The art of reconnection for improved mental health.
Every day, on multiple layers and levels, we are connecting. We connect with our loved ones, our colleagues, our barista, the shop attendant, the people we smile and give a nod to as we pass them by, the car we give way to and perhaps the person who might have made our breakfast, lunch or dinner if it wasn’t us.
Without connection, our world can seem dim and without purpose. Modern day life can grind down our natural desire and yearning for connection. Long work hours, financial pressures, overloaded schedules, lack of natural sunlight and time spent in nature, poor food choices and environmental toxicity can lead to the ‘being’ part of us ‘human beings’ to move into overload and as we’ve seen lately, a steep rise in mental health symptoms and illness.
We are born to connect. Our purpose is to connect. We are fulfilled when we make strong and vibrant connections. When our ‘being’ has hit full capacity and we’ve lost connection, it’s time to ‘restore factory settings’.
Here are my four favourite mindful ways to reconnect for improved mental health.
1. Don’t miss the most important meeting of the day
And that is with the most important person – yourself. Meditation has now become more widely accepted, learnt and practiced than ever before. The thing is, we can’t solve our problems on the level of thinking on which they were created (to quote Albert Einstein). Reconnecting with yourself, every day, is such a gift not only to yourself but to everyone who you connect with. We practice meditation not for our experience while our eyes are closed, but for our ‘eyes open’ experience. The other beautiful thing about meditation is the depth of rest that just 20 minutes can give you.
By practicing meditation you are giving your body a chance to release stress, reset and regroup to better be able to ‘respond’ rather than ‘react’ to whatever comes your way. The likes of pain through grief, loss, illness and relationship breakdowns to name a few, are likely to be part of our lives at one point or another. Meditation won’t make these things disappear but your strengthened resilience and sense of self will enable to you to navigate these times with your feet on the ground, and with complete presence.
2. Follow nature
She’s probably the one person you need to reconnect with first and foremost, after you’ve reconnected with yourself. Reconnecting with Mother Nature, as well as witnessing and acknowledging her flow, her seasons, her brightest days and her darkest days will teach you plenty about your own emotions and energy.
We can’t wave a magic wand and change the weather when we want, and the same goes for our emotions and mental wellbeing. When the weather outside is bad, we simply wait for it to pass or get about our daily activities – maybe with an umbrella in hand, and gumboots on. When the weather ‘inside’ is bad, we often fight it, resist it, deny it and/or bottle it up. We don’t comply with nature and put the brolly up to protect us…and so we get drenched.
Let’s take a leaf out of Mother Nature’s book, reconnect with her, and understand that her tendencies are no different to our own. Once we’ve surrendered this expectation of 365 days of sunny 22 degree days, our acceptance of this beautiful big mess called life will be all the more sacred.
3. Have a heart to heart…often
I urge you, if you have not had a completely open and honest conversation with a best friend in the last seven days to please do so, ASAP. Have heart to hearts to open your heart, and have them often. I have a bunch of women in my life who I call ‘soul sisters’. These are women I have shared everything with, and they’ve done the same back. To reconnect with the heart of another often and openly is I believe, integral to the state of our mental wellbeing.
I find that these heart to hearts are best had in person. Not over text message or WhatsApp or even a phone call. All senses must be involved, all barriers must be dropped. And if it scares you a little to say it, you know it’s absolutely worth sharing.
4. When you feel down – give
This is like receiving an open invitation to the biggest reconnection party. Do you go to this party ‘big and loud’, or simply show up for just enough time to see everyone before you slip out of the party? The level at which you can give, at any point, is entirely up to you. The thing to know is that we all have the capacity to give, no matter what you think you’re capable of giving, or what you ‘have’ or ‘don’t have’ to give.
Giving could be as simple as showing your biggest smile to a passer by on the street. It could be buying a coffee for a stranger. It could be showing up to a volunteer facility and spending an entire day helping wherever and however you can. Or it could even mean, taking leave from your work to fly to a third world country to help disadvantaged children and communities.
The thing is, giving doesn’t need to be to the extent of my last example above. When you choose to give, to reconnect with another, your vibrational energy is going to go through the roof and attract beautiful abundance into your life. I haven’t met anyone who has chosen to give – even if it’s donating the last $10 in their bank account because that’s all they had – who hasn’t instantly felt uplifted and reenergised.
We are all in this together
The fact that we are now needing to learn the art of reconnection is simply because we have forgotten we are not meant to do it alone. We are all connected (to human beings and all of Mother Nature’s wonders) and have far more in common with everyone around us – not just the people we choose to have in our lives. It seems easier to exclude, label and sort out others who don’t necessarily ‘align’ with our views. It doesn’t mean we must be best buddies with everyone we meet but if this is apparent in your life, next time you feel agitated or find it hard to communicate with another, stop and think about what you have in common and I bet you’ll surprise yourself.
While it’s a good idea for us to ‘restore factory settings’ every so often…we also need to be ‘connected to the network’ to be in our best working order.
Natasha Mason, Wellbeing Advisor and Founder + Director of Nourish Melbourne
Natasha Mason is the Founder and Director of Nourish Melbourne. Nourish Melbourne is a carefully curated community of all things wellness, offers Melbourne and Australia’s only holistic health membership and is a wellness focuded event provider. The Nourish Melbourne Membership has naturally evolved to become more attractive as wellness becomes a priority to more of us- if you’re into looking after yourself, the Nourish Melbourne Community is into looking after you!
Before Nourish Melbourne, Natasha worked as a Marketing and Communications Consultant following study with the Charted Institute of Marketing (UK). Natasha also holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Deakin University majoring in Nutrition, Sport Science and Health Promotion. Natasha is also qualified in both Reiki level 1 & 2, has completed Mental Health First Aid training and will soon be a certified Meditation Teacher. It is Natasha’s mission to enable self compassion and self love to flourish in individuals with the help of the wellbeing products and services offered via the Nourish Melbourne Community. Natasha lives in Bayside Melbourne with her husband and two children.
Image via @sgreenephoto