The power of Social Connection for true health and wellbeing

I have had a truly fulfilling couple of months.

I have just completed my first menopause group health coaching program, and last weekend participated in the brilliant Coventry Does Strictly fundraising event! I have learnt so much from both events, but mostly about the truly powerful effect of human connection.

In just 6 weeks of group coaching I witnessed a remarkable shift in the levels of energy and joy of the group members.  This was a HUGE shift considering at the beginning many of the women struggled to allow themselves even 5 minutes a day to do something joyful for themselves!

I have always been passionate about the power of human connection and groups for creating change. I feel so strongly that we can learn so much from each other. However, this experience demonstrated so brilliantly to me how human connection is the true foundation of wellbeing. One of the members came to me initially for help with her diet. However, what transpired was a realisation of how much stress she had been under,  and how she had been neglecting the crucial friendships in her life. The coaching program gave her the opportunity to become aware of this and most importantly make small shifts to address both of these things.  The joy and energy that radiated from her during that final session  was truly infectious and I am excited to see what the ripple effect of this new energy will be…. It is so much easier to make healthy choices when we are enjoying life again and feel connected…

The starting point for any shift is awareness. All too often people have their heads down and just get lost in the day to day busyness of their daily lives.  It is only when we pause and give ourselves a moment to  reflect are we able to get real clarity about what we need…. and so often what we think we need might differ from what we actually need.

We can’t make huge changes instantly… we need to start creating tiny habits consistently so that they become who we are rather than what we do….. and this experience demonstrated to me so clearly that it is crucial that we start making those changes in the order that is right for you personally…

So much of the feedback at the end was about the joy of meeting others, of not feeling alone in their challenges, and learning, sharing and laughing  with each other! I feel SO strongly that we all have so much to learn from each other which is why group coaching is so powerful.

So often I quote the simple words by Dr Lucy Loveday ‘Look up.’ She applied this to the power of our connection with nature and the world around us, and I think it is so powerful in so many aspects of our lives.

It applies to the awareness I have already mentioned. If we are able to look up and step back from any situation and look at it with fresh eyes, we will start to instantly feel less alone or consumed by our worries…. we start to see life with a fresh perspective.. that we are part of something so much bigger than ourselves….

I feel privileged to have truly lived this myself these past few months. I was very fortunate to have been a part of a very special event called ‘Coventry Does Strictly’ . It was without doubt a challenge to start with as I indeed got consumed with trying to learn those steps, and quite literally had my ‘head down’ looking at my feet!

However, once those steps started to fall into place and I started to look up and connect with the people around me, it became a very different and very joyful experience!

Behind all of those brilliant people involved in this huge fundraising event is a real human story. The event raises a significant amount for the mental health charity MIND, and many of the participants were effected directly or indirectly by mental health issues at some point in their lives, with several of them doing brilliant work in the community to support others.

So, it is because  of this…. people truly coming together for the greater good that I was able to overcome those nerves ( of which there were many!!!!).

I also truly believe it was the laughter and  joy that we shared that memorable weekend that enabled me to actually make it out onto that floor!! Such joyful human connection was  a total tonic after this past 2 years, where it has been such a challenge to experience real social connection and I will always be so grateful for this opportunity.

I love that lifestyle advice is so often so very simple, and after these two truly heart warming experiences, my advice couldn’t be simpler…

‘ Just pause, ‘look up’ and reach out to others.

I feel so strongly now more than ever that social connection is perhaps THE MOST CRUCIAL element of true health and wellbeing!!

If you are interested in finding out more about my next group coaching, or if you’d like to join me at my  next Supper club please  do  get in touch. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

In the meantime, please take good care,

Harriet x

 

 

 

 

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