Feeling connected to others and to the world supports your wellbeing, life contentment and happiness.
Feeling as though you’re on the outside looking in isn’t a new feeling and if it’s one you’ve experienced, you’re not alone. In fact, it fueled an entire music genre in the early 2000s. The feeling of having no control and life being what happens to you is common. You fill your days with the things you have to do and dreams remain just that because you assume you can’t do them, so you don’t do them.
Obligations dictate your behavior for the most part and the rest of the choices you do control are guided by fear. Life has truly become a series of events that happen to you rather than something you enjoy.
And when that is how you feel life unfolds, it’s difficult to truly feel as though you’re a part of it. The key to feeling more a part of your life is to take back control.
20 Ways To Feel “A Part Of”
1| Lean Into Fear
Fear is often the thing that holds us back – every time you think about breaking out, it’s fear that reels you back into your comfort zone. By building a healthy habit of facing up to your fears you start to realize that they are often unfounded. You have imposed artificial constraints and then act shocked that you’re afraid of trying. Stop buying into the idea that failure is the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to you – do you know what’s worse than failure? Never going anywhere because you were too scared to try!
So, challenge yourself to do something scary at least once a week, it doesn’t have to be walking a tightrope if you have a fear of heights or taking a cruise when you’re petrified of water. There are all different types of small things that hold you back, start by breaking those down.
2| Put Your Phone Down
With a lot of shows from your childhood hitting streaming, you may have noticed that you vividly remember every episode. Do you know why that is? It isn’t because Moesha, Sister Sister, and Golden Girls are high art (maybe they are a little), it’s because when you sat down to watch them, you were focused solely on watching those shows.
The content you consume today is background noise to whatever is happening on the screen you hold in your hand, whether it’s a phone or a tablet. How can you feel a part of anything if you are constantly holding a barrier that separates you from the world?
So, log out of your social media accounts, delete the apps from your phone, put your phone in a drawer and lock it. Whatever you need to do to disconnect from it so you can feel like you’re a part of.
3| Start Meeting Your Needs
It’s difficult to feel a part of when you can barely connect to yourself or your individual needs. If you tend to ignore the niggling feeling in your stomach or sideline your dreams for others, it’s time to quit it.
You’re putting yourself on the back burner, but this is your life and you only get one opportunity to make the most of it. There’s a difference between being a supportive partner and relegating yourself to a second-class citizen.
So, which one are you doing? And how can you knock it off and start meeting your needs on a more consistent basis? Well, you can start by regularly checking in with yourself. Pay attention to how you feel, think about what you need, consider what you want, and then find a way to fulfill it.
4| Anchor Yourself
If being present and part of things is a struggle for you, you can use your breath as an anchor. Deep breathing exercises can help you draw deep into yourself and anchor you within your body.
The beauty of breathing exercises is you can do them absolutely anywhere and everywhere. It’s all about shifting your focus to your breath and giving it the entirety of your awareness and attention. Feel your breath flowing through your nose and follow the feeling as you inhale it through the whole of your body. Feel it as it reaches your lungs and the feeling passes right down to your toes.
And follow it back as it makes its way back out of your body when you inhale. You can adopt a count you’re comfortable with, but always exhale for a beat longer than you inhale. The key to deep breathing is emptying your lungs fully so you can draw the biggest breath possible.
5| Set Aside Sacred Time
Whether it’s first thing in the morning, or last thing at night, set aside at least five minutes of sacred time. If you opt for morning sacred time, then use it as a chance to visualize how you want your day to unfold. You can set an intention or two and think about how you want to feel, how you plan to address people, what you would like to achieve, and how you will take care of yourself.
For example, when you have a major client meeting or presentation, you’re going to want to carry a feeling of confidence and energy through your day and so you want to pursue habits that will support those emotions.
If your sacred time is in the evening, take it as an opportunity to review your day. You can take note of what went wrong, and you can think about how you would deal with it better if it was to happen again, but the overriding point of this is to show gratitude for what went right. Either of these practices is useful for living deliberately and more consciously.
6| Create A Sacred Space
There should be somewhere in your home that is special to you, it should be a sacred place that is only for you. It doesn’t matter whether you slip throw pillows or a sheepskin rug into the back of a cupboard or closet.
As long as it’s just for you – it can be your place to visit each day and enjoy the quiet and stillness. If it’s safe to light candles, do so.
7| Consult Before You Commit
Do you say yes before you take a moment to think about it? Do you pause and sit with it before you commit? A lot of us are so programmed by societal expectations we say yes automatically and immediately jump into action.
We don’t even stop for a moment to ask if it’s really what we want or if we have time for it. Instead, we say yes right away because it feels like an obligation or we say yes, absolutely because it feels like an opportunity you can’t risk letting go of. But when you say yes, does it feel like a good move or does it feel like another thing on your plate that will drain you?
When you take a moment to consult with yourself before you commit, you are supporting the reality of a healthy life balance. And a healthy life balance is key to ensuring you feel a part of.
8| Loving Thoughts & Kindness
Don’t underestimate the power of self-support with loving thoughts and kindness. You might roll your eyes at the thought, but I would encourage you to consider how much damage self-criticism can do to your confidence.
You unconsciously tear yourself down, why can’t you consciously empower yourself with supportive thoughts? If you find yourself criticizing yourself, ask yourself how you can flip the script and support yourself. What would empower you at the moment?
Then do it. Practice it often. And use it every time you feel negative thoughts creeping in.
9| Move With Kindness
Think of your body as self-love. Don’t force yourself to do things your body doesn’t want to do, encourage it to move as it wants and do so in kindness. Don’t force yourself to the gym to lift weights when your body would rather stretch, swim, and dance. Whether you deal with chronic pain or the typical aches of aging, we would all do well to treat our bodies with more respect.
When you move, however you choose to, be present and tune into the bodily sensations. It isn’t about rushing through the movements to get to the end, it’s about being one with your body and following the sensations as you move.
10| Embrace Your Little Loves
What hobbies do you love but never make enough time to enjoy? What fills your belly with fire and warms your heart? What always makes you smile? Whether it’s swimming in the ocean, watching the sunset, or slipping into a bubble bath with a romance novel, you deserve opportunities to enjoy those little loves.
So, sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of all those activities that bring you joy, and try to fit at least one in every day.
11| Grasp Intimacy
Intimacy with others is important, and it’s certainly something that you should embrace. But it’s just as important to get intimate with yourself. When you sit and stare into someone’s eyes, it creates a deeper bond, intensifies your connection, and makes you feel closer.
Well, grab a mirror and get ready to memorize every fleck in your irises. The benefit of practicing this activity with yourself is that it helps you build a deeper connection with yourself. It is also great practice for when you get this opportunity with someone else.
Eye contact can feel awkward. But when you get comfortable looking yourself in the eye, it becomes much easier to repeat that action with someone else.
Push past the initial discomfort – set a timer for one minute to start with and choose an eye to focus on. Try to build up to five minutes within a week and start to feel comfortable being present with yourself.
12| Draw On Your Heart Energy
When you are faced with an endless stream of thoughts it can be incredibly distracting and your head will always try to distract you and pull you away from yourself. It’s just natural brain behavior. However, your heart can draw you back inwards if you tap into its energy.
Place your hand on your heart, take five deep breaths and imagine your breath warming your heart. Ask your heart to provide guidance and close your eyes to take a moment to listen to what it has to tell you. The answer to most big questions is almost always within you, we just aren’t very good at hearing what that inner voice has to say.
13| Explore Spirituality
A lot of people ignore their spirituality because they confuse the concept with religion. Religion and spirituality are two separate ideas and you can explore your spirit without being drawn into organized religion.
Spirituality is merely deep diving into yourself to open your mind to new ideas and get closer to who you are deep within. It’s a beneficial exploration for everyone, but it’s particularly useful if you struggle to feel part of.
14| Sit In Discomfort
If there’s one thing humans hate it’s being uncomfortable. We go to great lengths to avoid it, but there is a benefit to sitting with it and listening to what it’s trying to tell you.
Getting in touch with yourself is more than just listening to what you want or desire, it’s also important to listen to your discomfort. Uncomfortable emotions aren’t just annoying distractions, they’re trying to tell you something, take time to figure out what that is.
15| Spend Time In Nature
Spending time in nature can be a great way to make you feel tiny in the grand scheme of things, but it’s also a great reminder that you are part of. Get out there and engage all of your senses and just breathe it in.
16| Get In Touch
The eye contact exercise was about getting in touch with your inner self, and this advice is for getting in touch with your body. There are all different ways you can do this, and if you want to do it with exercise, that’s fine. But my personal recommendation would be a body scan. You can do this laying or sitting down. Close your eyes to start and begin your scan at your feet.
All of your attention should be focused on your feet as you slowly shift your awareness up your body to each section of your body. From your feet to your ankles to your shins and knees, thighs, hips and stomach, chest and breast, shoulders, arms, and finally your head.
Stop at each point, have total awareness, and ask yourself how it feels. Does it feel constricted or free, is it at ease, or does it feel uncomfortable, is it relaxed or tight, is it light or is it heavy? The idea is it brings about a much deeper connection between yourself and your physical body.
It’s difficult to feel like you’re a part of anything when you struggle to feel a part of yourself. And getting in touch with your physical self, as well as your inner self is a valuable activity.
17| Just You & Me, Kid
That is to say – you should carve out time for just yourself. You could say that’s what sacred time is, but this is simply about being separate from everyone and being with yourself. It’s a good opportunity to meditate, but it could also be an opportunity to paint your nails and do a face mask.
18| Explore Your Depths
You have feelings, thoughts, and desires you have buried so deeply that even you aren’t aware of them. Exploring your depths by journaling is an excellent way to uncover some of those things.
Start by spending five minutes writing about whatever comes to mind. Don’t worry about grammar and spelling, this isn’t for anybody else’s eyes. It’s just for you. You can write about limiting beliefs, challenges you have been dealing with, fears that are holding you back, dreams you’ve held and let go of, and desires you want to pursue, just let it all out on the page. Make this a daily exercise and you won’t believe what you learn about yourself.
19| Build Your Support System
If you want to feel a part of you need something to be a part of and a social network is vital to that. Don’t be afraid to meet new friends and make time to deepen your existing friendships. And when you spend time with others, whether it’s a networking event for work or a birthday party for your friend, put your phone away and engage.
20| It’s a Choice
Everything is a choice, ultimately. When you say you can’t do something, it’s giving the impression that you are physically incapable or it is literally impossible. But that isn’t quite the case, is it?
While some things may feel improbable, it doesn’t mean they are impossible. It’s a choice, and you make a choice to make an effort. And if you opt-out of action, that’s a choice you made too.
Take can’t out of your vocabulary when it comes to chasing your dreams. Start thinking about how things can be done instead of immediately discarding every dream you dream or idea you have.