My belief is that connection is a large part of this problem. We pride ourselves on living in a world where we are incredibly connected; we are constantly online, able to connect with people and ideas from across the globe at a single click. Whilst there is huge value in this (I am certainly not promoting taking a backwards step in terms of technology), I argue that the overwhelming weight of our handheld technology is making us forget one very important connection, the connection with ourselves.
The more we look out at the wider world the more we neglect our own world and neglecting ourselves is a major step towards mental and physical health problems. Ask yourself these questions in the past few days have you…
- Asked yourself how you are feeling?
- Questioned what is affecting your mood?
- Noticed any emotional triggers?
Thankfully the answer to these problems is relatively simple, it will take practice but it is free and easy to use. We must begin to create perspective, the ability to take a step back from our thoughts and connect with our body. There are many slightly different models to use here. My favourites are discussed in the books ‘The Happiness Trap’ and ‘The Chimp Paradox’. You can also, if you’d prefer, be guided through some of these techniques using the ‘Headspace’ app, which has a free trial.
What each of these models allows you to do is to take a step back, disconnect from the busy world around you and connect with yourself. Check in with how you actually feel and from this new perspective you will notice, with time, that you naturally feel more peaceful and more at ease. If you are aware of your experience then problems can’t creep up on you, you are aware of the warning signs and can nip them in the bud. Think of the questions above again, these are questions that you can refer back to throughout the day, no matter how busy you are, always take a second to pause and reflect. Connect with yourself and escape the pinball machine. Escape normal.