10 Ways Community Helps You Stay Healthier

Step outside your comfort zone and away from Netflix and your social media accounts. Going into your community and being outside among fellow residents has countless benefits. Here’s how it correlates with health and wellness in all aspects of life.

1. Promoting Educational And Physical Wellness In Children

Becoming a part of your community ensures more promising futures for its children. If you have a young one in school or care about public education, joining committees or volunteering at events allows you to have insight into your child’s development. Is the menu lacking in diversity? Is the playground absent enough engaging equipment? Let someone in charge know.

2. Becoming Part Of Decision-Making

Think even bigger by influencing local policy. Voting, attending city council meetings or going to advocacy events all count, giving you a greater sense of agency. Seeing results and making a difference improves confidence, self-esteem and mental health. Consider how your contribution could add safer bike lanes, kickstart a community garden or incorporate recycling bins at parks.

3. Engaging In Connection And Belonging

COVID-19 isolated everyone, but overcoming the desire to stay cozy at home is vital. Reignite the longing to be a part of a community and meet like-minded individuals with similar interests and dreams. Making friends as an adult is notoriously challenging, but joining a book club or regional trash cleanup group are only a few of the numerous options for networking.

Talk to people whenever you donate to a food pantry or attend a library meetup. Get a sense of what they care about as you make new friends. It deepens your connection to home and encourages social support for others.

4. Prioritizing Physical Health And Positive Habits

The most significant draw to community involvement is long- and short-term health benefits, including the following:

  • Increased physical activity
  • Reduced risk of chronic diseases
  • Lowered health care costs
  • Higher likelihood to participate in exercise
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better heart health
  • Decreased severity of mental health concerns
  • Minimized risk of stroke or heart attack

The physical health benefits of being a part of your community reinforce positive habits. You may take more regular walks or increase soft skills like accountability and communication.

5. Regulating Emotions

Emotional regulation is tough when the media constantly bombards people with charged information. What better way to improve wellness than by reducing stress and anxiety? Whether you’re involved in the community for leisure or social good, the setting provides circumstances to practice mindfulness and get a grip on your feelings in public. You’ll have distractions, reducing exposure to polarizing stimuli like the news or Facebook arguments.

6. Getting A Better Night’s Sleep

Being out and about exhausts you in the best way possible. The increased propensity to engage in physical activity is one reason. An empowering meeting with a running club or a long day out cleaning the neighborhood riverbanks will give you better sleep. You’ll also have less exposure to sleep-disrupting activities, like staring at screens with melatonin-blocking blue light.

7. Achieving Collaborative Goals

Do you remember the last time it felt good to overcome an obstacle as a team and achieve stunning results? Being in a community means accomplishing goals to better the greater good. Connecting over shared objectives forges bonds, aligns residents and forces communities to prioritize actions more thoughtfully.

For example, you wouldn’t know the town has a shared concern over a lack of green space without making an effort. The group may talk to the city to start urban greenery projects.

8. Developing A Greater Sense of Purpose

People with a more invigorated sense of purpose are healthier overall. Their quality of life is higher, providing more outstanding balance in career, relationships and passions. Whether you volunteer or create a safe space for others by restoring worship spaces, you’ll derive so much satisfaction that you’ll divert attention from influences that don’t deserve your time.

9. Fostering Ongoing Learning

Participation in community efforts promotes a healthy mind. You are more likely to learn and try new things when involved. For example, you may learn Spanish by helping with a language after-school program or learn about local fish by participating in a conservation project.

10. Normalizing Giving Back

Volunteering and contributing to communities must become more normalized. Cities and streets are falling into neglect, accumulating debris or needing repairs. Communities become stagnant without a human touch, so it’s time to give back to the area that fostered your life up to this point.

Community Makes All Life Buckets Healthier

Being involved in a community benefits more than physical health. It nourishes the mind, body and spirit by creating connections, stimulating hobbies and instigating social change. Your choices today for your region may influence healthier generations for years to come.

Author Bio

Jane is an environmental writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she covers sustainability and eco-friendly living.

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