Community//

Feeling Stressed? Forge Deeper Connections In These 12 Areas

Feeling disconnected is a key factor in excessive stress. In which of these 12 areas are you lacking deep connections?

Feeling disconnected is a key factor in excessive stress. But between emails, texts, voicemails, we’re constantly connecting with others… so why do so many of us feel so disconnected?

According to Dr. Edward Hallowell, an expert on anxiety and stress, there are twelve ways in which people need to connect in order to have full, rich, healthy, long lives. In his outstanding book, Connect: 12 Vital Ties That Open Your Heart, Lengthen Your Life, and Deepen Your Soul, he lists 12 areas where we should all be connecting deeply. 

Find out if you are by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Family of Origin:
    Do I have strong bonds and clear communication with my parents, siblings, relatives? Do I connect with them regularly?
    What are some ways I might increase connection?
  2. Immediate Family:
    Do I treat them with love and respect?
    Are we emotionally close?
    What are some ways I might increase connection?
  3. Friends and Community:
    Do I see friends and neighbors on a regular basis?
    Do I share my life with them frequently?
    Do I make time to enjoy their company?
    Am I involved in community groups and projects?
    Do I identify with and support the community I live in?
    What are some ways I might increase connection?
  4. Work:
    Do I have emotional equity and a sense of mission at work?
    Do I share a connection with my co-workers and company?
    What are some ways I might increase connection?
  5. Beauty:
    Do I enjoy beauty regularly, do I appreciate it and pay attention to it and savor it?
    Do I take time to enjoy a favorite art form?
    What are some ways I might increase connection?
  6. History:
    Do I feel part of the history of humankind?
    Do I learn about it, feel the power of it, and cherish the history of my country, town, culture?
    What are some ways I might increase connection?
  7.  Nature:
    Do I connect with nature on a weekly basis?
    Do I spend time outdoors or indoors caring for plants or appreciating nature?
    Do I have special places that are healing to me?
    What are some ways I might increase connection?
  8. Pets/Animals:
    Do I enjoy playing with and having a relationship with a pet?
    Do I value animals and enjoy seeing them, listening to them, interacting with them?
    What are some ways I might increase connection?
  9. Ideas and Information:
    Do I learn new things often?
    Am I interested in new ideas and perspectives?
    Am I getting the most out of my brain power?
    What are some ways I might increase connection?
  10. Organizations and Institutions:
    Am I a member of any organizations?
    Do I contribute to their growth and welfare?
    What are some ways I might increase connection?
  11. Greater Truth/Spirituality:
    Do I have a spiritual practice?
    Do I make time to read spiritual, uplifting books or listen to CDs or podcasts?
    Do I continue to seek meaning and truth in whatever way resonates with me?
    What are some ways I might increase connection?
  12. Myself:
    Do I meditate, have quiet time alone, know what matters most to me and live according to it?
    Am I comfortable being who I am?
    What are some ways I might increase connection?

Years after reading Ned’s book I’ve maintained these connections, to varying degrees, in all 12 areas. And my life is richer and more fulfilling than it has ever been. Email? Texting? Voicemail? Helpful, yes. And now I use them to better connect with others, not overwhelm or run my life.

I created Beyond The Brain, our retreat in mindfulness and ancient wisdom, to give leaders a space to step away from the fray, spend time in nature and learn mindfulness and neuroscience techniques that will help them forge deep connections in these areas, which lead to better balance and ultimately, better business results.  

In which areas are you lacking deep connections? Make a commitment to yourself to improve and join us at Beyond The Brain.

Christine Comaford is the best-selling author of Power Your Tribe: Create Resilient Teams in Turbulent Times and SmartTribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together, and a leadership and culture coach. She hosts Beyond The Brain, a Retreat In Mindfulness and Ancient Wisdom every October. Learn more at SmartTribes Institute.

Originally published at smarttribesinstitute.com

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.