There is nothing like the feeling of laughing with friends at dinner, cheering on your favorite sports team, or joining a community project to help others. Community and social connection have changed throughout the pandemic but still remains one of our core needs. Many people are experiencing the impact of being disconnected from family, friends, or the community and are looking for ways to re-engage with others.
Here are some benefits you may experience from engaging in the community around you:
1. Happiness When we make social connections, our body releases the hormone oxytocin which has become known as the bonding and happy hormone. This helps us bond with loved ones and seek out new connections in our community because it simply feels good. So, if you are looking to increase your happiness try meeting up with a friend, going on a date night with your significant other, or joining a group in your community.
The more we are involved in our community the more opportunities we have to meet new friends and deepen the friendships we already have. Good friendships can help reduce stress, offer emotional support, reduce loneliness, and be a lot of fun. Friends can be there to celebrate our successes and rally around us with support when life is difficult. The emotional support friends offer can even help us to bounce back and be more resilient through difficult life circumstances such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, or family problems.
3. Greater success
Teamwork really can make the dream work. We can accomplish more as a team or community than we can as individuals. The community of people around us can offer new creative ideas from their varying backgrounds, careers, and experiences that we may not have thought of on our own. The more we lean into community organizations and the friends around us the more we can accomplish.
There are many benefits to connecting with those around us. We can feel happier, have more friends, and accomplish more than we would by ourselves. We are better together than we are apart.
By Jennifer Wilmoth, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist