3 Simple Steps to Build a More Powerful Connection to Yourself
Think of all the things that you connect with over the course of a day…
-Your smart phone
-The latest breaking news
-Strangers whose paths cross yours
-Your loved ones
-Your daily chores
And yet, how often over the course of your day do you truly connect with YOU? Are you someone who might ask a perfect stranger “how are you today?” but would never think to ask yourself that same question?
DISCONNECTED AND DISCONTENTED
Connie was over stressed, overwhelmed and overweight when she first came to see me. “No matter what I do, I cannot string a few days of healthy eating in a row,” the 44 yr. old mother of three said, exasperated.
“I wake up with every intention of being good that day. I say to myself, ‘okay no desserts and junk today–you are going to eat clean and pull your act together’ but I hit the ground running, get my kids to school, get to the office and am immediately working. I work through lunch and by 4, I am crashing so I hit the staff room and eat a donut from the morning.
“When I get home, I am stuffing cheese and crackers in my face as I make dinner and help with homework. I over eat dinner and fall into bed in a carb-stupor” yelling at myself for being so weak willed. I promise myself I will do better the next day, but I don’t. Every day feels the same, I feel like a fat hamster on a wheel going around and around and around. Can you change my mind so that I behave better?”
LEARN TO REALLY SHOW UP FOR YOURSELF
We live busier lives than ever before and yet with all the connecting we do to things outside of ourselves we spend almost no time connecting to ourselves and our true needs.
So what happens? We end up getting overwhelmed and then we over eat to try and calm ourselves down. This cycle ends up disconnecting ourselves even further from our our bodies, and our true desire: our commitment to health.
Connie’s wish to have her ‘mind changed’ through hypnosis could be accomplished by triggering reminders to connect with herself and her true needs over the course of her day. What she needed was to learn to SHOW UP FOR HERSELF. These grounding moments would help her to calm down, begin to structure in self-care, and as a result, start to release weight consistently.
3 DAILY STEPS TO CONNECT TO YOURSELF
I would like to offer you the same 3 simple steps that can use to help your mind slow down and focus on you and your true needs.
Just by consistently checking in and identifying your true needs, you will soothe yourself from within and help reduce the need to reach outside of yourself for things to “calm” you down, such as sugar, salty carbs and other sedatives.
3 STEPS TO CONNECT TO YOURSELF
1. PAUSE, TAKE A BREATH, CONNECT: Over the course of your day build in the practice of taking a CONNECT BREATH at least five times. The Connect Breath will stop time and get you present to yourself.
Connect Breath: Take a deep breath in through your nose to the count of five making sure to expand your diaphragm, hold for a moment and exhale for a longer time than you inhaled for.
What this does is force a full exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Research shows that this will cut through our fight or flight response, giving us a reprieve from stress and overwhelm and giving us a sense of calm and a powerful space to connect with ourselves. Now it is the perfect time to move to step 2.
2. SAY, “HELLO, HOW AM I?” The idea here is that you check in with yourself and see what is going on in your body and your mind.
Breathe and check in by asking, “How am I feeling? Am I hungry? Tired? Am I overwhelmed?” Listen for your answer. Listening is important. Chances are that you may need to tend to yourself with some form of self care.
Do not bulldoze through your feelings or your inner reply and try to “get on with it”, show up for yourself with the final step, step 3.
3. SHOW UP FOR YOURSELF WITH SELF CARE: In this moment, you use your powerful mind and problem solve a way to give yourself what you need. Your mind is the most powerful computer on the face of the planet but when you are stressed or overwhelmed or not tuning in to your needs how can it possibly function optimally for you?
Showing up for yourself is a skill that you can hone over time but here are some quick self care ideas that are easy solves to some of our main daily needs.
Stressed and overwhelmed: If you are overwhelmed, the best thing for you to do is ask yourself this very powerful question, “What are my expectations right now?” Chances are, if you are stressed, your unconscious expectations of what you need to accomplish in that moment are freaking you out. Often this leads to us wanting to sedate ourselves with food.
Whatever those expectations are, try taking a moment to look at them with the filter, “do I really need to be expecting all of this right now?” Chances are you don’t. Get real about what is necessary for you to do in the next hour or two and don’t look at everything all at once. You will know your expectations have been put in check when you begin to feel yourself calming down from within.
Hungry: If you are hungry or are getting too hungry, nourish yourself! No, I don’t mean eat a donut. Eat some real food with some stabilizing protein and/or fiber. Empty carbohydrates will only crash your blood sugar and make you hungrier and cause you to eat more in the end. Don’t ignore your hunger–this is the root of most binge eating.
Tired: If you are tired, give your brain a break and sit and close your eyes for a few minutes or go for a 3 minute walk. The short break from your life allows your brain to reboot itself and gives you a feeling of being refreshed and taken care of.
Practice these 3 ‘Connect Steps’ at least 5 x a day:
-MORNING before you get out of bed. This is a great time to think through your day and gives your mind a chance to think ahead to other times in your day when you may need self care.
-MID MORNING How is your day going? Do you need to rest your brain? Do you need to nourish yourself?
-MID AFTERNOON Often we need this connect time around 4 pm when our energy levels are crashing and so is our blood sugar.
-BEFORE YOU HEAD HOME Take a moment in your car and connect with yourself before heading into your house, making dinner and all of the events of the evening.
-BEFORE BED. Check in and ask yourself how your day went. Look at what went well and what challenged you. This is a great time to learn and see what you need to do to take better care of yourself tomorrow.
Three months later Connie appeared in my office a shifted woman, fifteen pounds slimmer, but more importantly, looking relaxed and at ease with herself. Because she had been connecting with herself five times a day, she had been able to slow down and insert plans for self care into her morning. She fed herself instead of getting too hungry and then overeating carbs. She took care of stress before it led her to eating even more carbohydrates to sedate herself.
“I have become my own best friend” she said proudly. “I never knew that if I stopped to ask myself questions that I actually had the answers too.”
We are our own best resource for self care. I invite you to give yourself the gift of getting to know you and how powerful you are when you show up for yourself and give yourself some loving attention and self care.