When it comes to interpersonal relationships many of us struggle. One of the reasons for this is because we are not connected to ourselves. It sounds counterintuitive but it actually makes a lot of sense. How are we supposed to connect to others, empathize with them and truly hear them, if we can’t do the same for ourselves? This reminds me of the famous proverb “Love your neighbor as yourself”. What this inherently implies is that in order to love others, you need to love them “As yourself”. How can you possibly connect to others if you’re unconnected from yourself!

With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at 5 ways that we can connect to our spiritual selves, and in doing so, connect to others on a more profound level. There are many more ways than the ones listed here, but these are a springboard for connection. Hopefully these will help get the ball rolling so that you can create a deeper connection to yourself and those around you.

Accept Your Emotions

Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a minute to name your feelings. Too often, we move mindlessly through our days. When you feel a certain way, you can’t quite figure out why or where it stemmed from. If you want to better connect with yourself, you need to start by identifying your emotions. You might be wondering why this is such an important stage of connecting with yourself, so let me explain. Once you know what you’re feeling, you’re able to come up with coping mechanisms and strategies to help you manage those emotions. This means you experience less outbursts and limit your reactions that just “come out of nowhere”, because every reaction is sparked by thought. Once you can identify the thought, you get to control the reaction. And understanding your feelings, often helps you to understand the feelings of those around you. 

Accept Your Emotions

It’s one thing to name your feelings, and it’s another to accept the way that you’re feeling. Many times you can acknowledge that you feel a certain way, but instead of sitting with it, you just tell yourself to get over it and move on. Not only is that not helpful, but it simply doesn’t work. You’re asking for an explosion somewhere down the line. Your emotions need to be accepted without judgement. So you’re anxious right now? That’s cool, observe it and notice the way that you feel. Where do you feel the anxiety? Does taking deep breaths help? When you can accept your emotions rather than brushing them aside, you give yourself the space to build essential coping mechanisms. Sometimes you might want to be alone to work through your emotions. The good news is that being alone is just another great way to connect with yourself. 

Be Alone

Although social interactions are an important aspect of our humanity, there is also a lot to be said for enjoying your own company. In an attempt to connect with yourself, take the time to find out what it is you enjoy doing, and then go ahead and do more of it! Consider the time you input into yourself as though you’re building a relationship with the person you wish to love most – yourself! Just like you would spend quality time with your partner, do the same for you! This is an essential component of self-care but it goes beyond that. When you can respect your own need for alone time, you can respect that others need the same, without it being a reflection of your place in the relationship. Sometimes people just need a little space. And that brings me nicely onto the next step for achieving connection with yourself: your needs!

Meet Your Needs

 This means listening to what makes you comfortable, as well as what makes you uncomfortable. Meeting your needs should not be treated like a luxury. Pay attention to what your body and emotions are telling you. That nagging feeling you get in your belly shouldn’t just be dismissed to the wayside. Are you sidelining your emotions? Pushing off your dreams? Consistently putting others first? Take a deep breath. Ask yourself what you need right now. And deliver. Let yourself know you’re there. Not only does this allow you to live your best life, but it provides a living example for those around you that it’s okay (read: really important!) to put yourself first and make sure that you’re doing okay. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary. 

Meditation

Many people will just skim straight past this final tip because “meditation just isn’t for me”. I’ve heard it time and time again, but I’ve never heard from someone who has actually tried meditating. Creating a sacred space to observe your thoughts is a surefire way to connect to yourself. To a certain extent, all of the tips mentioned before this one are achieved through meditation. Understanding your emotions, accepting them, enjoying your solitude, and meeting your needs are all things that meditation helps you to tap into. Spending just 10 minutes focusing on your breath and observing your thoughts can do wonders for your connection to yourself. What’s more is that this practice then grounds you so you can go through your day with a heightened sense of awareness to all of the above. 

Conclusion

It should come as no surprise that our interpersonal relationships depend on our own relationship with our inner self. The steps mentioned above aim to give you some essential tips to develop that sense of connection with yourself and explore your spirituality and inner world. Being able to connect with yourself allows you to develop a sense of calm, and more importantly, create coping mechanisms to help you live your best life, no matter what the Universe throws your way. The best part is that you can then use those skills to help others understand themselves. The bottom line is that connecting with yourself allows you to build the necessary tools to allow your relationships to thrive. 

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