3 Simple Ways to Connect and Stay Energized Throughout Your Week
Do you ever feel the need to come up for a breath of air? To connect with something meaningful and energizing? We dive into the tasks of the week, our schedules, our to-do lists, and at some point feel compelled to pull back and away. We may slide back from the keyboard or take a moment to pause just before getting out of the car. It seems to be our only way to manage the overwhelming stress we experience daily.
My guess is most of us seldom pause long enough to think about what it is we’re really needing.
We’re hungry for connection.
At the core of what it means to be human is a desire for connection to others. Humans are social creatures, and we can only live fully satisfying lives when we experience a wealth of positive, enriching moments of connection in safe relationship. From the moment we’re born we’re learning how to connect, how to tune in to the thoughts and feelings of others, and how to work together. We thrive when we are well connected. But when we’re not, we can feel the effects. We’re stressed, overwhelmed, sick, and get angry easily.
Tell-tale signs you’re needing to connect with others.
- Busy work
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Checking out
- Relying on bad habits
How connection changes you.
Several incredible processes happen in our brains when we connect well with another person. Here’s what moments of connection do to us.
REGULATES EMOTION – When we connect with another person there is an amazing process that happens called affect attunement and co-regulation. In short, this means the brain activity of one person’s mind is mirrored by another’s mind, such that whatever we’re feeling is shared and contained between the two people. This process often feels cathartic, like the feeling is “let go”. It happens when we allow ourselves to fully experience another person’s thoughts and emotions.
CREATES MEANING – If the tasks of the week are individual beads, moments of connection creates a necklace. The process of story-telling with another person helps us to pull back and make sense of the events in our lives. This process helps us understand our motivations, our needs, and helps us look at problems creatively with a global perspective.
ORGANIZES BEHAVIOR – When we feel understood and gain perspective, we we are able to refocus on the tasks at hand in a new way. We might gain clarity, reprioritize, find new energy to pursue what’s important.
3 Simple ways to create moments of connection:
Schedule time. When something is important to us, we make space for it on our calendars. Start by sitting down with your calendar and marking off several times a week you can be intentional about connecting with another person.
Notice the conversation. Notice when you feel understood, connected, clear, or energized. Wonder in your mind about the other person’s experience of the conversation as well.
Notice the difference. Notice your feelings before and after the conversation. Did you feel more stressed after? Less stressed? Did you feel exhausted from meeting, or did you feel energized? How long did this change last? Noticing the effect this has on you will help you understand how often you need moments of connection to stay refreshed and energized.
As you’re reading this, I can imagine obstacles come to mind. Connecting is more difficult than simply setting a time and a date. For many of us, reaching out for relationship feels vulnerable, scary, or even hopeless. This is because the way we know how to connect is built upon our earliest relationships. Some of us learned to avoid being seen, or couldn’t count on others being there for us. It’s my passion to help anxious professionals experience life-giving connection. I encourage you to give me a call. I’d like to hear how this is impacting you and talk with you about how we can move you forward.