I've been thinking a lot about connection recently, and what that really means to people. I have learned that we need a lot of connection in order to maintain good mental health. To some, connection means physical touch. For others it may mean an emotional connection to a particular person, or people.
Connection is both of these things, for sure. But we also find connection within, and in times of mental health flare ups, or seasons of stress and anxiety, we can disconnect from this. This can happen over months, years or sometimes decades.
Finding and having connection can feel intimate, vulnerable and even uncomfortable if you experience a pattern of coping that involves putting up barriers or guards which prevents you from experiencing these moments.
It is so important to feel connection. But I'm not talking about physical and/or emotional human connection, here. Below are the three simple (but sometimes neglected) relationships you are in:
1. The relationship you have with your mind. It sounds pretty straightforward, but your internal environment (how you talk to yourself) is the longest relationship you will ever be in - well, that goes for number 2 too. How you treat yourself, how you nurture, respect and forgive yourself all falls under how healthy the relationship is with your mind. You cannot give yourself space to grow, evolve and learn if you are putting yourself down, being overly judgemental or critical and bullying yourself. Think of your internal environment like a plant. A plant doesn't grow faster if you shout at it. A plant needs time, space, and nurturing behaviours to reach it's full capacity. So does your mind.
2. The relationship you have with your body. I have deliberately separated the relationship you have with your body from your mind because it is so common to feel completely differently about these areas of yourself. How we feel about our bodies can be debilitating and destructive. You might have grown up with generations of conditioning which aspires to look a certain way and this unrealistic standpoint can hold you back from getting and being who you want to be. Sometimes, the goal isn't to get to a place of loving our bodies. Sometimes, it's just to get to a place where we can be neutral and accepting of our bodies, including the areas that bring up uncomfortable feelings. Nurturing a relationship with your body will build you and your sense of self.
3. The relationship you have with your environment.This isn't just about your own personal responsibility to sustainable living. This is also a social justice issue. This is also about raising and supporting communities. Our environment is our responsibility to nurture. We have a personal responsibility to build each other, to live within our means. We owe it to our communities to slow down and be present. We need to foster a world where we do not prioritise 'commitment to the job' over the commitment to others. This is about returning to kindness, always. It is also about respecting your living space. Nurture your home and your work space and feel the benefits to your mental health.
We have so much connection in our immediate grasp that can be left ignored or untapped. Getting into these spaces and viewing them as a relationship which you will find valuable connection will assist in building confidence, presence, self-esteem, sense of purpose and calm.
If you need support working on your own personal development journey I have a series of on-demand programmes that focus on the following areas:
You will receive 4 weeks worth of workbooks that guide you through these areas with purpose and intention so you can overcome your blocks and barriers.
Click the link below to access the on-demand programmes to get started on your own personal development journey!