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How to Disconnect and Reconnect with Yourself

The next time you’re feeling disconnected, try one of our 10 effective ways to reconnect with yourself so you can feel more present for your life and others.Life is busy. Sometimes, so much so that we end up getting so caught up in the swirl of activity that we begin to lose connection with ourselves, others, or the world around us. If you’ve ever felt detached or off-center, you likely know the feeling.

There isn’t anything wrong with being disconnected every now and then, but to be present for our lives, we want to try noticing when we do lose ourselves and find ways to reconnect. Mindfulness is one great way to do just that — to plug you back into your body, mind, and present moment experience.Reasons you may feel disconnected
If you find yourself feeling disconnected from the things, people and places that you once loved and felt excited about then it may be time to take action. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing that there is one. Here are some reasons why you may be feeling detached from yourself and your life.

You’re feeling lonely
There are times in life when those feelings of loneliness creep in. While it’s normal to feel lonely from time to time, intense periods of loneliness can lead to feeling disconnected. Other times, loneliness has nothing to do with spending time alone. It might be happening because we’re comparing our own lives to someone else’s. If you’re single for example, but you spend time comparing yourself to those that you know who are coupled, you might start feeling lonely, wishing you had a partner, even if your own life is very full. Everyone’s path is unique and comparing yours to someone else’s won’t do you any good.

Social media is taking a toll
Although social media can feel like a way to connect with others, scrolling through seemingly perfect lives can trigger unhelpful, unrealistic comparisons. This can lead to those feelings of loneliness but it can even create a digital wall between you and real human interaction, further intensifying feelings of disconnection.

Your life is in flux
Sometimes we feel disconnected because our life has truly changed and we’re finding our footing. Significant life changes—be it a loss, moving to a new city, changing jobs, or the end of a relationship—can leave you feeling emotionally distant and contribute to feeling out-of-touch with yourself. These feelings are often temporary, but there are ways you can tend to them with self-care.

You’re burnt out
Long hours and a neverending to-do list can lead to burnout. And when you’re burnt out, it’s common to not only find things overwhelming, but also to feel emotionally numb and disconnected from your own needs and emotions.

Your mental health needs some TLC
Sometimes, feeling disconnected can be a sign of underlying mental health conditions, like depression or anxiety. It’s always a good idea to consult your healthcare provider if you feel persistently disconnected to the point that it affects your quality of life. If you need support for mental health, reach out to your healthcare provider to get the care you need.Depersonalization Disorder
It’s important to note that some people might experience a more intense and persistent form of disconnection known as Depersonalization Disorder.

Recurrent episodes of depersonalization, derealization (or both) characterize this mental health condition. Individuals may feel like outside observers of their own thoughts, sensations, and bodies or that the world around them is unreal.

These symptoms are often distressing and can significantly impact daily functioning. If your feelings of disconnection are severe and prolonged, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and treatment plan.

Recognizing the root cause of emotional disconnection is the first step towards feeling like yourself again. Once you’ve got a handle on why you might be feeling disconnected, you can explore how to reconnect with yourself.

How mindfulness helps when you’re feeling disconnected
When it comes to feeling disconnected, sometimes the most straightforward solutions are also the most effective. Mindfulness, an ancient practice now backed by modern science, offers a simple yet profound way to reconnect with yourself. It can help rejuvenate your mind and mitigate feelings of disconnection.

At its core, mindfulness is the art of being present. It involves honing your focus to engage with the here and now.

There are various mindfulness exercises explicitly designed to help you reestablish your sense of connection, both with yourself and the world around you. Techniques such as deep breathing, body scanning, and loving-kindness meditation can be integrated into your day, providing instant moments of connection.

You don’t need to be a mindfulness expert to reap its rewards. Even a few minutes daily can bring immediate benefits like reduced stress and a clearer mind. Consistent mindfulness practice can bring long-term rewards, like improved emotional regulation, better sleep quality, and increased self-awareness. These sustained benefits are the building blocks for a well-rounded, emotionally connected life.

If that doesn’t suit you, try some of our other suggestions to help you reconnect with yourself. Sometimes, life throws us a curveball, leaving us feeling disconnected and emotionally adrift. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to support your emotional wellbeing and help you reconnect with your authentic self and the world around you.

1. Reach out
Don’t underestimate the power of human connection. Contact friends, family, or professional counselors to share your thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, just verbalizing your emotions can be incredibly liberating.

If you need some guidance on how to connect with your support system, explore our Relationship with Others series.

2. Put away electronics
Though it may seem counterintuitive, overuse of devices can isolate us more than they connect us. Be mindful about how you use your phone, tablet, or laptop, and dedicate time each day to unplug and engage with the world directly. Or consider a social media detox to help you reset.

Curious about why social media and screens are so addictive? Check out Calm’s Social Media and Screen Addiction Masterclass.

3. Practice mindfulness
Sometimes we feel disconnected because we’re sort of blindly racing through our days. If you notice yourself feeling too unplugged from your surroundings, adding some mindfulness into your day can really help you to re-center. This doesn’t mean you have to take an hour to meditate each day. You might even try just eating your meals mindfully to connect with yourself. Notice the way your food smells, how the temperature and textures of it feel when you take a bite, how the flavors taste. By taking time with your meals and tapping into that mindfulness you can turn one of your daily necessities into a way to connect better with your own body and mind.

To learn more about eating mindfully, check out our Mindful Eating series.

4. Journal
Putting your thoughts on paper can offer valuable insights into your feelings. Writing a journal can be a self-reflective process that helps you organize and connect with your emotions.

Taking steps to alleviate your disconnection doesn’t mean you must overhaul your entire life. Small, consistent changes can make a significant impact over time. So, pick a couple of ideas from this list and start incorporating them into your daily routine to see how they can help you feel more connected.

Calm has a collection of five different journals to help you bring mindfulness into your personal writing practice.

5. Schedule time with yourself
Caring for yourself can help reset your emotional compass. There are so many ways to practice self-care and no way is better than any other. You don’t have to spend all day at a spa to recharge. For some it’s spending time alone with a good book and a cup of tea. For others it might be a nice walk with a pet, or a warm bath with aromatherapy and beautiful music. Find a way that works best for you, but it’s important that whatever activity you choose is focused on giving to yourself.

Need a little help? Our Radical Self-Care series is here for you to help give you tools to create a self-care practice of reflection and rest.

6. Spend time in nature
Sometimes the best way to reconnect with yourself is to spend time connecting with nature. This can be hard for anyone who’s a city dweller since you might not have expansive forest walking paths or mountain hiking trails at your disposal.

If you live in the midst of a bustling city, even time spent in a park can boost your connection with nature. Focus on the colors and movement of the trees, the feel of the grass under your feet (if it’s warm enough to take shoes off). You might even just breathe and enjoy the feeling of the breeze on your face, or the sound of birds chirping, or children playing.

If you simply can’t find enough nature close to home, try pairing a neighborhood walk with a beautiful soundscape like High Sierra Lake.

7. Manage your stress and anxiety
Sometimes our lives get so busy that our mental health can become an afterthought, but it is worth prioritizing. Taking care of our minds is crucial for emotional wellbeing. In a fast-paced, demanding world it’s easy to get so busy that you barely notice your stress and anxiety creeping up on you, but it’s important to tend to them so you don’t end up in a tough spot.

Activities like exercise, meditation, and even deep breathing exercises can work wonders on keeping your stress levels down so that you can feel more connected to your world and enjoy your day to day life.

When you’re feeling stressed and tense, Shake off Your Tension with Jay Shetty can help you find a place of balance.

8. Move your body
Sometimes, the best way to connect with yourself is to connect with your body. Regular physical activity releases chemicals from your brain that naturally elevate your mood and being in a good mood can make you feel more content and connected to yourself and your life.

It’s important to remember that if your feeling disconnected extends from feeling run down, that gentle mindful movement like stretching, yoga, or walking might be better so you don’t further exhaust yourself.

When you want to move mindfully, The Daily Move with Mel Mah quite literally has your back.

9. Practice good sleep hygiene
Feelings of connection with yourself can be connected to the quality of sleep you get. When you’re sleep-deprived it can make you feel irritable, impatient, and on edge. It’s so much harder to accomplish your day’s tasks which may lead you to feeling like you’re all over the place.

Part of feeling connected with yourself is feeling grounded and centered. If your life feels chaotic this is tremendously harder. Whenever possible, aim for at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night and employ an evening wind down routine so that you’re not jumping into bed immediately after answering the day’s last email.

To wind down at the end of the day, Calm’s Sleep Stories can be a wonderful part of a relaxing bedtime routine that allows you to reconnect with yourself before sleep.

10. Seek support
If you remain feeling fully disconnected there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional support from a mental health professional. If you sprain an ankle you’re not going to try and heal it on your own, you’re going to call in the pros. It’s the same thing with your mental health and wellbeing.

If feelings of disconnection persist, get the specialized care that you need so you can re-center and reconnect with yourself and your life.

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