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Emotional connection is innate in human beings. Psychologist, Abraham Maslow, created a widely accepted theory of the Hierarchy of Needs. He believed that love and belonging was a natural, instinctual human need. His theory suggested that emotional and social connection with others would give humans a sense of belonging and lead to self-actualization (becoming the ideal version of ourselves). When we are missing a connection with other people, we can become depressed or feel isolated.
The truth of the matter is, we need each other. Human connection is important for all of us and we need to keep that in mind when we are intentionally trying to nurture and strengthen relationships in our lives during this time of self distancing.
Now, more than ever, we need each other. Being stuck inside can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause difficulty managing our emotions. Be sure to take time to check in on family and friends when you can. Although you can’t physically be with them right now, you can still FaceTime, call, text, or email. Be willing to invest in nurturing and strengthening relationships in your life in this time of need.
By bringing mindfulness into relationships, you can use those skills to create a stronger, more nurtured bond with anyone in your life. Here are some ways you can focus on nurturing and strengthening your relationships while we’re all stuck at home:
Host a Zoom call with all of your friends. If you can’t be together physically, get together virtually! Share stories, new recipes, updates, laughs, cries, and lean on each other during this time. Many people may be feeling lonely or isolated right now, so getting together with friends to vent or laugh it off can do wonders for all of us.
You have to remember, there is no one way to love someone and nurture a relationship. Everyone is different and we all connect in different ways. By learning people’s love language, you can begin to better understand how they need to be loved and how they show love. Whether it be words of affirmation or just simply creating quality time together, know their love language and think of different ways to make them know how much they mean to you!
Listening is the most important tool in communication. We all have different values, perspectives, and thoughts. Plus, many of us are struggling to adapt to the new conditions of being in quarantine. Listening intently can help you really put your own thoughts aside to hear theirs with an open mind, and help you learn something about the other person. Plus, it will be therapeutic in nature at this time of need.
It’s easy to get distracted, especially when your friend or family member isn’t physically in front of you. But if you focus solely on the quality of the relationship and the traits you bring to it, it can make being in the moment easier. Put away distracting technology and go somewhere where you can have quieter conversation. Ground yourself to really be present for the conversations.
Relationships should be our safe haven. Someone we can turn to for guidance at times of need and someone who accepts and loves us for who we are. Remember, this is the way you should treat your relationships too. Making an effort to be there for friends and family and accepting them fully will allow you to understand someone else’s perspective without judgement.
Vagus nerve stimulation can calm the body - releasing neurotransmitters, slowing your heart rate, and increasing oxygen to your brain. As a result, your brain may allow you to become more able to connect and bond with others.
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