Exploring the Benefits of Belonging to a Community
What is a community? As Cambridge Dictionary explains, there are a couple of ways that communities can form. It can be a function of geography. A community can be formed when people live together in a location like a neighborhood or a senior living community. In addition, shared interests can also draw people into a community. This can occur on a local level as people join clubs or take classes in their cities or globally as people interact via social media and online communities. Whether it’s in person or digitally, the benefits of belonging to a community are easy to appreciate.
Supplying Social Engagement
Being in a community provides the opportunities to socialize with other people. That’s valuable because socialization has significant benefits for both the mind and body. According to Mayo Clinic, socializing helps strengthen cognitive skills and boost memory, increases your sense of well-being, and may aid you in living longer.
Being part of a community that knows you and cares about what is happening in your life naturally creates a certain level of accountability. You can use this accountability as a gentle, positive force to help you keep moving forward toward the goals that you have set for yourself.
When you’re facing a new challenge alone, you start with a blank slate. You might get lucky. Or, you might stumble through a lot of trial and error before you get things right. As a member of a community, you can reach out to others who might have been in similar situations. In many cases, you’ll find that they’re willing to share the knowledge that they’ve gained through their own experiences. Even learning about someone else’s missteps can save you a lot of time and trouble, so shared knowledge is a valuable asset.
Being part of something bigger than just yourself provides a sense of belonging and purpose. The give and take that comes with being part of a group also fosters a feeling of acceptance and support that can help fend off loneliness and ensure that you feel more connected to those around you.
Adding Learning Opportunities
Interacting with a group delivers chances to learn. Gathering a group of people with a diverse range of experiences, backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, and views, means that there’s always the chance to learn something new. A diverse community is vibrant and active. While you don’t have to agree on everything, treating differences in belief and experience with respect and acceptance allows everyone to share insights and live peacefully.
Delivering a Safety Net
When you’re part of a community, people expect to see and hear from you. If your routine changes, others will often reach out to check on you. As a result, being part of a community creates a security net. Of course, some communities create more effective safety nets than others, so you’ll want to consider your needs as you weigh the type of community that’s best for you.