Connection is vital to us as human beings, and yet there can be so many blocks to our ability to connect or form new and healthy relationships. These can range from painful past experiences with loved ones, to arguments with friends or bad feelings with work colleagues, all of which have an impact on our confidence and self-worth. Whether we realise it consciously or not, we all have experiences that we can let go of, which will allow us to move forward and freely connect with those around us.
Social connection strengthens our immune system, helping us recover faster from anxiety, depression or disease, and may even lengthen our life. People who feel more connected have higher self-esteem and are more trusting and co-operative - so as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and co-operating with them. Social connectedness therefore generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical wellbeing.
When I run group hypnosis sessions I often begin with an exercise that allows the participants to feel more connected with each other. It often involves a self-soothing technique known as Havening, and you can learn how to do it very easily.
Start by taking a nice deep breath in and allow yourself to smile! As you do so, fold your arms across yourself so your hands rest lightly on your shoulders. Begin to make downward strokes on your upper arms - you may find that closing your eyes as you do this provides a deeper experience. Continue breathing and smiling and stroking for a few minutes, and notice what happens. After a while you may notice a calmness spreading over you, or hear yourself sigh as you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, de-coding your inner stress.
Havening is a great way to soothe frazzled nerves and restore balance to a stressed mind. You can also rub your palms across each others, from fingertips to wrist, and sway from side to side as you do so, or stroke your face from top to bottom with your palms - it all has the same effect
The power of touch can instantly help us form a deeper connection with ourselves, which in turn helps us connect better with others. And in this world full of people, what could be more beautiful than knowing how to form healthy relationships and establish deeper connections with those around us?