Most people go through life without being aware of how they breathe or how they feel, until they get sick, burn-out or depression. Wake up before it is too late by noticing one of these 5 signs you are disconnected from yourself.
The alarm clock wakes you up from a deep sleep. You feel tired and not ready to get out of bed. But you need to go to work to make sure you have money to sustain yourself. There’s no time to stretch your body or reflect on your intention for the day. You just have to get ready and leave the house. On the bus to work you are swiping through your social media feed and seeing people who live their passion. They seem to live a comfortable life without a 9 to 5. You are wondering how they do it.
The bus brakes abruptly and you gasp for air. A car had cut off the bus and the driver was able to stop right on time. All of a sudden you are conscious of your breath. It’s short and shallow.
You check Whatsapp. Your date from last week never responded to your message. It’s been so hard lately to connect with people. When you hear people saying they just ran into the love of their life you feel a frustration and bitterness, as nobody really seems to notice you or shows any interest in a romantic relationship with you.
At work time goes by slowly. Throughout the day you’re snacking at your desk. It distracts you from the stupid problems you have to solve for your clients and coworkers. Even though you are feeling tired and lacking in energy, you are pushing through. That’s how you have been feeling lately, just trying to get through the day and survive.
Stop and feel, now!
The worst thing about being disconnected from yourself is that most of the time people do not even realise they are until they get sick or diagnosed with burn-out or depression.
I remember in one of my classes, I guided a short meditation. One of my students shared after the meditation: ’it was the first time I sat in silence with myself. Feelings of nausea came up.”
This proves again that we suppress and distract ourselves all the time, because it’s too painful or too uncomfortable to feel. It’s always when you slow down or take a break, that your body finally gets the time to recharge and restore. I used to be a person that would work super hard until I had time off and then I’d get super sick. This is a really common issue in the Western world as we are programmed to work hard, otherwise you are lazy and won’t achieve anything in life.
By constantly being in this fight, flight or freeze modus, you never really listen to your heart and often lead a life that is not filled with love, connection, meaningful work, play and beauty. That is sad because we all have the capacity to experience a blissful life.
How do you know you are disconnected from yourself?
- Numbing out: you overwork, overeat, binge watch, drink alchol, take drugs, smoke, to sum up, you do things in excess to numb yourself and not feel certain emotions.
- Negative emotions: You predominantly experience irritation, depression, anger, guilt or frustration on a daily basis, especially for little things (irritate by people in the queue, lashing out at friends and family regularly for instance).
- Bad health: You get sick often. Your body is tense and it’s hard to breathe deep into the belly.
- Social anxiety: You have a hard time making new friends and connecting with other people. In social situations you feel left out and disconnected from the group.
- Not moving forward: You feel that your life is not going anywhere or does not reflect your dreams and desires. You keep attracting the same type of people in your life and end up in the same type of situations.
If you recognise yourself in one or more of these signs, then you need to create time and space in your life to connect with yourself.
How do I connect with myself?
Start by cancelling appointments and work that is not urgent or necessary. Create a quiet space in your house or go outside in nature (without a phone). Keep a notebook or a journal nearby.
Sit or lay down.
Take 5 to 10 conscious breaths. That means you become aware of the inhalation, the pause, the exhalation, the pause en the inhalation again. This pattern keeps repeating, but no 2 breaths are the same. Observe the process. Slow down the breath. At least 4 counts inhalation and exhalation.
From there, feel your body. What body parts are tense? How is your breath? Resist the urge to distract yourself.
What thoughts are coming up? Are you thinking about situations? Past interactions? Are you judging yourself or others? What emotions are you feeling?
Write them down in your journal. Ask yourself, why are you feeling x or thinking about Y. Keep digging. Keep asking the why. Don’t stop after writing 1 sentence. Keep writing.
After you gained some insight in what things are occupying your mind, put the notebook on the side and stay with yourself. Keep noticing what emotions are coming up (click here to see the wheel of emotions), what thoughts are coming up (click here to see labels you can put on your thoughts), what do you feel in your body (tension, pressure, headache..), and most importantly, allow yourself to breathe slowly.
If you want personal guidance and coaching in how to release emotions and connect with yourself, I offer 1 on 1 sessions. More details by clicking here.
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