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Conversations Are Essential For Our Physical & Mental Wellbeing

During my latest trip to Brazil, I experienced not only incredible homemade food recipes, Brazilian wine, long hours of sleep and deep yoga practices, but above all else, I was fed with love, joy and enthusiasm from meaningful conversations with my family and my closest friends, relationships that have been a part of who I am for a long time.

But why was it different at this time?

I have to confess (me being vulnerable): I landed in Brazil very depleted from my life routine in Dallas. This has been an incredible year, a mix of major projects and progress, with difficulties and conflicts. Life is complex, yes. The beauty rests on the complexity, the uncertainty and the surprises. There is where the hope lies: in the mystery, I believe. But how do you stay focused on the good and the positive, when, at the same time, we are being challenged?

From what I experienced on this trip, my answer is clear: personal conversations and connections. I don't know your feelings and thoughts about this, but being surrounded by the people we love most, exchanging thoughts, listening, and understanding—without necessarily having to say anything—made a whole difference for me. Just being present and listening, or being listened to, can be incredibly impactful.

When I came back, the difference was visible. My daughters and my husband noticed, my students did as well. "Christina looks rested". But more important than them noticing was that I felt as if I came back to the same beautiful life that, at one point, depleted me: I felt restored and regenerated by the personal connections I experienced.

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast with Nihal Arthanayake, an acclaimed broadcaster and TV presenter. He is the author of the book "Let's talk: How to Have Better Conversations' '. In his book, he explains the evolution and psychology of dialogue, as well as the neuroscience of what's happening in the brain during meaningful discourse. He is encouraging us all to cultivate skills around empathy and active listening, vulnerability and sharing personal experiences, which are essential if we are to live happy and contented lives, but also essential when it comes to our physical and mental wellbeing.

As Nihal says, "great conversation is the glue that binds us all together".

We may have hundreds of connections on social media, but fewer than ever in our daily lives.

I invite you to reflect on your own relationships and the quality of your conversations with the ones you love the most. Pay attention to those, they are really the fundamental mechanics to improve your wellbeing.

As the Summer season is approaching, get outside more, reach out to friends and family, and find time for meaningful conversations that can transform and inspire you to live a better, longer and more joyful life.

Happy Summer!


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