10 suggestions for connecting with our unique self, our inner voice
"Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one" - Eleanor Roosevelt
I must say that with my need of wanting to fit in, to be loved, and liked, to do the right things, to follow the trends and to please others, I have spent most of my life connecting with the outside world. While it is of course important to reach out (no one is an island), I realised that I too often denied listening to my "inner voice", to the point of shutting it down, treating it like a slave to obey and behave according to the external world. I have functioned that way for most of my life and I have done very well, but I have also been stressed. Nowadays, I feel the need to reconnect with my "inner voice" so that I can have the healthy, happy and rewarding life I deserve.
My story is not unique...
We are all living busier lives and the emphasis we place on the outside world is taking its toll. In western society the prevalence of anxiety, depression, addiction and the more is a reality that is warning us to take some time out to connect with our inner self and to care.
Here are 10 suggestions to reconnect with our unique self, our inner voice...
1. Connect with yourself daily
In the morning greet yourself with kindness in front of the mirror.
Before going to bed be grateful for the day passed and kindly let go of any heavy burdens.
2. Search and find moments of silence
We are bombarded by lots of information, the phone, the computer, the TV, the radio, the traffic, people talking to us...
So let's find and allocate short periods of silence during the day to disconnect from the outside world, to breath, relax and connect with ourselves alone.
3. Observe the breath
When we are stressed, too busy we breath superficially. Upper chest, shallow breath does not provide enough oxygen for our body and mind to function effectively. So let's observe our breath and breathe more deeply. It will help us feel more relaxed, more in control and happier.
4. Let's unveil our uncomfortable feelings
When times are tough, let's not cover up but have the courage to go through the emotions and the fears which often are 'False Expectations Appearing Real'. Show ourselves compassion, tune into our breath, smile and be prepared to learn from that experience.
5. Try automatic writing or drawing
Automatic writing or drawing is something I practice almost daily. It is a great way to empty my head, reflect objectively and honestly. In France, we call it "emptying your bag". It is also a great way to tap into our inner wisdom. If you have a burning question write it down, wait a moment and start writing or drawing and see what happens.
6. Moving our body
Let's not treat our body like a slave but instead let's listen to it and see movement and physical exercise as self-care and self-love. We could walk in nature, go for a swim or a run, go to yoga. As human beings we are meant to move and to stretch. It helps us to feel deeply alive and connected. Moving and exercising our body with respect helps us feel good.
7. Starting our day with a short meditation or visualisation
Let's start our day by taking a couple of minutes thinking or visualising something that makes us happy. There are a lot of short easy meditations on line that we can download. Choosing one that appeals to us and practicing it daily is a plus.
If meditation is not for you simply visualise yourself somewhere or doing something that makes you feel happy. That way you give your brain a good start.
8. Checking our self-talks and think positively
Having more positive thoughts will allow us to achieve goals we previously thought impossible. When we feel a bit down let's observe our thoughts. We may find some negative stories going through our head: “I can’t do that, I am so stupid, I don't think she likes me..." let's STOP, take a breath and rethink: “I can do this, I am so good, she must be having a bad day, I'll smile and be nice to her”, and act on it.
9. Doing more of what makes us happy
After all we are responsible for our happiness, so why not engage more often in positive activities that make us feel good and connected. What does bring joy to your life? What make your heart sing?
Once again in front of the mirror let's look into our eyes and smile. Acknowledging how great it makes us feel inside, anchoring that feeling will make us wanting to do it again. So let's take on the habit to do it every time we go to the bathroom and wash our hands. Then during the day let's smile to others; people we work with, people we know, people we don't know and people we don't like.
Connecting with our inner self is empowering because it allows us to be the best version of ourselves. It also makes us accountable for our sense of wellbeing which has ripple effects on our ability to connect positively with the outside world.