Human connection and community are tools that are often underutilized and not talked about enough. Connecting with other people, both strangers and close friends, can have a positive impact on our physical and mental health that we never anticipated! Being able to connect with others allows us to feel understood, heard, and seen. We are a social species that are naturally wired to connect with each other.
What is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?
The Hierarchy of Needs, an idea proposed by psychologist Abraham Maslow, is a model for understanding the motivations for human behavior.
Aside from physiological needs such as food and water and safety needs such as housing and health, a sense of connection and friendship are the next needs we must fill. Once we are able to feel love and a sense of belonging, our overall well-being improves.
Human connection decreases the risk of chronic disease and stress levels. It can also increase emotional support that can help our mental health.
What is Community?
The word community is defined as, “a group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society”, but can mean so much more!
Similar to human connection, community is a key element of the human experience that can help us lead rich and fulfilling lives. A community can be any group of people: big or small, in-person or virtual, strangers or best friends. Having a group of like-minded people in a space where connection naturally occurs can give us a sense of belonging. These spaces can also offer support, and provide us with a greater purpose.
For some, a community can quickly form through sports, work, friends, identities, and hobbies. For others, finding a community might not come easily and there might be a bit of work that is needed to find a group of like-minded people.
How to Find a Community That’s Right for You!
1. Identify Your Hobbies and Interests
Exploring what your hobbies and interests are can allow you to find groups of people who are also interested in your pastimes! You can do this by attending events in your community, talking to others while participating in your hobby, or reaching out to others online.
2. Reach out to Your Current Friends, Acquaintances, and Family
You never know how you might connect with someone. Ask for help or try new things. Even if your hobbies aren’t exactly the same, you might have shared interests with your current friends that you never knew about! Reach out and spend time with them. You never know what could come from it!
3. Get into New Groups
The best way to meet new people is to attend different events and activities. Sports groups, places of worship, fitness classes, concerts, book clubs, volunteer opportunities, and support groups are all potential places to connect. Explore new interests with others and find a group you resonate with most!
4. Say “Yes” More!
While saying “Yes” to unknown experiences may feel out of your comfort zone, trying new things can open up a world of possibilities. Instead of saying “No” and focusing on the things that you aren’t doing, take a risk instead and try something new. You never know what might happen!
We Can Help
At A Brighter Day, we are continuously working on creating a welcoming, inclusive community where anyone and everyone can come for support and guidance. Additionally, we offer both short-term and long-term treatment available to you at no charge. Text “BRIGHTER” to 741-741 for free, 24/7, crisis support from trained counselors. If you are looking for consistent support, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected to three months of complimentary therapy through BetterHelp.