Humans are social creatures. Although we may not all like huge gatherings of people, we are all predisposed to form social bonds. Some people need a large network of friends and relatives, while others require less.
Social relationships are crucial, regardless of what your community looks like. And 10 essential reasons on why we need to study the community
Many communities are formed around a common interest, such as a television program, a sport, or another pastime. Communities may also be formed around shared identities, such as being LGBT, a parent, or an adoptive. What is the significance of this?
It is reassuring to have a common passion or identity with a group of individuals. People might create a great feeling of safety and understanding when they meet individuals who are similar to them.
Communities occur in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they are always about people coming together. Loneliness is linked to healthy, supportive communities, according to studies.
Three characteristics of community are listed by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness): a sense of belonging, feeling supported, and having a role to perform. Good mental health requires a sense of belonging, support, and purpose.
Heart disease is the biggest cause of mortality worldwide. It is possible that having a solid community will give safety. Strong social bonds are linked to a healthy heart, according to years of study.
According to a study published by Harvard Medical School Publishing, heart attack survivors who score high on social isolation and stress tests are four times more likely to die within three years than those who had less stress and greater social relationships.
Strong social bonds have been shown to boost brain health in studies. In a 2000 research titled “Influence of social network on the incidence of dementia: a community-based longitudinal study,” 1,203 adults in Sweden were analyzed. They were well-informed and were tracked for an average of three years.
Dementia was subsequently diagnosed in 176 of the individuals. When researchers looked into it further, they discovered that having “a weak or restricted social network” increased a person’s chance of dementia by 60%. Loneliness has been linked to dementia in other research. Those who have strong social networks, on the other hand, are less likely to be diagnosed.
Older people who have strong community links are more likely to live longer than those who do not. Authors discovered a correlation between good friendships and longer lifespans in a meta-analysis including over 300,000 people.
In this meta-analysis, the average research lasted seven years. During the research period, those with stronger social networks were 45 percent less likely to die.
One of the main reasons why health, longevity, and social relationships are connected is because of behavior. “Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy” highlights studies that shows how social relationships impact health behaviors including exercise, nutrition, smoking, and drinking.
You’re more likely to engage in healthy, life-extending habits if you live in a community that values exercise, good eating, and other positive activities.
Happiness is a difficult topic to quantify since it is both complicated and elusive. One person’s definition of happiness may be very different from another’s. Social connection, however, seems to be important, according to study.
In one survey, 1,200 Germans were asked to rate their life happiness on a scale of 0 to 10. They then brainstormed ways to preserve or improve their happiness. Some individuals expressed a desire to strengthen social ties, such as spending more time with friends or family.
Others had more personal objectives, such as improving their career prospects. Researchers discovered that individuals who wrote about increasing their social ties were happier with their life a year later than those who picked more solitary aims.
Better physical and mental benefits aren’t the only advantages of belonging to a community. There may also be financial considerations. Assume someone starts a bakery. The proprietor is well-known and well-liked in their community, which attracts a large number of clients to their store.
Even those who do not normally purchase baked products place orders for themselves or other pals. Why? People want to help the bakery owner since they are a community member. In times of financial distress, close-knit communities are also more willing to aid one other.
We’ve spoken a lot about the advantages of community, but it’s also vital to remember that there are drawbacks. Researchers discovered that “strained and contentious social connections” had harmful consequences in “Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy.”
When it comes to consuming alcohol, for example, young people are affected by their friends. People are more prone to follow their peers if a community has harmful drinking practices, which may have a detrimental health effect. Being a part of a community may be a double-edged sword.
Beyond the advantages to people, communities play an important role. It’s difficult for anything to change without community-led social movements. The powerful go about their business as normal.
In areas like the United States, community-led grassroots mobilization has resulted in improvements such as women’s voting rights, gay marriage, and other issues. There is power in numbers. Wherever change is wanted, communities, not individuals, will be the ones who bring it about.
It enables us to help one another, engage, and share our experiences and challenges in contemporary life. This open connection with others is what fosters meaningful connections and offers us a stronger feeling of belonging. Communities are also resource-rich.
Students discover that they can improve their leadership, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities. Community service also makes many students more aware of and engaged in social justice concerns.
Statement of Community Values
Pursuit of excellence in one’s job with zeal.
Respect for other people’s rights, diversity, and dignity.
In interacting with all members of the community, honesty and integrity are essential.
Personal responsibility for one’s actions.
The most basic or essential feature or aspect of a community is a collection of individuals.
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