What is the Power of Community?  

The concept of community is multifaceted and intangible. It describes a group of individuals who are connected to each other on a deeper level than mere acquaintance or neighborly familiarity. Groups of people that come together, whether thought of as families, friends, neighbors, or even strangers, have tremendous potential to provide emotional support and tangible assistance when needed. But beyond these more obvious manifestations of a strong sense of community, are the not-so-visible benefits that come from social connections – specifically, the power of community to influence our overall health, happiness, and wellbeing.

The Health Benefits of Community Connections  

It turns out, there are numerous ways in which our sense of community can help us reach and maintain better overall health. When we interact with others, the body releases a rush of endorphins or feel-good neurotransmitters, along with a host of other hormones that can help reduce our stress levels, increase our feelings of comfort, and improve our moods.

  1. Healthy Choices

Surrounding yourself with a community of people who have adopted and encourage healthy lifestyles can also help you make better choices regarding your own dietary habits, physical fitness and more. By having these positive role models around, you can more easily stay accountable to your own goals and health-related commitments.

  1. Improved Mobility

When individuals live in communities and neighborhoods that are designed to encourage physical activity, or when they join or establish groups that engage in various forms of exercise together, it can positively influence mobility and physical activity levels. Communities that offer outdoor recreational options, such as bike paths, parks, swimming pools and the like can stand to benefit the health of the people who live there, especially if these areas are safely and easily accessible.

  1. Mental Health Protection

The power of community can play a critical role in helping individuals to cope with and protect against mental health issues. People who have meaningful relationships with others and are part of supportive communities are more likely to have good mental health. Conversely, those who lack social connections are likelier to struggle with mental illness and depression.

The Happiness Benefits of Community Connections  

When it comes to being happy, feeling a sense of belonging, acceptance and validation goes a long way. Here are some of the ways in which having a strong community around us can improve our happiness:

  1. Comfort & Companionship

Being part of a supportive community can mean always having someone who’s willing to lend an ear to your troubles or just be present to offer comfort and companionship. This can help people to better manage isolation, loneliness and feelings of disconnection from the world.

  1. Increased Confidence

Being part of an inclusive and positive community can also lead to improved self-confidence and self-esteem. When individuals feel accepted and loved by a group of peers, even if it’s only a small circle of friends or family, their underlying sense of worth and innate capability to succeed is more likely to increase.

  1. Less Anxiety

Having strong social connections can also make it easier to face the uncertainties of the world. When there are people in your life that you can lean on for support and have a sense of community with, you may be more likely to be less anxious and more likely to take risks. This can result in greater personal development and success.

The power of community is a force to be reckoned with. It is a cornerstone of our happiness and our health. When we take the time to create, nurture and sustain relationships with people both near and far, amazing things can happen within ourselves, our communities and the wider world.

The takeaway is this: social connections matter in terms of our wellbeing and motivation. So, why not make the effort today to reach out and build meaningful relationships? It may just make all the difference.