Benefits of Connecting with Others
The importance of community for mental health should not be overlooked. In fact, research shows that connecting with other people is vital to our mental health because it is a protection against anxiety, depression and loneliness.
Even if we are introverted and we don’t mind being alone for the most part, at some point we do need that connection. Maybe since we’ve been isolated during this pandemic, we’ve seen the truth of this.
We cannot continue being isolated and remain healthy mentally.
We might have connections but they may not be quality, so to speak. We might not be putting much effort out in terms of helping or encouraging or just thinking about what others are going through. In this case we need to strengthen the connections we have.
First think about family members or friends that we just haven’t quite kept in touch with as much as we would like to. Maybe instead of leaving it to chance we could set a schedule to check in with them like once a week or every other week.
I find that when my good friend and I are both feeling down, neither one of us reaches out. If it seems like others haven’t been reaching out to you lately it might be because they are feeling down. Reaching out will make you both feel better.
Sometimes family and friends don’t share our interests or beliefs. We still support each other through our connection as family or whatever brought us together as friends but often we need more than that or should I say “different” support than what we get through family or friends.
Developing New Connections
Is there a hobby that you enjoy? Is there something new you would be interested in learning? Or how about something you are good at that you would like to teach? Helping others is great for mental health, for both the helper and the helped.
It’s not so easy to go take classes anymore but there are plenty of safe, online communities out there.
Join an online community of people who have the same hobby, beliefs or goals as you.
Do E-Connections Really Help?
Absolutely! They just need to be meaningful. It’s not just ‘likes’ and ‘follows’. But it doesn’t’ have to be difficult either.
It’s just a matter of expressing care, concern or appreciation. Many times just having the same interests or beliefs leads to conversations that just make you feel uplifted and can create very strong bonds. We feel good when people understand us. Before you know it you have new friends, new connections, new community that you have built through communicating with people online.
But I’m not Good at Talking to People
You don’t have to be a peppy, outgoing, eternal optimist to reach out to others. It can be as simple as saying, “I thought of you today, how are you?”
This whole idea was born out of strategies for helping people with anxiety, depression and loneliness so remember, the strategies discussed here are FOR those of us who are suffering from mild forms of anxiety and depression.
The Online Community I Belong to and LOVE
I was recently going through a time when I had lost my job and really needed to do something that I could feel good about. It wasn’t about the money for me at the time because my husband still had his job. But, I started thinking about the future, about retirement and making something that I could be proud of.
While browsing around the internet I saw an advertisement for selling products on Amazon. I started watching their videos and in the comments section I saw someone talking about this company using black hat and grey hat marketing techniques, they said a different company called Wealthy Affiliate uses only white hat marketing and that was one of the reasons they had chosen it. I had no idea what any of that meant at the time but I have since learned more about it.
White hat SEO (search engine optimization) improves the place where your website appears in a search engine like Google while staying within the rules of those search engines and it focuses on a human audience. Black hat SEO is exactly the opposite it focuses primarily on getting ranked in search engines (not a human audience) while using techniques that are against the rules of the search engines. Grey hat is somewhere in between.
I had actually joined an online community almost a year prior to this but I hadn’t really done anything with it. When I saw the mention of this company that uses white hat SEO I recognized it.
Maybe you have heard of it too.
It’s a place where you can get trained to create a website. The training walks you through step by step on choosing the name of your website and what you want to accomplish with it. The emphasis is always on creating something you love, something that helps people and that is high quality.
The community of over 800,000 people from all over the world is so friendly and helpful, they call themselves a Pay it Forward community. They celebrate every small success as it happens, they willingly share their expertise. They write small updates on their progress and their lives. In this setting anyone who is willing to work hard and learn from others can succeed at starting their own business, owning their own property… a website or multiple websites. Having something to be proud of, something that helps others and that can bring in an income as good as any job. Something that can be passed on to their children as any other business could.
I know it may sound too good to be true. If I hadn’t seen it for myself I might think so too.
Comments from my Fellow Community Members
Below are some original, unedited comments from some of the members at Wealthy Affiliate.
Praising our wonderful SiteSupport Technical Support… which is the BEST!
The Money Trend Continued – Member excited by their earnings
Celebrating an Accomplishment – Sums it up so nicely!
You can join for free, no credit card is required. You can see for yourself if you like the training.
Using your free 7 day starter membership you will have access to 10 lessons of training, be able to ask questions in the community and communicate with the members, you will get 1 free website and be able to manage it for up to 6 months.
After 7 days you will lose the ability to ask questions and communicate within the platform. However, you can stay with your free membership for as long as you want, you will still have access to the 10 lessons and still be able to see everything that is going on within the community. If you decide you want to stay and continue training and progressing you can upgrade to Premium membership. Only at that time do you give your credit card.
I urge you to check it out for yourself, there is so much included … I can’t post it all here, but the most important part is the community, a sense of accomplishment and purpose and a great education!
From the link below, Click “Community” on the top menu to learn more.
Mental health professionals are helping people with online sessions when having meetings isn’t possible. These sessions are just as successful as face to face meetings. If you or someone you know is having a crisis please use the following resources.
Online-Therapy.com – Right now, free therapy due to the coronavirus pandemic. After that get 20% off your first month.
This article is for information purposes only, it’s not intended to diagnose or treat anxiety and depression.
Please comment or ask questions below…. I love to hear from my readers!
I will reply to each of you.
Thank you for reading,