Community is Good for Your Health
Social connections play a vital role in our health. From our immune system to our cardiovascular system, our core relationships influence us on a cellular level.
Studies have shown that the more social relationships someone has, the greater their ability to fight the common cold and recover from a heart attack, and the less likely they are to die prematurely.
In fact, social relationships have proven to be so important that Dr. Vivek Murthy, former Surgeon General of the United States, hypothesized: “Loneliness and weak social connections are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”
In order to gain these health benefits, you have to move beyond casual or superficial relationships, which often don’t provide much in terms of emotional support. Having a few close friends to listen to you, validate your feelings, and help distract you when you feel sad or upset is enough to support your body and mind on a biological level.
A sense of belonging is the best medicine. Humans are social creatures, and we have a fundamental desire to belong. To reflect this need, we naturally form relationships to help us build a better idea of who we are and where we fit into society. We thrive when we find where we belong.
Belonging begins with self-acceptance. No one else can fill us up - truly connecting with others starts with accepting ourselves without conditions.
Firefly is a community of people who believe in living life wholeheartedly. The reason I included “Community” in the company name is that wellness doesn’t happen in a bubble; our environment and those around us have a large impact. The Social-Ecological Model shows us that our family and friends, workplace, community and public policy influence Individual behavior.
I make a concentrated effort to cultivate community and support. Consider joining Firefly's private Facebook group to interact with others who care about health and wellbeing. If you're local to Colorado, join one of our community events this summer. Follow us on social media this month for tips on maintaining healthy relationships.