Importance of Community

Feeling connected in society can have the most positive effects on mental health. It gives a person a sense of belonging, the feeling of having a purpose, and the support for when times are hard.

Belonging

Being able to identify yourself within a group gets rid of that lonely feeling. When you can be your true self and feel accepted by them, it will cause you to have a better outlook on life. 

If you feel that you are having to conform to fit into a group, you may need to reevaluate if this group is right for you. Sometimes it may seem like there is nothing out there for you, but you must look for it.

Finding your community is easier to do now more than ever. With the power of the internet, you can find groups that help your mental health, and this does not mean it has to be just a therapy group. There are online groups for therapy, people who love gaming, or reading books. 

However, your group doesn’t always have to be online or even relate to a common interest. Your group can be your coworkers, classmates, or even just your family.

Purpose

When finding where you belong, you may also find that there are others that depend on you. This can become your purpose in life. Imagine this: you start working at an animal shelter. Those animals become dependent on you showing up for work, so that they can eat, get walked, and be loved till they are adopted. Being in this type of role can be the reason you keep pushing through whatever problems you are facing.

Support

Once you find where you belong, your purpose, or both, you will realize you have support. Whatever group you fit into, you find that they become your support. When you go through difficult times in life, it is good to have someone that you can talk to. 

Having a community is most important for women, elderly, patients, and workers. Whether your community is big or small, it’s important to acknowledge that you found your place. 

Having those important characteristics of a community can create a healthier mindset. By this, I mean you will have an improved self-worth, positive reactions, and even see a difference in your self-care. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and participating in relaxation exercises will be signs that your community is helping your way of life.

What else can I do?

Decreasing time on social media can increase the size of your community and finding other ways to better your mental health. It will be hard at first because we are social beings, but it will be worth it. When limiting social media, it increases our self-awareness, productivity, self-esteem, and just our quality of life. 

Limiting usage of social media will cause you to feel positive emotions, such as relaxation. Most of the posts you see on social media are the ones that are the “best part” of peoples lives. 

However, they are not always real or even recent. These photos and videos we see are edited to seem perfect. Limiting how often we see these posts gives us more time to do other things to better ourselves like workout. By not having social media, you will realize you can focus better on tasks because you won’t be wanting to constantly check your phone to see what others post. 

Also, by not seeing these so-called perfect images, we learn that our lives are good how they are. Maybe your favorite hobby is knitting, which isn’t a popular hobby in society, but by not having social media, you will enjoy more of what makes you happy than wondering why society may not like your hobby.

Society creates an emotional toll on people to feel as if we must conform to a specific ideology. Sometimes life gets in the way and makes us feel small and isolated. Dealing with personal problems, like anxiety and depression, do not make living easier.

However, by having a community, one can be able to push past the hard parts to better days. We may not all feel able to fit in, and you don’t have to. It is important to note that you are your own person, with your own thoughts and wants. Be you.

Written by: Kaitlyne Piper

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