You are surrounded by people whether at work, socially, in your family or you are constantly connected to social media and yet sometimes you feel separate, alone and disconnected. Why and how can this be changed?
Connecting with others is a basic human need. To be connected to others is to be totally present when with the other person. Not multitasking, such as being on your device or thinking of other things while talking to them.
Here are 6 ways to help you become more connected to others.
1. Get off all devices.
2. Have eye contact. By having eye contact we pick up more subtle cues from the person’s facial expressions, gestures and body language and a felt sense that passes information unconsciously to our brain without words. It’s an important part of how we as human beings communicate.
3. Notice your body sensations. Some call it gut instinct, we constantly receive information from our body that is then interpreted by the brain. Breathe deeply into your body where you feel the sensation, it may be shakiness, stomach butterflies, palpitations. Breathe into it and let the sensation pass through. It is just a body sensation, don’t make it wrong. By breathing, noticing and coming back to the breath, it brings you back to the present moment to help centre your thoughts.
4. Catch what you suddenly start to think about when you feel a body sensation. The mind wants to trouble shoot, label and make a story about these body sensations. Feeling butterflies “Oh no, I really do have social anxiety! I knew I shouldn’t have come. I just don’t fit in here. I’m different from them and I’m sure they think I’m weird! I feel sick, maybe I should leave. God I’m so useless” and on the mind goes gearing into hyperdrive making up even more crazy, fearful, negative thoughts and scenarios. This spiralling emotional reaction erupted from feeling a body sensation and guess what, mentally you are no longer in the room! This makes it pretty hard to listen and connect with others!
5. Now your have caught and calmed your monkey mind down, breathed and are again present in your body and in room rather than being taken by your thoughts, listen. Listen actively and genuinely to what the other person is saying. Remember it’s not all about you!
6. Be honest and genuine. You don’t need to change, impress or prove yourself to anyone. Start to be comfortable and compassionate with yourself, exactly as you are. This is enough, it is perfect. This is being in the present moment, this is mindfulness.
Let me know what you have found helps you connect.
Anne from Beyond Words Holistic Counselling