“Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.”
I find myself agreeing with the above Robert Holden quote. You see, when we connect with ourselves, it usually leads to more meaningful connections with others. When we check in with ourselves, we can build more fulfilling lives for ourselves, and we no longer strive purely for external satisfaction. Having a healthy relationship with ourselves prevents us from being unnecessarily self-critical and judgmental. Going through life disconnected from yourself, not knowing who you are, can be hard.
Learn to forge a relationship
When you learn to forge a relationship with yourself and are more attuned to how you feel and what is going on in your mind and body, you can feel more supported and at peace. Having a deep connection with yourself means recognising your emotions, thoughts, sensations, and feelings, which helps you respond to your needs more effectively. It also means knowing yourself inside out and not pausing to think about your strength and weakness in any particular scenario. When you have a deep connection with yourself, you understand more about what you need and desire. You are more aware of what sets you apart from others and what it is that you need to work on.
Knowing that you are disconected
Knowing that you are disconnected (in the first place) is just as important as having a deep connection with yourself. Finding this disconnection is not all that difficult. Your self-doubt, low self-esteem, negative inner voice, stress, anxiety, and lack of emotional stability all signal your disconnection with your inner self.
Today many of us find ourselves in a culture of busyness. The grind culture, the hustle culture, makes us want to climb higher up the hierarchy and get a bigger title, better job, and more money, always grasping for that which we do not have. This constant obsession with striving and putting work above everything else can cut some of us off from our inner selves. The consequence of the burnout culture is a disconnection from ourselves.
Due to this disconnection, we can feel empty and unsatisfied even when achieving our professional goals. When we develop a connection with ourselves, we stop depending upon external validation and recognition for inner worthiness. So, establishing a good relationship with yourself is a great way to start loving yourself unconditionally and raising your self-esteem.
Building a deeper connection with yourself is not always easy. Like every relationship, creating a relationship with yourself requires investment of time, effort, and commitment. Here, I’m sharing 6 ways to help you connect with yourself more. Understanding the ethos of the approaches outlined here will help you find other ways that resonate with you more too.
Practice Mindfulness to understand your Feelings.
Practising mindfulness can help you establish a deeper relationship with yourself. The goal of mindfulness exercises like meditation, and certain breathing exercises is to focus on the present moment and understand your present feelings. These activities can detach you from reality and the busy life you have created for yourself. Mindfulness practices such as breathing exercises, meditation, guided imagery, as well as self-hypnosis allow you to take some time out for yourself to understand your emotions and feelings. Instead of hiding your any messy feelings and burying them deep down, acknowledge them. Make it your aim to recognise what is bothering you or making you feel inadequate. Unravel any feelings of anger and frustration. Reflecting on your feelings can make you more self-compassionate.
Jennifer Kogan, a psychotherapist who provides individual counselling in Washington DC, says, “Self-compassion is a big part of connecting to yourself”. Self-compassion made us more kind. Being mindful is also scientifically proven to reduce depression and relax the body and mind. Simple mindfulness practice can make a big difference in how you see yourself and your life. Research also suggests that spending one-on-one time with yourself bolsters self-confidence and self-esteem. This is especially important since the disconnection with one’s inner self results in low self-esteem and self-confidence. Hence, when you connect with yourself, you are becoming more self-aware, but you are also improving your feelings of self-worth.
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“Solitude is a place where silence allows us to silence”- Greg Robinson.
Spending some alone time allows us to pay much-needed attention to ourselves, making us more self-aware and understanding. By listening to ourselves, we can forge a deeper connection with ourselves. Spending some alone time in nature is one way to practice solitude. Being surrounded by nature makes me more self-aware, which cultivates a healthy bond with oneself. Being alone forces you to live in the moment and listen to your inner self. With no distractions, you allow your inner head voice to talk to you and explain what is going on inside. Remember, spending alone time in nature is not the only way you can practice solitude. Try whatever works for you. Be it cooking, cleaning or writing. Whatever keeps distractions away and forces you to listen to yourself- hold on to that.
Read this article for more on this topic:
Explore Automatic Writing.
Writing whatever you are feeling is a great way to tap into your inner self and deepen your connection with yourself. Don’t restrict yourself to any theme or topic. Let the creativity flow. Write whatever your heart desires. It can be an effective way to directly communicate with your deeper inner self.
It can provide more insights and clarity on what we want or need. An interesting way to deepen your connection with yourself is to write down your dreams, daydreams and general trains of thought. As surprising as it may sound, dreams are not always completely random. They can be meaningful and can be a great aid in understanding yourself better. Dreams may reveal a lot of things about you. We often forget our dreams after waking up.
The tip for that is to show more interest in them. This will help you remember them for long after waking up. Show some patience once you have started dream journaling. Remembering dreams can be tricky, but once you get hold of it, you can master the art of dream journaling which help you establish a relationship with your true spirit. Again, you don’t have to restrict yourself to any form of writing. It doesn’t have to be dream journaling.
You can write whatever you want. But the important part is understanding what you have written. Your writing serves as a direct communication channel with your inner self and can be very revealing about how you feel and what you need. So, pay close attention to that.
Do more of whatever makes you happy.
You feel more connected with yourself when you are happy and enjoying yourself. You tend to become more distant with yourself when you are upset or depressed. So, a good way to forge a deeper connection with yourself is to invest your time in activities and hobbies that make you happy and boost your mood. Do whatever you want. It can be cycling, baking, gardening, painting or even spending time with your friends and family. Just keep yourself engaged in activities that lighten your mood and make you love and understand yourself even better.
Add more positivity to your life.
You can connect with yourself better by sprinkling some positivity in your life. We become self-critical and distant from our true selves when we indulge in negativity. Instead of engaging in self-loathing behaviours, practice more positivity to get closer to yourself. You can do so by smiling more often, not engaging in backbiting or gossiping, listening to empowering podcasts, reading positive quotes and books, and engaging in positive self-talk.
Self-talk is the inner conversation that we tend to have with ourselves. These inner talks can be both positive and negative. If you want to develop a stronger bond with yourself, we would advise you to engage in positive self-talk more often. Positive conversations with yourself can help you be more confident and empowered, but these can also improve your overall well-being and strengthen your relationship with yourself. A recent study showed that “Optimistic individuals tend to have goals and the confidence to reach them; thus, optimism may foster health-promoting habits“.
You can also listen to mood-lifting and empowering music to cope with your feelings of sadness. You can also practice positivity by being more open to humour. Laugh at life and laugh at the hard times. Smile at yourself in the mirror every day before setting foot out of the house.
Take time to look at yourself with your own eyes instead of perceiving yourself through the world’s eyes. Doing so can strengthen your connection with yourselves. In a nutshell, do whatever you help, be more appreciative of yourself and keep the feelings of inadequacy at bay. Positive self-talk, empowering music, inspirational books, and surrounding yourself with positive people all help incorporate more positivity into your life.
However, according to experts engaging in proactive self-talk is most beneficial for becoming more positive. The first step to becoming a more optimistic person is changing the language you use with yourself. Don’t let your negativity get the better of you and pull you down. Try becoming more optimistic about having a healthy relationship with yourself.
Do new things.
Trying new things in life can also make us more aware of our true selves. Experiment with new jobs, activities, interests, hobbies, and opportunities. Don’t be too afraid to try out something new, and try being more willing to step out of your comfort zone. When you try out new things, you discover what interests you and doesn’t.
Experimenting with your likes and dislikes can draw you closer to your truer self. You can even find like-minded people whose interests and goals align with yours. But for doing so, it is important to become open to the opportunities life provides you. Don’t be too uptight and hesitant to seek what life has in store for you. Don’t try to be too risk-averse. Sometimes finding a deeper connection with yourself requires a little risk-seeking attitude.
If you feel your job isn’t making you feel good about yourself, don’t be afraid to try out your luck and roll out your CVs here and there or think about starting up a business that aligns with your interest. Now we are not saying to bid your job goodbye without any financial stability, but don’t get too caught up in doing something that brings you no joy for the rest of your life. In addition to getting to know yourself better, trying out new things also allows you to learn new skills, stimulate creativity, and expand your sense of accomplishment. So, be always willing and open to trying out new things.
Building a connection with yourself is just like establishing any other relationship. It requires time and determination, and just like any other relationship, it has to be a conscious choice. You have to decide that you want a deeper relationship with yourself and to do so, and you have to work on it. Although cultivating a healthy relationship with yourself can be challenging and may take a lot of rethinking and effort, it is not impossible. Try the 6 ways of establishing a deeper connection with yourself summarised in this article to become more self-aware.
Focusing on your adding more positivity to your life, practising mindfulness, and becoming more aware of your feelings are among the better ways to cultivate a deeper bond with yourself. I hope that these 6 ways shared here will help you realise your true worth and make you love yourself even more. However, if you still struggle with self-criticising and feel disconnected from yourself, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. With a little help and effort, you will be able to build a loving, strong, and close connection with yourself that will hopefully empower you to be your true self every day.
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