August well-being focus: Involvement

August Well-being focus: Sense of belonging and involvement

I’m breaking away from the previous well-being focus format a bit (where I talk about what’s coming up for the month) and instead I’m going to talk more about this month’s focus – plus share some handy tips – within this post.  So buckle up folks…

It’s August and our new focus for the month is involvement.

Perhaps one of the least looked at areas when it comes to thinking about how we can increase our sense of well-being, but of no less importance to us when it comes to feeling happier. 

Why is involvement important to our well-being? 

Involvement builds a community for us and heightens our sense of belonging.  This sense of belonging is a fundamental human need which provides us with acceptance, attention & support. 

This definitely has its benefits! 

It strengthens our motivation, improves our mental & physical health, whilst also helping us grow as a person.  Being involved with others increases empathy, widens our perspective, makes us kinder to ourselves (as well as others) and helps us acknowledge we’re not alone, which can be really comforting realisation.

Isn’t the saying, no man is an island entire of itself?  I truly believe this.  We need personal connections to feel accepted, supported, needed & provide with a sense of purpose.  Without them, how does love enter our lives?

Family, friends, romantic relationships, community groups, places of worshop & charities are just some of the many ways we build these personal connections. 

So take a look at your involvement in different areas of your life right now…

Are you happy with how involved you are, and with the quality & depth of the connections you have?  Are there ways you would like to feel more connected?  Is there something simple you could start by doing in order to increase your sense of belonging? 

One thing I started to do was volunteer.  This is something I will talk about more in an upcoming post this month, but for now, let me just say what a positive experience I find it to be.  It’s very cathartic to be involved in something that is bigger and more important than ourselves – maybe this is something you might like to consider?

If you want to become more involved in any area of your life but don’t know where to start, here are some suggestions to get you going…

– Small Steps –

Starting something new can be scary.   Especially if we’re prone to anxiety.  It’s important to have an end goal – that’s what motivates us – but it may make taking the first steps daunting and we can quickly start to feel overwhelmed.  Take it all one step at a time.  If your goal is to develop new friendships in your new area, maybe start by joining the local Facebook group.  If you want to improve the connection with a family member, start with a text asking them about their day. 

This post may also help: Overcome Feeling Overwhelmed (in 4 simple steps)

– Do something you enjoy –

If it’s something you think you’re going to enjoy, you’re more likely to get and stay involved.  If you like running, join a running group.  If you like drama go along to the local amateur dramatics group.  At the very least you’ll get to do something you like, learn new skills, and who knows, overtime you’ll build good connections and a supportive community around you. 

– Reach out –

Sometimes you just have to reach out.  Ask that person you’d like to make friends with for a coffee.  Ask a colleague you admire whether they would mentor you.  Ask if you can help out at your kids’ school.  What’s the worse that could happen?  They say no? OK, well at least you know, now on to the next. If you don’t ask you don’t get.  Please don’t let the fear of receiving a ‘no’ stop you.  We’ve all been rejected at some point and we’ve probably all rejected somebody at some point too.  We need to try not to place such a personal spin on the ‘no’ and keep pushing forward.  The right connections & the right community is out there for us. 

– Give it time –

My mother-in-law said something really relevant to me the other day – you have to prepare the ground in order for the flowers to grow.  It would be naive of us to expect instant results or deep connections without investing time & effort into whatever we’re getting involved in.  So show some patience, give out what you’d like to receive back, be open-minded and who knows what good things will come of it. 

Here are some additional posts that may help in encouraging you to become more involved this month:

Time to get involved!

Is there something you’ve recently become involved with?  What has your experience been?  Do you feel you’d like to become more involved but don’t know where to start?   

Do you agree that a sense of belonging is a basic human need – or do you think we can survive perfectly well on our own thanking you very much! 

Do you have any tips, techniques or tools (including Apps) that you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear them!

If you’re a blogger and have a post relating to involvement or building a sense of belonging let me know – I’d love to share it with the Living.Pretty.Happy community.

In the meantime, get in touch via the comments box below, I always love to hear from you!


Want to adopt a well-being focused lifestyle and start to increase your life satisfaction?  Subscribe for free to Living.Pretty.Happy and never miss a post! Simply enter your email address in the Stay Happy box below!

 

 

Focus on Well-being.  Involvement & your sense of belonging.  Looking at increasing your sense of well-being.  How becoming more involved can help to make you feel happier.  How to improve your sense of belonging.  Building meaningful connections with loved ones, family, friends, communities and our contribution to society.  #wellbeing #involvement #senseofbelonging #connection
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10 thoughts on “August well-being focus: Involvement

  1. I volunteer currently and I can totally recommend.
    One I have done for a few years and left at one point when I had a morning cleaning job. As I wasn’t liking that one, I have gone back and will continue volunteering there until another morning cleaning job turns up.
    I also have another volunteer placement in my local area that I have not long joined. This one is a dip in and out of one, rather than a weekly thing.

    1. That’s so good to hear about your experience Liz – I think it helps others to know it’s a positive experience. Thanks for sharing x

  2. I can relate with so much in this post but, for me, funnily enough my connections grew when I stopped feeling that I needed acceptance! Does that sound weird? I have always been strong minded, and in my late teens went through something that made me start working on my soul (soul work) One of the greatest gifts I gave myself was self acceptance, and understanding that not everyone will like you, but that is absolutely fine. I am not saying that I don’t need people, I do and I love those I love with a fierceness that scares me. But, I am also more than happy to stand alone. I do like to be part of something, and as I think I have mentioned, I volunteer for an animal charity as well as a youth work charity, and it gives me so much satisfaction. (I love teenagers and would love to actually retrain to work with young offenders)
    Anyway, sorry I am rambling on lol. I do think that acceptance is something humans crave, but I also think self acceptance, not needing outside validation, is the biggest gift we can give ourselves.
    (sorry for my long ramble)

    1. You’re so right Kerry, I’m a big believer in we have to accept ourselves first. I didn’t realise you did so much volunteering – I can see you being really good in the areas you volunteer in.
      Please don’t apologise, there’s no word limit here, just say what you feel no matter how many words it takes – it’s always welcome and appreciated! xx

  3. Found this was soooo helpful – a good way to be with life in general. Some of the most discontented people I know, unfortunately consistently refuse to commit to anything and everything – in my view – confirmed above, a recipe for unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Giving often results in getting a lot back in my experience.

    1. That’s a great way of putting it – giving does often give a lot back (and not necessarily in ways we may expect!) Thank you for reading x

  4. This is so relatable Alex, I would love to be more involved in many situations and I often feel like I’m on the outside looking in, in groups, work groups and friendship groups. I realise now that it is my anxiety and lack of self confidence to get involved, rather than the fact that the people concerned perhaps don’t really like me, which is what I always tell myself. Perhaps I will try small steps and see how I get on xx

    1. I relate to what you’ve said too Fiona. It really isn’t you & a lot of people in those same groups probably feel just as you do. Definitely small steps and patience, it takes time to build meaningful connections. The book ‘Brave New Girl’ by Chloe Botheridge, is a quick read and is great for helping build your confidence whilst deal sensitively with anxiety in these situations. Thanks for reading and sharing! xx

  5. A great post as usual Alex – and some points definitely worth taking on board. I don’t think I necessarily need any more involvement from a community perspective – I’ve definitely got that nailed, but what I am conscious of is the lack of involvement in taking part in everyday activities with the kids. My daughter has recently discovered rock art and I’d really love to set some time aside to do some decoupage with her – and rock art with pens. We’re both really creative and it would be super to build on our bond by spending some special time together – away from our screens!

    1. Yes, you’re so right Lauretta – I can often feel the same with my kids. What a wonderful opportunity you have to build on your special bond, doing something you’ll both enjoy, and yes away from the screens is always a bonus lol – thanks so much for reading and commenting x

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