• Matt Graves

5 Tips on Getting In Touch With Yourself

We all face pressures every day that tell us what we have to be and what we should be. Whether it’s a job you hate but it supports your family, or it’s the expectations of your parents on what you should amount to in life. Even church has been known for shaping people into the mold of what is acceptable.

Some spend their whole lives looking for acceptance and belonging.

Along the way, we tend to forget who we really are. Who we started out being before all of societies pressure smashed us into who stands in the mirror every day. That time spent in self-discovery, you remember the middle school to high school years, even for some the college years.

What was the most important thing in your life as you left high school? Does it seem silly now?

If you are anything like me, along the way you may have lost sight of your true self. That’s the you that remains when you stand by yourself in your bedroom at night. Right before you lay your head down and go to sleep, there is a sliver of a moment where we all emerge as ourselves.

It’s no surprise to me that life coaches are on the rise. With skyrocketing divorce rates, mid-life crisis ridden thirty-year olds, and people drifting from job to job we find ourselves lost in the landscape of what we should be and what we want to be.

I’m guilty of it too!

Take these five tips to rediscovering your inner self. And celebrate who you are, inside and out.

1. Meditation

“Clear your thoughts,” might seem like a lofty idea. But in the most basic, meditation is taking your attention off of all the daily thoughts that bombard us from every direction and purposely focusing on something simple like breathing, like the waves on a beach, like a candle. It doesn’t have to be any more complex than that.

You will have other thoughts that pop up, that’s a part of the process. But in those moments, try to dismiss them. Save them for later. When I was in college, I would have morning meditation sessions with myself and a pad of paper. Granted, I’ve been practicing meditation from 13 on (yay depression), but it really is that simple. I would write down whatever random thoughts would pop up and know that I would deal with them later. Just the act of letting go was quite soothing.

2. Walking

Just as simple. Go for a walk. Bring your headphones, bring your phone (on do not disturb or better yet airplane mode) and decompress. The regular physical activity will help you feel great, get those endorphins pumping and you’ll get fresh air. It’s a win/win.

3. Cook

For some, cooking can be therapeutic. Don’t know how to cook? Buy a simple recipe book and make everything in it; one recipe at a time. It’s a great way to learn how to cook and to learn what flavors you like. If you want to do this on a budget, find a recipe website and pick three random recipes a week.

Take time with the preparation. Slicing the onions, chopping the carrots, boiling the water. Enjoy taking in all the scents and the tastes as you develop your meal.

When you’re done, sit down and enjoy the wonderful taste. If it doesn’t taste so wonderful, throw it out and order pizza!

4. Read

What kind of books are your favorite? It’s alarming how few Americans have read a book from start to finish over the last year. New books are written every day and processing those words and those stories is a great way to decompress and get out of your own head for a little while. Do you have a favorite author or genre?

If not, stop into the public library and try something new! You never know what you’re going to come across. Better still, get a book and a CD from the library and enjoy reading the book with music. Yes, most libraries have actual CD’s you can check out. I know, it’s crazy!

5. Practice Sensuality

Sexuality is something that has been deemed shameful in our culture. How sad. But porn consumption is on the rise and it looks like sex culture is doing what food culture did in the 80’s. What’s the quickest bite?

Pornhub has become the McDonalds of sex. Find whatever you like in a two-minute clip; take care of yourself and move on. It doesn’t take a sex therapist to figure out how bad that is for us. Not porn, enjoy that to the fullest. But the quick nature of things. We have become a society of gimme gimme gimme and now now now.

What’s the difference between sexuality and sensuality?

Most struggle with finding the differences. It’s not our fault! We are taught to keep sex in the shadows and not discuss it. And indeed sensuality can include sexuality. Thirty minutes is the average warm up time for a woman’s full arousal. Thirty.

Unfortunately, information about tossing salad and DP’s are more readily available than erogenous zones; how to find them and what they do for you. How sad! Do you know your own erogenous zones? Practicing sensuality is a great way to discover that for yourself.

At it’s most basic, it starts with a wonderfully scented bubble bath; hopefully with candles. Turn on the music, break out a glass of wine and disconnect from the world. For you mothers out there, this can all be done after the kids go to bed.

Pay attention to how the room fills with the scent of the soap, how the warmth of the water feels against your bare skin. Don’t rush through the bath, it’s not about getting clean as much as just unwinding and returning to the moment. Caress yourself, your neck, your shoulders, your arms… everywhere. Enjoy the sensation of being touched.

Put love into every touch. We spend so much time beating ourselves up and picking at the lesser sides of our body, take the time to touch and love who you are in this moment. When your bath has turned cold or you are feeling sleepy [see: relaxed], get out. Dry off and grab a bottle of your favorite lotion.

Take the time warming up the lotion in between your fingers, feeling how soft it makes the palms of your hands feel; enjoy the slippery nature between your fingers. And repeat the motions you did in the bath but this time with the lotion; taking your time to rub it in. What do you like about the scent? Are you a floral or a fruit or a food kind of gal?

This isn’t about being a master masseuse, it’s about getting in touch with your physical self. Touch, feel, explore. And most importantly, when done… sleep.

I hope these five tips have been helpful. Try to pick one out each week and have some me time. Because you are worth it!

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