Social Isolation

As soon as the word “isolation” is mentioned, it is automatically perceived negatively, however as we know, nothing in this Universe exists without it’s opposite, the Universe along all its content is governed by balance. Nature gave us polarities, Spirituality gave us the yin and the yang, and therefore it’s very important that we always work towards creating balance in all aspects of our lives from an early age, including social isolation.

When a baby is born, that baby is provided with a safe and a calm environment, as it is very important for the physical and mental growth of the baby, to sleep and rest. Gradually parents start to expose this child to the outer world, sun light, smells, noise etc... for sensory development and growth.

As this child becomes a toddler and becomes more socially aware, and is being taught by his parents and caretakers the importance of socializing, it is equally important for that child to be taught about the importance of spending quality time alone, this gives the child the opportunity to think, create and dream, the child starts developing new skills, learn to entertain him or herself alone, therefore learn that happiness and entertainment doesn’t depend on others or outer factors. Kids need to know that there is a difference between Loneliness and aloneness, loneliness is related to a lack, a need, a suffering, aloneness on the other hand has a sense of being complete, content, it is simply the joy of being.   

When this child is brought up socially balanced and gets to the teenage phase, then he or she will be better equipped to face this difficult stage, friends and family are essential, as well as quality time spent alone, specifically for studying and concentrating. According to a study done by Harvard university on a group of teenagers, they have noticed that teenagers who study alone have a better focus, concentration, a better memory hence a better performance in exams. From a different angle, Oxford University has pointed out the positive aspects of group studies, and the benefits of having motivation created by the peers, and the possibilities of asking questions, sharing ideas and getting clarifications.

When social isolation is involuntary, caused by sickness, a physical handicap, a mental health issue, or a change in environment, like a change of school or country, specially with a forced migration due to war or other reasons, in that case this imposed isolation is very likely to cause depression and mental health issues.

An individual who is not emotionally equipped or never been taught that” happiness grows from within”, and that the outer world is nothing but a contributing factor not an indispensable ingredient to our happiness, this individual is going to have a culture shock once forced to move or change environment, a forced exit from the comfort zone is not going to be well received. In such cases social isolation is a normal reaction as we are naturally scared of the unknown and tend to hide from it.  

Self development and adapting the attitude of facing our fears rather than running away from them, is essential in order for us to carry on in life, equipped with whatever needed so we can face life with all the bumps in the road. Getting out of our comfort zone and adapting to a new environment and situations, is very beneficial mentally, it actually makes us smarter, new neural pathways are created to enable us deal with this new situation which is unfamiliar. When we keep doing the same things that we do, we are operating on auto pilot mode, we do need to challenge our brain to keep it healthy the same way we need to change our exercise routine constantly in order to achieve results.  

 

When social isolation is voluntary, it is usually temporary; it’s probably a phase that one needs for different reasons. It is commonly seen in artists, writers, creators, as they flee their social environment in search for solitude on a deserted island or a faraway village in order to attain inspiration and come up with their master piece. Others, more on the extrovert side, depends on people, parties and social events to get inspired or to find their muses.

A balanced “Social isolation” or better called “Solo quality time” has a constructive role, it helps with

Concentration,  recreation,  rest. It makes us more innovative, more creative. Humans are inclined to imitate others around them, specially these days with the impact of social media and influencers. Disconnecting every now and then is actually very helpful. Solitude is tied to creativity not because we concentrate on whatever task we have in hands and the dissipation of energy on social matters unrelated to our task, but because it frees us from the strictures of fitting in even unconsciously.

When social isolation turns to loneliness and becomes chronic, it is a sign of depression and mental health issues, professional help is to be sought immediately. 

If there is a lesson to be learnt, I would summarise by saying, be mindful in your isolation and socialization, always find the positive side in any situation and reap the benefits it has to offer.

 

How to actually figure out what it is you want and put it in words.

“Do you really want to eat that burger?” asked my gym buddy with a disappointing look on her face. To which I mumbled in response, “No, I don’t. I’ll stick to the salad.” And, just like that, down the drain went my appetite and mood for the rest of the day.

The truth is that, yes, I did really want that burger. I wanted it so bad that not having it spoiled my whole day. My immediate reaction to my friend’s judgmental question was to give a pleasing answer, one that is approved and cherished. I wanted to be accepted and admired. I knew exactly what it was that I wanted, but I wasn’t true to myself.

I spent the rest of the day feeling resentful towards myself and my friend, and I am positive most of you have experienced a similar situation. Now that I know better, I act differently; now that I have a better relationship with myself, I also have a better relationship with others. Indeed, no relationship is more important than the one you have with yourself, and knowing what it is that you want is key.

In the best of cases, what we want is crystal clear to us. In this case, all we have to do is find the right words to express that the way we want to. It’s simple and straightforward.

But what happens when we don’t know what we want? Or when we think we want something, but are not entirely sure about it? Or when we just can’t say out loud what it is that we want? What we want is more often a mix of feelings and emotions that exist in our head but are not processed or expressed, so we end up being frustrated and feeling stuck. With today’s overwhelmingly busy schedules and fast pace of life, this is now all too common and, until we finally manage to put in words what we truly desire, we won’t feel better or relieved. That, however, is easier said than done.

Our thoughts, ideas, and feelings are part of our private internal world; it’s our safe haven, our comfort zone with a firewall that no one can trespass. But what happens when we decide to share this internal world with others? What happens when we feel the need to express our feelings, thoughts, and ideas and share them with the outside world?

For some of us, verbalizing what we want may result in hesitance, confusion, and mumbling. We’re worried about what others may say or think of us, concerned about the reaction we’re going to get, and terrified of rejection.

Self-love and self-acceptance are major factors in the practice of figuring out what we want and putting it in words. It’s very important to auto-approve your ideas and your thoughts; what you want is not what your friend or spouse or partner wants, and what you want is not what society expects from you. What you want is personal and subjective. What you want lies within you. It exists in your subconscious mind.

Follow these three steps to get closer to speaking your own truth.

                       Figure it out 

The first step is to actually figure out what you want. More often than not, we don’t even know what we want. Ideas pertaining to that are dispersed and scattered, playing in the back of our minds like a record. Other thoughts and ideas are repressed and hidden away, and this causes an inner conflict and discomfort that makes us incapable of expressing what we really want.

You need to get clarity. Sit with yourself in a quiet place for ten minutes every day – even if that means you need to lock yourself in the toilet, just do it. Meditate and relax. Practice what I like to call “the scientific prayer”, which allows you to get in touch with your subconscious mind to get clarity, as most of the time our ideas and desires are not in focal awareness. The best times to get in touch with your subconscious mind and look for answers are first thing in the morning when you’re not fully awake yet or at night when you are totally relaxed and ready to fall asleep.

Hypnosis is also a great exercise to get clarity and determine what you want. The more hypnosis you practice, the deeper into a trance you get. This state relaxes and distracts your conscious mind, thereby giving the subconscious mind the chance to express itself.

                                             Write it Down

Put your thoughts together and write them down. Documenting our thoughts gives them life and makes them real. When writing your thoughts, you have time to think, focus, pause, erase, and correct. Seeing your thoughts and ideas written down in front of you allows you to enhance the use of your senses; you’re not only feeling your ideas or reciting them in your head, but you are also visualizing them. Now, what you want exists on a piece of paper you can go back to, refer to, and follow up on.

                                             Say It Loud

Now that you are aware of what you want, you can achieve harmony between mind, body, and soul. You speak your truth. You are confident. Your words are loud and clear. They are yours and they reflect who you are and what you want. Now, whether others accept them or approve of them, it is none of your concern.

If you are a parent, it’s important to start this work early on with children to get them to a place of understanding who they are and what they want, as well as to get them used to verbalizing what it is they want. To do that, you need to encourage children to speak their minds without fear, and you’ll need to control your reactions towards what they say, then discuss it maturely with them.

When i fell for salad !

This is a little personal story about the day I got to that “ Aha “ moment in my life when a salad became a craving, something I would look forward to eating , versus a punishment food that I had to have in order to achieve my physical goals.

It took me years to make working out and eating healthy part of my life , and only then, once it was programmed in my subconscious that this is the lifestyle I should be following, once I have realized that this lifestyle that I have adapted kept me in good shape and good health, once I visualized and felt ( I am a visual but mostly Kinaesthetic person) the benefits of this lifestyle, once I started enjoying other people compliments ( we all need words of affirmation!), only then I fell for salad...:-) . I remember that day very clearly, and I also remember very clearly the picture of the salad I had that day, the type of veggies in it, the walnuts, the seeds, I also remember the container... I remember that I was on my way to pick up my kids from school but then I was hungry and i stopped by home to pick up that “ Salad”, I remember what I was wearing that day. Now as silly as this may sound please bare with me, there is a point ! That Day was very important to me, because on that day I have realized that I am exactly where I wanted to be in a really long time, I have finally programmed my mind and now it just comes to me naturally .It is not a chore any more, not a painful diet, it is not a punishment it is finally my lifestyle.

But... ( yes there is always a but!), we all know that practice makes perfect, nothing lasts forever, it takes continuous work on one’s self, moments of weakness etc...etc...

In these moments of weakness, when I’m just demotivated and fall off the wagon, in my mind i go back to that day and i anchor my status, i visualise every detail i can remember, i go back to how i felt that day and how good it was.

This is a great mind warm up exercise, it is exactly what i need to remind myself to go back on track.

And this is when Life coaching, Neuro Linguistic programming, and Hypnosis come in handy.

Life coaching, NLP and Hypnosis are great tools that empower human minds, these techniques help us remind ourselves of what we really want, and where we want to be, and most importantly teach us how to stay there.

I’ll end my story by adding couple of important tips, which you most probably know by heart and heard a billion times, but hey! As i mentioned before : We could all use a refresher. Don’t we?!

Tip 1:

Work out! When you exercise your body releases endorphins “ The feel-good hormones ” so you automatically feel happy afterwards, and when you start your day happy, you are more likely to continue your day feeling good and positive, and you are less likely to stress or to turn to food for comfort .

Tip 2:

Stay Hydrated, drink WATER.

It is surprising how easy it is to confuse thirst with hunger. If you feel hungry and notice it is not yet time for your next meal, drink a full glass of water and wait, give yourself and your body some time to assess.

Wishing you a positive, healthy and balanced day.