In my last few years of interviewing health experts, research, and my own experience, I’ve found that connection is probably key to health, more so than diet + fitness.
While diet and fitness etc are very important, our emotional and mental health, and quality of our connections are key to our wellness.
Without supportive and loving connections, we can wither and die. So a very effective way of improving our health is to deeply connect and build authentic relationships with others.
Then the question becomes – How do you deeply connect with someone?
This one simple tip, I’ve found, allows you to connect with people from various backgrounds, building authentic connections.
How to Deepen Connections + Communications
This tip is being present, deeply listening, and accepting people as they are.
When someone shares with us their thoughts, can we deeply listen without adding our story or reacting?
Can we accept that underneath one’s “facade” or what one is identified with i.e. one’s external appearance, accolades, & perspectives, one is sharing the same human experience as you?
Can we offer a stranger unconditional presence, even in their anger, frustration, and pain?
Unconditional presence is the capacity to fully allow, and open to whatever we are experiencing, even if our emotional experiences are deemed unacceptable from what we know.
When you offer others unconditional presence, you are, in that moment, accepting the other the way they are showing up. In this acceptance, the other person is likely to feel seen and heard. And this is a need many of us have not experienced in our childhood or adult life.
When someone experiences this deep acceptance, he/she is likely to remember the moment of authentic interaction you have shared.
No matter how different we perceived our external circumstances to be, we all experience pleasure, pain, desires, and a range of emotions from our life experiences. And such human experience connect us, no matter what race we are, what background we are from.
You also realise that you, like anyone else, may have suffered from painful experiences, as well as caused pain to others unconsciously or consciously as well. And you, like anyone else, may have enjoyed pleasurable experiences, and brought joy to people around you as well.
Such experiences connect us, as this is the human experience. And realising the above will allow you to see a unity between yourself and another.
In this level of connection you see another’s joy and pain of being human, just like you. You realise that everyone is trying to do the best they can, the way they know how.
And, when we meet others in their essence, we don’t need to speak much. We can simply acknowledge their light and presence. When you connect based on one’s essence, the interaction maybe brief and, it can be more fulfilling.
And, to acknowledge another’s essence, we need to start with accepting ourselves.
“Once you accept yourself just the way you are, you no longer have any judgements about yourself. Once you accept everybody just the way they are you no longer have any judgements about them. Then something incredible happens in your world: You find peace.”-Don Miguel Ruiz
And when accept yourself, you find peace in yourself. Then, you can extend this to others. In this acceptance of yourself and others, you find unity, instead of separation.
This simple awareness can deepen our connections, and perhaps eventually, end wars-the war within ourselves and the human race.