Loren Lahav

5 Powerful Benefits of Community

Do you ever feel like you’re living in your own personal bubble?

You go to work at the same time every day, you chit chat with the same parents when you pick your kids up from school and you zone out watching the same TV shows night after night.

It’s easy to get swept up in our own little worlds sometimes. We feel like we’re too busy to seek out new experiences or we’ve just gotten too comfortable with our routine.

But when we stay in our own lane too much, we miss out on all the amazing benefits that come from being a part of a community, such as…

1. Help.

Today, we sometimes believe that we need to do it all ourselves. We take pride in how much work we can get done while still having dinner on the table for our kids.

But there’s no need to run yourself ragged doing everything alone when there are people out there to help you.

It used to be normal to get help from our communities. We lived in close-knit tribes, and we had no choice but to rely on each other for help with gathering food and raising our children.

But now, most of us live in separate houses or apartments and we don’t know the names of our neighbors. Whether we realize it or not, that social isolation starts to take its toll on our well-being—and it makes it even harder for us to seek out help when we need it.  

Strengthen the community around you by reaching out to your neighbors. If you see your neighbor struggling to carry in their groceries, offer to help. Shop at local farmers markets and attend community events. Volunteer at community organizations. Join or start a local cleanup event.

The more you reach out and help your community, the stronger a connection you’ll feel to those around you—and the more people you will have to call when you are the one who needs help.

2. Encouragement.

We all have our Everest to climb, and it’s easy to feel like we’re the only one dealing with our specific challenge.

But if you have a community of people to talk to, you’ll quickly realize you’re not alone. Many people have been through similar things, and just by talking with them, you’ll feel your own burden lift. They may have some valuable advice for you—or they just may help put things in perspective so your struggles feel more doable. Or if all you need is a laugh, they can provide that too!

If you are going through a particularly intense time, you may want to join or start a group for people in the same situation as you, such as a new moms group, a budding entrepreneurs group, a “new in town” group, a grief support group, etc. It may turn out that all you need is commiserate with people who are in the same boat as you—and possibly make new lifelong friends in the process.

3. Improved health.

Spending time with people is great for your mental and emotional health, but it’s also great for your physical health.

A recent study by Cigna found that social media has made us lonelier than ever, and that lack of companionship, lack of meaningful relationships and feelings of isolation have impacted our physical health.

“Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity,” said Douglas Nemecek, MD, Cigna’s chief medical officer for behavioral health.

Crazy, huh? We need person to person contact more than we even realize!

And don’t underestimate the power of hugs. A 60-second hug has been shown to release oxytocin and dopamine, the attachment and pleasure hormones. If you don’t have 60 seconds, that’s okay—even hugs just a few seconds long have been shown to have similar benefits.

So make sure you give your partner and children good, long hugs every day. And make time for dates with your partner and girlfriends. Your health depends on it!

4. Inspiration.

We are who we surround ourselves with. So if you spend time with high-performing, positive people, you will be more likely to live your own life in the same positive manner and achieve your goals.

If you’re feeling a little low on the inspiration and motivation scale, grab lunch or coffee with one of your high achieving pals. There’s nothing like hearing about all the amazing things they’re working on to help you get your own butt into gear!

If you feel like you don’t have positive, go-getting friends in your group, join a professional group or a mastermind. You’ll meet amazing people who will help you raise your own bar!

5. Fun!

What’s more fun than getting together with a bunch of girlfriends who really get you, who make you laugh no matter what and who love to hear all your stories? Yes, there are a ton of benefits to having a community, but at the end of the day, it’s just a lot of fun.

So make sure you go to that monthly dinner date with your girlfriends or show up for your kickball league. I know you’re busy, but everyone has at least a couple spare hours a month. Get it on the calendar, get a babysitter and go have fun. You won’t regret it!

So, what will you do to build or strengthen your community? What tips do you have to share?

This weekend, I’m getting together with 20 women for my “Badass and Beautiful” event, where we will refocus and work on getting our lives to the next level, all while connecting, laughing and bonding in person. I love these events, because there’s really nothing like getting a bunch of amazing women together who want to improve their lives and help each other.

If you’re interested in coming to my next event where you can connect with other amazing women, visit my events page to learn more and get it on your calendar! I’m so excited to spend time with you!

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” – Helen Keller