How to Build a Community of Connection and Kindness
As the realm of “healthy living” continues to evolve to include things like mental health, relationships and the community we surround ourselves with, it has become easier to recognize the importance of the energy we accept into our lives. Feeling a sense of belonging is essential to our well being. The human need for connection is a fundamental component of our genetic makeup, however, negative relationships can be detrimental to our health. Research has proven that loneliness actually increases cortisol levels in our body and raises the blood pressure of both men and women. It has also shown that loneliness fuels cancer by increasing tumor growth. Conversely, the human body reacts to touch by releasing oxytocin, which actually helps to calm the body, decreasing our perception of pain and improving healing. Even though we are busier than ever before and are surrounded by people all day long, it is so easy to feel disconnected. We believe it is essential to take every opportunity to find, build and create communities that are loving, accepting and truly “fill you up.” Here are a few of our favorite tips for finding your community!
Make meaningful transactions
We often fall into a rhythm and routine out of necessity. This usually means getting coffee at the same coffee shop each morning or grocery shopping on the same day of the week. This affords us the opportunity of seeing the same people over and over again. These interactions are like transactions, so why not make them meaningful? Make the effort to build a relationship with the people in your life that make your routine a little bit easier.
Sharing your space
This doesn’t have to mean sharing your physical space, although hosting a party is a great way to celebrate your community, but opening your arms to a friend in need is an excellent example of supporting and building up those around you. In many cultures, it is customary to share meals, even with perfect strangers while dining out. Try hosting a dinner party or eating at a family style restaurant.
Find philanthropy that speaks to your heart. Demonstrate random acts of kindness with absolutely no expectation of reciprocation. Giving can elevate our own mood and promote feelings of pleasure, while benefiting those around us.
Building a community that supports individual growth and interpersonal relationships will provide the opportunity for deeper connections while improving our overall health. Make an effort to surround yourself with like-minded people and we are certain your quality of life will be improved!