11 Surprising Ways To Feel More Loved & Connected, According To Experts
Life can get pretty hectic, and with so much going on between work, social obligations, and much needed "me" time, it's understandable to feel a bit lost at times. By finding ways to feel more loved and connected to others, you'll boost confidence and happiness for greater health and satisfaction, long-term. When too caught up in life's busy nature, it's hard to take a moment to breathe and think about what truly makes you complete and purposeful.
As a certified health coach, I focus on living life to its fullest and not taking any moments for granted. At times I can get stressed AF (as most people experience probably). Yet, by taking the time to reflect on what's important and how best I can remove myself from the stress, and do something that will boost my mood and energy, I start feeling more love and peace all around. Whether it's through healthy habits, like exercise or reading, or by meeting up with friends after work to catch up, doing something to increase happiness when you're feeling vulnerable should do the trick. Here are 11 ways to feel more loved and connected to your world, where you can get back to really living it.
1. Do Something Active
By getting outside and doing something active, you'll boost endorphins and circulation to power your mood and energy levels, advises Ken Yeager, director of the Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, over email with Bustle. "Sitting on the couch or laying in your bed during times when you're feeling down are some of the worst things you could do. Instead, you can work through many major life traumas by engaging your body. Try taking up long distance running, swimming and dancing as great ways to deal with your hurt and become more connected," Yeager suggests.
2. Make A Commitment To Something
Finding a healthy habit that can make you feel more purposeful and connected, and then committing to it, can boost happiness long-term. "Once you start your new healthy habit, don’t stop once you start to feel better. Most challenges - like divorce or job loss - may seem like the sole cause of your sadness, but they are often just the culminating event in a series of mini-issues," says Yeager. "It’s so important to implement these movement-based stress relief plans every day," Yeager adds.
Over email with Bustle, Lynne Goldberg, certified meditation coach and co-founder of the OMG. I Can Meditate! app, explains that taking time to meditate can connect you to your thoughts and clear the mind. "When we meditate we learn to step back and see things from a wider viewpoint," says Goldberg.
4. Connect To Family On A Frequent Basis
As you grow older, it's common to move to different states or even countries than your family, and such distance can contribute to feelings of loss of identity or lack of connection to the world, and environment, you're in, advises Joy cofounder Jacqueline Yuen, over email with Bustle. "Having my family so far away, in Hong Kong, is really hard on me," Yuen says. "Since we're not able to share every moment together in person, taking and sharing photos has become the best way for us to keep in touch. The Joy Album simplifies this and makes reliving all our moments part of family time again," Yuen expresses.
5. Focus On Good Communication
Often times poor communication can create distance within our relationships, and this can cause us to feel unloved. "We are often so busy thinking about how we are going to respond to our partner that we are barely present for what they are saying," says Goldberg. "Listening with your whole body, paying attention to the quiver in their voice, the look of pain in their eyes, the way they shift uncomfortably allows you to be truly present and available to your partner so you can connect from a heartfelt place," Goldberg suggests.
6. Make A Photo Album
Not only will this project help reduce stress and brighten your mood, as explained by Ran Zilca, personal coach, to Greatist, but it'll create more meaningful connections that can last a lifetime, expresses Joy cofounder/CEO Alan Chan, over email with Bustle. "Now that we have our 18-month old daughter, Liv, we spend a lot of our time taking photos and videos of her, and we want her to be able to look through all of these albums when she's a bit older. With Joy, we are bringing back meaningful interactions and conversation," says Chan. These are "real moments together with no distractions, no social media, no web browsing," adds Chan.
7. Limit Facebook
While Facebook can be fun to browse, it can also create connections to people that appear artificial, rather than intimate. Plus, you might get too distracted by what other people are doing in their lives or trivial things, like how many likes you'll get on a photo, says Yuen. "We miss the good old days where we shared photos privately, not to show the world how amazing our lives were, but to show friends and family our most treasured moments without fear of judgment," says Yuen.
8. Clean Your Home
"Studies have shown that clutter can increase stress and decrease productivity," says Yuen. By "clearing the clutter from your home, by emptying out shoeboxes and paper albums full of photos and making sure they’re all stored and shared within one streamlined device," you'll feel more organized and have better mental clarity and control over where you are in life.
9. Join A Club
Club sports aren't just for your teenage years, and joining a sports team can boost feelings of closeness to others and act as an outlet for reducing stress, explained experts at Happify over interview with Huffington Post. You'll make some new friends, work your body, and feel more connected and valuable.
10. Learn To Apologize Well
Often times a poor apology can interfere with personal relationships, and a lack of relationships can make you feel less connected to others and without adequate support. Christine Carter, PhD explained to Huffington Post that a great apology can save many relationships and make you feel more fulfilled going forward.
11. Schedule "Me" Time
If you're not feeling relaxed or confident in yourself, you'll likely not be able to be there in a supportive and nurturing way others. By not giving yourself love and finding a connection to your own body, it could be hard to expect that from others or to put in enough effort into your relationships. Prioritize time to work on yourself, and that distance will probably go away.
If you notice your life slipping away, re-evaluate where you stand in your relationships, career, and personal care. By mending previous relationships, working on maintaining close bonds with family and friends, and making time for healthy activities to boost your happiness and mood, you'll be aligned with your purpose and needs.
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