"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." - Coretta Scott King
Experiencing a sense of belonging is vital for our psychological well-being. Being a part of a healthy community can help us feel connected to others, as well as feel we’re part of something larger than ourselves.
This is especially important for people who’ve experienced trauma or loss, or who are feeling isolated, marginalized, bullied, or alone. For those, and for all of us, a community can provide that necessary sense of belonging.
"In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” – Marianne Williamson
A community provides belonging, support, and identity.
Being a part of a healthy community can also provide us with support. When we’re going through a difficult time, it can be enormously helpful to have people who we can turn to. Community members can offer us emotional support, practical help, and advice. They can also help us to feel we aren’t alone in our struggles.
A community can also help us to develop a sense of identity. When we’re part of a community, we learn about shared values and beliefs. We also learn about our history and culture. This can help us feel we have a place in the world, and that we are part of something important.
"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men." – Herman Melville
Community reduces stress and isolation
Finally, a community can also help to reduce stress and isolation. When we’re part of a community, we have people to talk to and connect with. This can help us to feel less alone—and therefore less stressed—as well as help us feel we’re part of something larger than ourselves. Research shows that people who are part of strong communities tend to have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and a lower risk of obesity. They are also more likely to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.
Thus, community helps reduce stress and isolation and, ultimately, benefits our physical health in addition to our mental health.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa
There are a number of ways to connect
There are a number of ways to connect to a community. Joining a club or organization (such as Sanara) with people who share your identity or values can be a ready-made way to connect. Joining a church or spiritual community can be a way to connect with people who share your values and beliefs. Support groups—led by mental health professionals, lay-led, or meetings such as 12-step programs—can provide support, reduce stress, and promote mental health.
Another avenue for community connection is through volunteering your time or attending community events. Even getting to know your neighbors and building relationships with them can provide a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation.
Finding community can feel a little daunting, but it’s well worth the effort, providing relief from the pain that lack of connection, support, and experiences of isolation can bring.
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” - Helen Keller
When you lead with the heart - the heart leads the way. Every decision that has been made for Sanara was made from a place of love and from the heart. The most beautiful thing about Sanara is the community that has been built. Every teacher and every member is a beautiful part of the magical weave that makes this space special. I am so grateful for all of the teachers that pour their heart and soul into Sanara and our space daily. And we as a Sanara family are so grateful for each and every one of you that make our community what it is. We have so much love for you and I hope and pray you can feel that every time you walk through our doors.