Five Ways To Re-Connect. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from Sid Madge, Founder of Mee. Sid will be sharing five quick and easy ways to reconnect and plug back into your life in just a moment. Covid has limited the way we connect in life, and yet, as humans, we need to feel connected. These shifts back to a connection don’t need to be strenuous efforts. Sid is a great believer in instant change, little ‘micro-moments’ of learning or adaptation that allow us to take charge of our situation and emotions at the moment, reset and bring more of our best to help ourselves and others.
Five Ways To Re-Connect
We are social animals, and we crave connection. Almost two years of quarantine-related isolation, constantly changing guidelines, and anxiety is taking their toll. But we have much more power than we think. First, we have to appreciate our deep human need for connection.
In his brilliant book Chasing the Scream, author Johann Hari explores addiction with unexpected results. It turns out that addiction is not just about the drug. During the Vietnam War, Time magazine reported that using heroin was “as common as chewing gum” among U.S. soldiers. The evidence suggested that at least 20 per cent of soldiers were addicted to heroin. And yet when those addicted soldiers came home, 95 per cent stopped using drugs. Very few even needed rehab. Why? Because they went from a terrifying, lonely place with a limited connection back to the relationship and support of family and friends. Drug use was neither a moral failing nor a chemical hijacking of the brain; drug use was just a poor substitute for connection.
We need to connect, feel a connection and become connected to others. These shifts don’t need to be strenuous efforts. I’m a great believer in instant change, little ‘micro-moments’ of learning or adaptation that allow us to actively take charge of our situation and emotions, reset and bring more of our best to help ourselves and others. Each micro-moment intervention is designed to be actionable in a minute, and I’ve written three books on these micro-moments for life, work and family.
Here Are Five Great Ways To Re-connect and Plug Back Into Life – In Just A Moment
Get Connected to Yourself
I recently listened to a great podcast with Lisa Miller and Rich Roll about cultivating a spiritual practice. I love that there is now natural science to back up what we’ve known for thousands of years. “We don’t make our way in life. We discover it.”
Lisa talks about relationships and how they need to move from transactional (what we can get from each other) to transformational, where we support and help each other reach our goals and be our best selves. When I think of my journey and how I’ve reconnected with myself, my children and the world around me, the joy, love and connection I now feel is overwhelming at times – in an excellent way!
Take a few minutes to tune into yourself and imagine your perfect life. If money or location didn’t matter, what would an ideal day look like? We’re not talking about extreme experiences like climbing Mount Everest or being uber-successful, but consider what your average day would be like in your perfect life. What’s so surprising about this exercise is that we are often much closer to it than we imagine. How many of those ideal life events or activities can you already do right now? So do more. Connect to yourself and what makes you happy, peaceful and contented.
Get Connected to Others
We are all connected. Imagine holding hands with the ones you love. Then imagine them holding hands with the ones they love. And then imagine them holding hands with the ones they love. I wonder how many times we would need to do this to be connected to everyone on earth. Possibly just six times!
Six degrees of separation is the idea that all people are six or fewer social connections away from each other. As a result, a chain of “friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. It is also known as the six handshakes rule.
In Covid, we have retreated, but it’s time to push out again. Take a minute to think about someone you’ve not seen because of Covid. A friend or family member. Call them and arrange to meet up. Go for a walk outside in nature, go for a coffee, or hop on FaceTime or Zoom if they are too far away. It might feel odd to start with, but it’s still possible to connect and laugh and enjoy each other’s company and companionship without being in the same room.
A Random Act of Kindness Every day
Historian Rutger Bregman argues for a new way of thinking about humanity that is especially relevant right now. He argues that it’s not only contagious viruses but also our behaviour. If we assume that most people are fundamentally selfish, and if we design our response to Covid (or other situations) with that view of human nature, we will bring that selfishness out in ourselves and other people. Whereas, if we assume that most people are cooperative and want to help, we can inspire others. This may sound a bit cheesy, but a lot of psychological research shows that acts of kindness are contagious. They even spread throughout social networks and influence people we don’t know.
Kindness is also one of the only things that double when you share it. Just one act of kindness a day reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Your body becomes flooded with hormones that help you and the person you’ve helped feel healthier, happier and calmer. Serotonin which helps heal your wounds, also makes you feel more comfortable. Endorphins reduce pain, and oxytocin reduces blood pressure and makes you feel more loved. Oxytocin is the bonding hormone. You’ll feel more energised, have fewer aches and pains, feel more connected and confident and even live longer.
Commit now that you will demonstrate a random act of kindness every day. Hold a door open for someone, smile at someone you don’t know and mean it. Help someone struggling with shopping bags up the stairs. We can all find ways to be kinder and more connected in everything we do. We may not always be thanked or acknowledged, but we will always feel better, and that positive energy will spread.
The other thing this crisis shows very clearly is how dependent we are on specific professions. Around the globe, governments are coming up with lists of so-called vital professions. If you look at those lists, you won’t find the hedge fund managers or marketers. You’ll find the garbage collectors and the teachers and the nurses, people who are often not paid that well, but, as it turns out, are the people we can’t live without.
Take a minute to think about the people in your life that you can’t live without. The people you are most grateful for and make sure you let them know – every day. Think about the other things in your life that you are thankful for. Your health, the ability to walk in nature, your job or your home. A woodburning stove on a winter’s evening, laughing with your friends. Just take a few minutes at the start of each day and before you drift off to sleep to count your blessings despite the challenges we all face.
Send out Positive Vibes
The power of verbal communication and its effects on individuals is well known. But we don’t just connect via words. As Peter Drucker (thought of by many as the founder of modern management) said, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” A person’s energy can tell you much more about them and shout out the truth far louder than words.
We are all connected energetically. So, you instantly activate the energy cords that bind you both, forming a connection whenever you think of someone. This connection lets you plant thoughts, share ideas, send love, express emotion, spread positive (or negative) energy, and more wordlessly.
You might be thinking, “Oh, that’s hogwash!” But is it? Run an experiment for yourself. Take a moment to think of your last interaction. Did the vibes that you were sending out impact your interaction? Is it possible? Too often, let the ups and downs of life seep into our connections with others. Just try it. Instead of feeling irritated, bored, frustrated or judged by the person in front of you, decide to send out positive vibes of ‘unconditional positive regard. Unconditional positive regard, an idea put forward by American psychologist Carl Rogers is simply deliberate acceptance and positive support for another, as they are, without judgement. Just try it and see how the connection flourishes and the outcome constantly improves.
There is a lot about the world we can’t change right now (everyone is fed up with the pandemic), but we can change lots of little things to connect more authentically with ourselves and others. And if we all do them, we can make significant changes for the better at home, at school and in our communities.
I hope you enjoyed that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sid Madge is a transformation and change specialist and founder of Meee. Meee draws on the best creativity and thinking from branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology to help people embrace change and achieve extraordinary lives.
Meee has helped thousands find their magic to transform themselves, their communities, and their organisations, from pupils to CEOs. From leaders of PLCs and SMEs to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates, Meee helps people excel.
Sid Madge is also the author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family life in 60 seconds.