Stress Awareness Month – How Being Part of a Community Can Help You Take Action Against Stress

Welcome to the  Take Action series of blogs for April, where we've followed the theme for Stress Awareness Month 2023. In this next piece, we will look at the importance of community in fighting stress and building resilience.

Stress and anxiety are becoming increasingly common in the modern world, making it harder and harder to cope with the daily pressures of life. And that's why being part of a supportive community is so important.

It has been scientifically proven that people who have shared experiences and give each other emotional and moral support can better cope with stressful situations. Being part of a supportive community allows you to tap into collective resilience and benefit from the strength and support of those around you. From fighting loneliness to developing coping mechanisms for dealing with difficulties or painful emotions, communities provide you with an invaluable opportunity to find emotional support when things get challenging.

How to find and join the best community for you

Identify your needs

When looking for and joining a community, you should identify the following needs:

  • What type of support do you need? Are you looking for emotional support, practical advice, or physical help?
  • What kind of social activities do you enjoy? Do you like going to sports events, or do you prefer casual conversations?
  • What type of people do you want to connect with? Do you prefer people of similar age, interests, or backgrounds?
  • Is there a specific purpose or cause you'd like to participate in?
  • Are there any clubs or activities that you'd like to join?
  • Are there any therapeutic services that may help manage stress and anxiety?

Learn about different types of communities

The term "community" is broad and can refer to any group that shares common interests and experiences. Many types of communities exist, including physical, virtual, cultural, and recreational.

Understanding the different kinds of communities can help you find the right fit for you.

Research the types of activities available

Community activities are a great way to reduce stress and make new friends, and various types of activities can be found. Here are a few ways to find out what's available near you.

  • Research local clubs and organisations. Look online, in your local newspapers, or local directories. Consider joining groups related to your interests or hobbies or one that will introduce you to something new.
  • Attend local events. This could include concerts, gallery openings, book readings, theatre performances, or sporting events to meet new people who share your interests.
  • Volunteer in the community. Look for volunteer opportunities in your area, such as helping at community centres or local events. Volunteering can help you meet new people with similar values, as well as give you a sense of purpose and contribute to your overall mental health.

Try different communities before you commit to them

Once you have found communities that interest you, reach out to the organisers and ask if you can attend one of their events or meetings as a guest. This will allow you to see what the community is like and decide if it is the right fit for you. Ask if any of your friends or family are part of the community. See if they can give you an inside look at what it's like to participate, and if they're comfortable, ask if you can tag along to an event or meeting.

After the event, think about your experience with the community and decide if it's the right fit for you. Did you feel welcomed and accepted? Did you have a connection with the people and activities? Did you feel like you could make a difference? If the answer is yes, you may have found your perfect community.

There may even be communities available at your workplace. And if you're responsible for a team, don't forget about our brand new Stress Awareness Masterclass, specifically designed to help you and your team better understand the effects of stress and how to manage it. Contact the MHIB team today for more information.


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