Before we can connect with others we need to learn to connect with ourselves.
What does this even mean?
In this latest podcast mini-sode I share my thoughts around what it means to look after our bodies, minds, hearts and souls if we are to be truly connectable. People who haven’t connected with themselves can be a bit like vacuum cleaners – they suck up all the love others have to give but never spit any back out. Yes, that’s a bit harsh, but we all know people like that. Don’t we?
We live in a society filled with interruptions and distractions and demands for our time. Most of us need to make a conscious effort to connect with ourselves.
So how do we connect with ourselves?
We need to look after our bodies by making sure we get enough rest, the right food, some exercise. As I’m at the tail end of my 40s, I’ve been working on this a lot recently! Lack of sleep and a lack of veggies makes a very real – and not very pleasant – difference to how I feel. I make sure I’m in bed by 10pm at least five nights a week so I can get 7-8 hours sleep.
Our minds can be tricky beasts. We have 40-80,000 thoughts a day and make an average of 30,000 decisions a day. The cognitive load on our mind is immense. It’s not surprising Barak Obama only wore a blue or a black suit every day. And why Steve Jobs always wore jeans and a black turtleneck. And why many people have the same thing for breakfast and have a regular morning routine that doesn’t require thought.
We need to take time to be in the moment. For some people this is meditation. For me, it’s cooking and baking. It’s pretty obvious if you bake while distracted! In case you’re wondering, cakes baked without the butter bounce!
We also need to do things that fill our cup – and nurture our soul. Spend time with people you love. Do things you love – for me it’s reading for pleasure in bed every night.
And finally, we need to nurture our hearts. We can do this by being kind, grateful, showing love, allowing ourselves to be loved. Practice self-compassion and gratitude. Having a daily gratitude practice of writing down three good things that happened each day that we are grateful for can have a massive impact on our physical and mental health. Research shows that practicing gratitude for as little as 30 seconds a day can reduce your stress hormones, increase the flow of oxygen to your body and make you happier!
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