Personal support systems and a sense of belonging are vital tools for strengthening your
There are certain things you can practice to train yourself to think well. It’s like flexing a
muscle – when exercised, each of these simple tools and techniques can strengthen your
ability to take control of and enhance your mental wellbeing.
One of these tools is ‘connectivity’, which is about having meaningful relationships, creating
and nurturing a support structure around you, and feeling a sense of belonging. Through
actively seeking deeper connections and choosing a wide social network, we are more able
to bounce forward and find ways to be content in our everyday lives.
Brené Brown, a research professor in social work and human connection, states in her book
Gifts of Imperfection that people are “biologically, cognitively, physically and spiritually
wired to love, to be loved, and to belong.” When we aren’t connected to other people, we can feel isolated and undervalued, yet when we feel connected, our mental wellbeing is
strengthened, reinforced and nourished.
There are billions of people on the planet, and even though we might interact with several
people in our day, we can all still feel lonely and isolated from time to time. It’s when you
actively engage with people, by putting down your phone, turning away from the screen and
looking them in the eye, that you truly nurture and develop the relationship. Having
meaningful connections is about being present.
Connectivity is a two-way street, so it’s vital that you're both giving and receiving. If you feel
that a relationship with someone isn’t having a positive influence on your life, then make the
conscious decision to distance yourself. It is ok to say no and to put yourself first.
Making a deliberate choice to only allow positive and encouraging people into your inner
sanctum will help to raise your confidence, and improve your motivation and your resilience.
Being around supportive people empowers you to bring about positive change for yourself
Once you’ve put energy into cultivating meaningful relationships, these people become a
support system that you can lean on when you’re facing life’s complexities.
Drawing on and fostering your support network is vital, as it can bring you strength, wisdom
and energy when you are feeling depleted. Positive people will cheer you on, hold you
accountable in achieving your goals, and help you become the best version of yourself.
Having several strong connections across the many different areas of your life is also very
important. This helps affirm your self-identity and broadens your perspective, while giving
you a more #holistic sense of where you fit in the world. It can also provide a sanctuary if
something isn’t going well in another facet of your life. A well-functioning support system
reminds you that you're contributing to the universe and that what you're doing is important.
Community and belonging
When it comes to belonging, our requirements will vary. It’s ok to want your own space and
time to reflect, but knowing there are people to reach out to as your needs change can
Creating a greater sense of belonging within a larger #community can also be rewarding.
Volunteering is a great way to increase your feeling of #connectivity, and it is also associated
with increased feelings of happiness, purpose and accomplishment.
Ultimately, we are hardwired to be social and interact with others. We are at our best when
we surround ourselves with people who make us feel good, and in turn, we make them feel
We come alive when we actively and positively engage with others – we laugh, we smile
and we grow. Connectivity is vital to mental wellbeing and flourishing in life.
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