These 8 mindful steps will help you ignite the feelings of connection
One of the most basic human needs, from the moment we are born into this world, is the need for connection. This need is manifested through various forms, from our bond with our primary caregivers, our connections with peers and friends, and through our belonging to certain sports clubs, meet-up groups, and various interest groups.
The need to connect plays an important part in building our self-image and in the way we identify ourselves.
This need is inherent from the beginning of the human species when the only way for an individual to survive was to be a part of a group; whether it was hunting, gathering food, or defending from other predators, humans only had a chance for survival in groups.
Research has shown that having strong social connections can significantly increase the chances of longevity, strengthens our immune system, lowers blood pressure, and lowers our levels of anxiety and stress. The lack of connection, on the other hand, impacts our mental and emotional well-being.
But also researchers say that nowadays it is not the “real” connection that brings benefit to our mental, emotional and physical self but the feeling of being connected which is subjective and an entirely internal sense of connectedness.
Here are 8 mindful ways to ignite the feeling of connection:
1. Initiate contact – don’t always wait for the other side to make the first move. Give what you desire to receive.
2. Start meaningful conversations – this doesn’t mean the topic of the conversation has to be deep and philosophical, but honest and open. Listen and try to really see the person across from you.
3. Avoid judging – instead of instantly having an opinion about somebody, try to feel them and find common ground. Practice feeling of love instead of judgment.
4 Be present: while spending time with somebody give them your full attention, don’t text or be active on social media. We all need to feel comfort and trust before we invest in building a connection.
5 Send regular texts and emails to the people that matter to you if you can’t keep in touch face to face. Let them know you are thinking about them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have anything spectacular to share, just keep them in the loop.
6 Don’t be stuck on your vision of love – true connection can come in various forms and shapes; don’t discard it just because it isn’t the way you imagined it to be. Open your heart to another heart (and this goes for all kinds of connections not only romantic ones).
7 Practice gratitude – instead of focusing on the love you don’t have, pay attention to the one you do have: loving friends, family, and even pets. Give love to get love. Feel abundance in order to receive it.
8 Accept – yourself and others for who they truly are; accept the things life sends on your path.