Combining a spiritual outlook, a pragmatic approach, and a sense of humour I want to help you remember who YOU are and reveal YOUR path so you can step on to it empowered, energised, inspired and guided.

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