Think of the person you are closest with and think of how much joy that relationship brings to your life. What if I told you that the same kind of joy and fulfillment is available to you at any moment if you take the time to develop a relationship and connect with yourself?
Learning to connect with yourself helps you better understand what makes you tick so that you can tap into all the potential life has to offer. And when you start to value your relationship with yourself, all of your other relationships start to flourish.
This article will help you start investing in the only relationship that is guaranteed to last your entire life span. So let’s dive in to learn steps you can take to better connect with yourself starting now.
Why connection with yourself is valuable
If you’re anything like me, sometimes you avoid spending alone time with yourself because you’re afraid of what you might discover.
I find it easier to distract myself with the chaos of life instead of doing the deep work of getting to know who I am.
But I know that when I saddle up and do the deep work, I feel present in my life. And I feel that spark for life again because I feel more connected to my ambitions and aspirations.
Research shows that individuals who develop a sense of self-connection experience greater well-being. This sense of self-connection can be improved through the practice of mindfulness.
It’s funny how we go chasing peace and satisfaction from so many external sources when we can find what we seek inside of us.
Why do we avoid self-connection
It’s easy in today’s world to avoid self-connection. With Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and that text message from your bestie all vying for your attention 24/7 it’s easier to just ignore yourself and your feelings.
A study from 2020 discovered that people reported both internal and external factors as barriers to connecting to themselves. This meant that things like feeling a sense of negative self-judgment as well as just basic time-related restrictions stopped people from spending time getting to know themselves.
As I mentioned earlier, I know I personally struggle with a fear of what I will uncover when I get to know myself. But through working with a life coach, I have come to realize that my strength lies in facing those fears and getting to know the parts of me that I may have tried to hide.
And through addressing those aspects of myself with connection, I have been better able to heal and ease so many of the anxieties that have plagued me for decades.
I can personally attest that getting to know yourself is worth any discomfort you may have to face in the process.
5 ways to connect with yourself
It’s time to re-introduce yourself to the person who is guaranteed to never leave your side: you! These five steps will help you connect with yourself on a deeper level that’s sure to leave you feeling refreshed and grounded.
1. Go back to your childhood aspirations
Kids have this amazing superpower of not overthinking who they are or what they want. They just have this innate knowledge and don’t doubt that anything is possible for them.
As time goes on, it seems we lose touch with this superpower a bit. But I think re-channeling your inner childhood desires can be a great way to reconnect with who you really are.
I remember as a kid I loved to create art of all kinds. Whether it was coloring or finger painting, I loved it all. But as I grew up, I became cognizant that my art was not exactly of Picasso's quality.
So I stopped creating. But recently I have decided to reconnect to this childhood desire to simply create for the sake of creating.
I’ve begun to learn to crochet and paint pots. And I have to say, I feel that sense of fun playfulness that stems from tapping into my creative side again.
Go back and really think about what lit you up as a child and you may just discover a part of you that has been lost along your adulthood journey.
2. Prioritize quiet time
It seems that everyone recommends quiet time these days. And trust me, there is a reason why.
Our world is so loud and full of constant distractions. It’s no wonder we don’t know who we are when we are constantly bombarded with outside sources trying to give us their opinion about ourselves.
Taking a chunk of time each day to just be with yourself is one of the easiest and yet most powerful ways to reconnect with yourself.
I have developed a habit of spending 5 minutes every morning just sitting on my porch. I aspire to do this for longer, but 5 minutes consistently has been a good start for me.
In these 5 minutes, I become aware of what I’m feeling and I reconnect to my sense of purpose in this world. It helps me ground myself in who I am and align my actions with that purpose.
It doesn’t have to take long. Maybe you just start with 2 minutes. Maybe your eyes are open, maybe they are closed.
The details don’t matter. Just get quiet and you will find yourself again.
3. Don’t ignore your feelings
Do you remember the last time you actually paid attention to your feelings? If you’re anything like me, you’re great at shoving them away and moving on to the next thing on your to-do list.
Your feelings are there for a reason. No matter what the feeling is, positive or negative, it’s there to tell you something about yourself.
I used to try to shove away my sadness because I thought it was better to see the sunny side of things. And while I do still think it’s important not to drown in negativity, I’ve also come to realize that even my sadness is a message to me about what I value.
It’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to be excited. Emotions are neither good nor bad, but rather cues to you about what actions you need to take to be aligned with the best version of yourself.
Now I look at my feelings as messages to me about what I personally find important and what I may or may not need to change in my life.
By actually embracing my emotions, I also feel more in tune with my personal needs and through that, I have found a much deeper sense of satisfaction in my life.
4. Trust your gut
Do you know that little voice inside of you that says “do this not that”? Turns out that voice can give you a lot of insight about yourself.
Learning to listen to your instinctive reactions and trust them is such a meaningful way to connect with yourself. Your gut is your subconscious way of expressing yourself and eliminates the hyper-focused overthinking side of our brains that we tend to put on overdrive.
I remember in particular when I was in college there was this cute guy who asked me out on a date. Right after he asked me I remember my gut said “Don’t go”. So as any reasonable college girl does, I ignored my gut in favor of having some great eye candy.
It became apparent very quickly that this guy was not at all interested in what I had to say or in making conversation. My gut knew that this wasn’t the type of person I wanted to date and if I would have listened to it I would have saved myself hours of being treated like trash by a man who didn’t respect women.
Whether it be your gut telling you to quit your job or go on that big international trip you’ve been daydreaming about, it’s time to listen to it. Because underneath what seems like a simple gut reaction lies a better understanding of what you want at your core.
5. Take yourself on a date
I used to feel self-conscious or embarrassed at the idea of being seen in a movie theater or at a restaurant alone. But I learned from my best friend that self-dates are actually some of the most restorative dates you can go on.
Once a month, I take myself out on a date where I get to do whatever it is that I want to do. I find by forcing myself to spend designated time alone I come to learn exactly what it is that gives me joy and I am able to reflect on how my life is going.
It’s actually become a date that I really look forward to because I know that I’m in total control of what I get to do and I always feel refreshed by the end of my self-date.
And I do have to say, it’s really fun to go on a date where you don’t spend twenty minutes arguing with someone about where to eat.
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You devote hours of your time and energy to connecting with those you love the most. It’s only fair that you give yourself the same tender loving care by nourishing a connection with yourself by using the tips from this article. And I promise you that investing in getting to know yourself is never a decision you will regret.