Connection is about being in touch with yourself, with everything around you and everything that happens to you.
It is being aware of the here and now and being receptive to that experience.
A book called ‘The Happiness Trap’ by Dr Russ Harris teaches all about connection. When practicing connection, we are also practicing being in the present moment rather than the past or the future.
To appreciate life you have to be present, while its happening. We can only take action now. It must be effective action that makes us move in a valued direction.
CONNECTION AND OBSERVING SELF
Connection involves what is happening here and now through what we call the observing self. Observing is to notice or observe thoughts and feelings. It’s always present and available.
We can connect with all types of human experience, whether it is new and exciting or familiar and uncomfortable things. The things that bother us often become less bothersome when we bring attention in the current moment to an unpleasant experience.
CONNECTING WITH PEOPLE
There are lots of ways we connect with people. It could be socially with your friends, spiritually with your church, professionally with your work, health with your doctor, or emotionally i.e. people you turn to for emotional support, or sharing similar interests with other people.
CONNECTION WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
Connecting with the environment is to notice what you see, hear, touch, taste and smell.
Sounds you can hear and things you can feel, your feet on the floor, what sort of light you can see etc. This is called mindfulness.
CONNECTION WITH YOUR BODY
To connect with your body, you can inwardly scan your body from head to toe and notice what you feel in your head chest, abdomen and legs. You can connect with your breathing by noticing the rise and fall of your rib cage and the moment of air in and out of your nose. You can notice how your lungs expand and how your stomach pushes outward.
CONNECTION WITH PLEASANT EXPERIENCES
Its good to practice connection with pleasant experiences. i.e. walking the dog, listening to a favorite piece of music.
- Imagine this is the first time you have done this.
- Notice what you see, hear, touch and smell and taste.
- Savor every moment.
- Reflect on what its like to be fully present.
CONNECTING WITH A USEFUL CHORE
It’s also good to practice connection with a chore you don’t like (such as ironing). Notice with what happens without expectations. Notice patterns of the creases, the color of the clothes, the hiss of the iron etc. Make room for any boredom, focusing on what you are doing.
CONNECTING WITH A TASK YOU HAVE BEEN AVOIDING
Think of a task you have been avoiding. Give yourself 20 minutes to focus on that experience, and connect with the five senses making room for your feelings and thought.
CONNECTING AND CHANGE
Connecting allows you to make changes and to accept the discomfort that comes with change. For example, a career change. The more you learn to connect, the less the discomfort will be an obstacle.
CONNECTING WITH YOUR VALUES
Connecting with your values gives you satisfaction right now.
For example, you want to buy a house and believe you can achieve that goal by providing security to your family. This is connecting to your values. There are many things you can do now to take care of your family, such as cooking a healthy meal.
CONNECTING AND HAVING A FULL LIFE
The more you connect, the more you will have opportunities you will get to achieve your goals, the more content you will be, the better your relationships will be and the better chance you will have to live a full life.
Connecting in many ways is very important in having a happy life and keeping your mental health under control.
Written By Rod, Lorikeet Centre Member