We All Seek Genuine Connection But Just In The Wrong Place

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My summer has been filled with a lot of exciting experiences, the significance of which probably won’t sink in for a little while yet. This summer marks the first time in many years that I have prioritised carrying out my own individual plans and goals rather than ensuring that everyone else is doing well, and it has been an amazing experience. I have read books that I repeatedly told myself I did not have time for, I have frequently created audio and written content for my business, and I have regularly journaled about my experiences. I’ve given myself some challenging goals to accomplish while hiking, and I’ve been able to accomplish all of them so far. All of it is pretty good. Nevertheless, the most positive aspect of this is that it’s helping me figure out who I really am.

The fact that it took me until my 61st year to figure this out baffles me. To be honest, I don’t really know the answer to that question. All I can say is that I have always valued myself based on my connections with other people and how much I am able to improve and affect their lives. However, the return I required was complete devotion, and to my ‘surprise’, I was never able to obtain it! Consequently, I have spent the majority of my life looking at the world around me through an external lens rather than looking inward at myself. It have realised, belatedly, that I am actually not all that bad, despite what I have been telling myself all these years.

Genuine connection of course comes with aligning with true values and principles. Essentially defining how you want to navigate the world, be treated and treat others. This teaches us where healthy boundaries lie and is of course a remedy for codependent issues. So let`s look at the benefits of this genuine connection, some of which I am already experiencing.

A genuine connection with oneself is essential to one’s emotional well-being as well as one’s overall level of happiness. When you have a firm grasp on the thoughts, feelings, and impulses that are uniquely yours, you are better able to navigate the waters of life and get a sense of the things that are truly important to you. This increased self-awareness assists in the identification of strengths and weaknesses, which enables more informed decision-making.

Emotional control is something that can be improved upon by increasing one’s awareness of their own feelings. This not only improves mental health but also leads to stronger relationships and a greater feeling of security and consistency in one’s life. You can become more resilient if you have a strong connection with yourself. This will help you recover more quickly from failures and challenges and give you a better idea of what you are capable of accomplishing.

When you have a strong connection with yourself, living an authentic life becomes much simpler. Instead of being swayed by the pressures of the outside world or the expectations of society, you make decisions that are congruent with your most fundamental beliefs and values. This makes it more likely that you will participate in activities that bring you joy and a sense of purpose, which ultimately leads to a life that is more fulfilling. People who have a strong understanding of themselves typically have a better ability to comprehend the perspectives of others. Emotional intelligence begins with self-awareness and naturally progresses to recognising and empathising with the emotions of others. This has the potential to significantly improve the quality of your relationships with other people.

Having a strong connection with oneself usually results in improved decision-making in all facets of life, whether it be in terms of career decisions, relationship decisions, or issues that arise day-to-day. If you are aware of your own preferences, capabilities, and boundaries, you will be better equipped to make choices that will serve you well in the long run. This connection has the potential to also stimulate creative thought. Learning about your own likes and dislikes as well as the way you process information can help you overcome mental roadblocks and boost your creative output. You will find that you are more in tune with your intuitive senses, which will allow you the freedom to experiment with new ideas and approaches.

In addition, establishing a connection with oneself can lead to the discovery of additional opportunities for one’s own personal development. These may include the acquisition of a new skill, the adoption of a new approach to one’s career, or the cultivation of relationships that bring one happiness and fulfilment. Being in tune with yourself increases the likelihood that you will recognise these opportunities as they present themselves.

When you are connected with yourself, it is much easier to deal with stressful situations and anxious feelings. If you are able to identify what causes you stress and how you react to it, you will be able to manage your stress in a more productive manner. Techniques of mindfulness, which offer a set of instruments to calm the mind and reduce stress, frequently accompany the practise of self-connection.

The state of your mental health can have a sizeable bearing on the way your body functions physically. A stronger immune system, improved emotional regulation, and a sense of fulfilment can lead to better sleep quality, which in turn can lead to a longer lifespan. Reducing stress is another important factor in this process.

Your life will be enriched in a variety of ways if you work on developing an authentic connection with yourself. This will lay a solid groundwork for satisfying relationships, the accomplishment of your goals, and the discovery of happiness and peace in your life.

Here are some things you can try:

Fostering a genuine connection with oneself is vital for personal growth, understanding, and wellbeing. Here are some ways to deepen that connection:

  1. Meditation: Sit quietly, focus on your breathing, and try to silence the mind. This helps in grounding and connecting with the present moment.
  2. Journaling: Write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences daily. Over time, you’ll discover patterns, insights, and deeper understanding of yourself.
  3. Spending Time in Nature: Nature has a way of grounding us and allowing introspection. Walk in a park, hike, or simply sit by a stream.
  4. Solo Travel: Traveling alone provides a unique opportunity to connect with oneself, make decisions independently, and reflect.
  5. Mindful Activities: Engage in activities like yoga, tai chi, or even mindful walking which focus on the connection between body, mind, and spirit.
  6. Limit Technology: Take breaks from screens, social media, and other digital distractions to be with your thoughts.
  7. Artistic Expression: Paint, draw, write poetry, dance, or play music. Expressing oneself artistically can be deeply therapeutic and revealing.
  8. Self-reflection: Regularly ask yourself questions. What makes you happy? What are your fears? What are your goals?
  9. Read and Learn Continuously: Books, courses, and other educational materials can offer insights into oneself, especially topics on philosophy, psychology, and spirituality.
  10. Establish a Daily Routine: Structuring your day can help you stay grounded and gives you moments to connect with yourself.
  11. Physical Activity: Engaging in regular physical activity, whether it’s running, swimming, or just walking, can help in connecting with oneself. Focus on how your body feels during these activities.
  12. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s needs. Eat when you’re hungry, rest when you’re tired, and know when to push yourself and when to relax.
  13. Practice Gratitude: At the end of the day, list down three things you’re grateful for. This simple practice can shift your perspective and help you connect with the positive aspects of yourself and your life.
  14. Spend Time Alone: Solitude can be enlightening. It gives you the space to listen to your thoughts and feelings without external influence.

Remember, fostering a genuine connection with oneself is a continuous journey, not a destination. The more effort and time you put into it, the deeper and more meaningful the connection becomes.

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Dr. Nicholas Jenner, a therapist, coach, and speaker, has over 20 years of experience in the field of therapy and coaching. His specialty lies in treating codependency, a condition that is often characterized by a compulsive dependence on a partner, friend, or family member for emotional or psychological sustenance. Dr. Jenner's approach to treating codependency involves using Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, a treatment method that has gained widespread popularity in recent years. He identifies the underlying causes of codependent behavior by exploring his patients' internal "parts," or their different emotional states, to develop strategies to break free from it. Dr. Jenner has authored numerous works on the topic and offers online therapy services to assist individuals in developing healthy relationships and achieving emotional independence.

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