In this fast-paced era we live in, staying connected and present is a challenge not limited to parenting alone. In any relationship, and even in our own lives, it's hard to maintain a sense of connection and presence. So why is it that something as fundamental as connection doesn't come naturally, like breathing? The answer lies in how we secure our survival as human beings. Our focus is primarily on survival and seeking pleasure. When overwhelmed with emotions and lacking empathic support in our formative years, we develop survival mechanisms that activate when the nervous system goes into survival mode. These mechanisms hinder our access to rational solutions, causing us to disconnect from the present moment. So how can we change that?
Take a moment to identify actions in your life that create a disconnect. These may include excessive screen time, work overload, relying on alcohol, busyness, mindless shopping, or constant activity. Becoming aware of these patterns is the first step towards change. It gives you a very strong pointer for you to realize that there may be emotions that your mind does not know how to process.
Pause and Tune into Your Body: Practice the art of pausing and feeling your body. Take a moment to check in with yourself and ask, "What am I feeling in my body, as sensations right now?" Connecting with your bodily sensations helps anchor you in the present and trains self-awareness.
Get used to accepting what you're feeling in the present moment, without judgment or resistance. Acceptance allows you to acknowledge your emotions and experiences, fostering a deeper sense of connection with yourself and others.
Notice when you find yourself engaging in numbing behaviors or unconsciously avoiding your feelings. These distractions may offer temporary relief, but they keep us from forming deep connections and hinder personal growth. Becoming aware is the first step towards change.
Invest time in learning tools and techniques for regulating your nervous system. Breathing exercises, mindfulness, meditation, grounding techniques, and other practices can help you navigate overwhelming moments and stay present. These techniques need to be practiced and used on a regular basis to work. So if you set your goal, make a plan and go for it.
You could for example start with just one regular simple breathing technique and connect it to an action such as brushing your teeth to ensure regularity.
Remember, change takes energy: Getting started may feel overwhelming, and that's completely normal. Remember, you're not alone. I'm here to support you every step of the way. Investing energy into creating change and fostering connection is a valuable and worthwhile endeavor.
In a world that constantly pulls us away from the present moment and hinders authentic connections, it's essential to cultivate presence and connection consciously. By identifying disconnecting actions, pausing to feel your body, practicing acceptance, observing numbing behaviors, and exploring nervous system regulation, you can start to shift towards a more connected and present way of being. Don't worry if it feels overwhelming—we're all in this together. Remember, I'm here to support you as you embark on this transformative journey.