Jordan Gray says that intimacy and connection can easily be built with these six simple exercises.
Over the past few years I’ve compiled quite the collection of connection exercises that have helped couples from all walks of life increase their intimacy and sense of connectedness.
The couples that tend to flock towards coaching with me are not people who are on the brink of divorce but people who are already in a fairly good place and want to level up their intimate connection. They want to take their 8/10 relationship to a 10/10 relationship.
Here are six of my top connection exercises that my clients most consistently respond the best to. You can do the following in any order, for any length of time, and on a daily or weekly schedule.
(Side note: if you’re looking for this concept, but purely through verbal communication, check out this article on asking better questions for more depth in your relationship)
1. Soul Gazing
My clients aren’t the kind of people who half-ass things. And this one is definitely not for the faint of heart if you’re just beginning (beginners should try #3, or 6).
To engage in soul gazing, face each other in a seated position with your knees close to touching and hold eye contact for 3-5 minutes. Yes, you are allowed to blink. Yes, it may feel slightly awkward for the first 1-2 minutes if you’ve never tried this before. And yes, you should avoid talking during the exercise. If the quiet is too uncomfortable for you, choose a 4-5 minute song and commit to holding the eye contact for the duration of the song.
In a world that is increasingly trying to grab our attention and distract us, this connection exercise is sure to efficiently re-spark the home fires. Doing this a few times per week will give you that slowed down connection you and your partner are looking for.
2. Extended Cuddle Time
So simple, yet so often ignored.
What is your bedtime routine? Do you distract yourselves with cell phones, laptops, or books? Do you rationalize that using those things helps you get to sleep? Well, the happy chemicals that get released in your brain from cuddling and/or sex help you get to sleep even easier.
Whether it’s close to your collective bedtime or not, having an extended cuddle session a few times per week does wonders for your intimate relationship.
A few of my clients cuddle to a certain music playlist that they know is a specific length of time (often 20-30 minutes) as their daily required minimum of physical affection. But that’s what works for them.
What would you like to see change in your bedtime routine? Think about it, talk to your partner about it, and then incorporate it into your lives as a non-negotiable connection habit.
3. The 7 Breath Forehead Connection Exercise
This one sounds slightly woo-woo, new-agey… but trust me… IT. IS. AWESOME!
Whether you’re lying on your sides or sitting upright, face each other directly and gently touch your foreheads together. Put your chins down slightly so your noses aren’t quite touching (it’s okay if they touch a bit but touching noses is not necessary for this exercise).
With your foreheads touching, breathe seven deep, slow breaths in sync with your partner. Similar to the eye contact exercise the first one or two breaths might feel like they’re taking up a lot of conscious thought, but by the third or fourth breath it will feel like a very natural thing to do.
This exercise isn’t limited to seven breaths (you can keep going for several minutes if you’d like) but I find that seven breaths is the perfect minimum number of breaths for couples to really drop in to the moment and feel connected. If you and your partner are overachievers who like extra homework you can absolutely do this exercise for several minutes if you feel so inclined.