How do we stay connected with those we care about?
Picture this. You are having a conversation on the phone and scrolling through your IG feed or emails. Or your daughter gets in the car after practice, and you are on the phone with a coworker about work stress and drama. Meanwhile, your daughter sits quietly, waiting for you to check in about her day.
Can you relate? It is so easy to get caught up in life’s daily hustle and bustle that we forget to connect with others. So many of us spend time with our friends and family, taking care of the busyness of life. Yet, when was the last time we truly stopped to take time to connect with them? No phone. No TV, just giving that person our undivided attention.
I have learned over the years that to truly be in connection with others means that I need to listen. Listening is the foundation of connection.
How about these scenarios? You have told yourself you will improve at reaching out to people to check on them or meet them for coffee or lunch. But you are about to implode from life stressors weighing you down. So instead of reaching out to connect with a family member or friend, you decide to isolate, keep quiet, and tough it out alone.
It can be natural for many of us to become so focused on ourselves and our worries that we avoid connecting with others. When, in actuality, the connection is what we need to help us navigate the highs and lows of life.
The secret to connecting with others is “choosing to be open and present.”
Connecting with others reminds us that we are not alone. It can be the difference between suffering and relief during challenging times. The mere presence or encouragement from a friend or family member can refuel us and motivate us to keep striving toward our goals. The secret to connecting with others is “choosing to be open and present” simply.
Take Some Time To Reflect
If you are open to journaling or writing (and even if you aren’t), I encourage you to reflect upon how you can allow yourself to be open to:
1. Step out of your comfort zone
Connecting with others in new ways increases awareness and creates room for growth. Visiting new places and spaces, trying a new activity, and intentionally meeting new people expand our perspective, enabling us to build new relationships in ways we never thought of before.
2. Avoid self-isolation
When life is challenging, we often separate ourselves from others. However, this leaves room for our thoughts to run rampant, our imagination to get the best of us, and increase feelings of self-pity. Instead, find ways to connect positively with others in a meaningful way, such as taking a walk, sitting close together, or sharing about your day. Meaningful connection reminds us we are not alone.
3. Practice grounding habits
Grounding habits such as deep breathing, yoga, walking, breathwork, and Tai Chi provide opportunities for greater connection with our bodies in the present. The more grounded we are, the more we can handle life’s challenges as we are not placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves. They also allow us to release pent-up emotions and stress healthily, making us more open to connection.
Have fun exploring new ways to lean into the power of connection. Staying connected with others in new ways that lift and empower you creates the intimacy of being present with yourself and others.
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Dr. Chelsea is a Mental Health Professional and Executive Well-being Coach who is passionate about empowering and leading others toward achieving their wellness goals. As founder and Chief Happiness Guru at My Ohm Wellness, LLC, her mission is to create a culture of well-being that empowers individuals to create their brand of happy–at home, at work, and in their communities. Dr. Chelsea hosts the acclaimed podcast “Divine Centered Meditations,” is a contributing writer for Christian Yoga Magazine, and shares her knowledge globally through live events, courses, and corporate programs.