As we continue to connect with ourselves, the next connections to work on are those with others, in order to create our community. We have certain communities we are placed in whether that is our family or based on where we live, and we have other communities we choose, and even build, like those with our friends and through our hobbies and interests. Regardless of how a community is formed, the bonds that are formed are extremely important to our overall health us as social animals.
Research is proving just how important community is for our health. Mark Hyman, MD says, “The power of community is far greater than any physician, clinic, or hospital.” Think about it, how much easier is it to do something hard when you have someone next to you? Do you find it easier to order a salad, or stick to just one drink, when someone else does? Are you more likely to workout when you are meeting someone else at a class? Do you feel happier after spending time with friends or family? And isn’t it easier to work on, change or start new habits and routines when you have support?
If your answer to any of these things was yes, it’s no surprise and it shows the importance of our community and the quality of those connections with others. So try to find a walking or workout buddy, what I like to call an accountabil-a-buddy, start or join a book (or podcast) club, take a class to start or find a hobby, plan a trip or reunion, or just give someone a call. Remember that health isn’t just determined by our physical wellbeing, but also our mental, emotional and social wellbeing.
With Thanksgiving coming this week, spend a moment to find gratitude for the connections you have and the community that supports you, you might just find yourself a bit happier and healthier. And if you have a connections that don’t feel supportive, but rather toxic, draining or founded in negativity and hatred, it might be time to disconnect, more on the importance of disconnecting next Monday. Here’s to healthy connections, strong communities, and taking time for gratitude.