“It takes a village to raise a child” is a demonstration that we did evolve as a species in a community… being part of a tribe was a necessity to survive. Today’s society structure promotes the opposite, leaving us depressed and anxious. But really, how do friendship and community impact your health? And what is the best approach to maximize their benefits?
The Power of Community
The deterioration of our connections with each other not only impoverishes our personal and communal lives but also has a significant effect on our health and well-being. I have often observed that without feeling a sense of belonging or connectedness, we risk feeling anxious, depressed and alienated. This observation was in fact backed by a study that suggests that friendships between women are special. The research shows that the strongest predictor for creating a fulfilled life is building healthy relationships with others — at home, at work, and in the community.
Friendship Reduces Stress
A landmark study has found that women respond to stress differently than men. It claims that when women are under stress, the hormone oxytocin is released, along with cortisol, and it buffers the fight or flight response and encourages us to protect and nurture children and gather with other women. The study calls it “tend and befriend” pattern which happens not only to humans but also to females of many species. When women actually engage in tending or befriending, even more oxytocin is released, further countering stress and calming them down.
Men produce high levels of testosterone when they’re under stress, and according to research, it reduces the calming effects of oxytocin. They are therefore more likely to deal with stress with aggression (fight) or withdrawal (flight). Women, on the other hand, produce estrogen that enhances the effects of oxytocin and compels them to seek social support.
5 Tips to Take Advantage of the Power of Community in Your Health Journey
Find a community of women who:
- Inspire You to Reach Your Goal
It’s important to relate yourself to women that inspire you to reach your goal, people who will lift your morale. For sure, you’ll find quality women that will provide you will emotional and moral support that will tell you, “You can do it!”.
- Have Similar Values as You
Finding a community of women that have similar values as you is very empowering. You need to ask yourself if your tribe think, feel and is at the same place as you. This is essential because it will give you the backing that you are in the right place to talk. It will also become easier to relate to people since you have a common background.
- Provide You with Sense of Belonging
As we’ve mentioned earlier, we humans evolved as a species in a community. It gives us the idea that we are a part of something bigger than us. We are contributing to something that will be of use to others and in the same way, will benefit us as a member of the community.
- Who Help You Manage Trauma and Emotion
It is such a huge thing for us, ladies. That is why it is essential to look for women who are capable and willing to talk about raw emotion. These are women who are willing to be present to your emotion to help you cope with a way to which you want to cope better with your emotion.
- Who Provide a Sense of Security
Be in a crowd of women where there is a ‘no judgment zone’ where you can tell, say and feel anything and they will accept you, will not judge and will encourage you where you are today.
These are the reasons why I created a private community on Facebook – The Beyond the Food Community where we are currently proposing an actual more structured and organized way of looking at community and sisterhood. I invite you to have a look at our community and check out what the special offer is all about and how it can help you. Do this only if you believe that community and sisterhood can actually help you achieve your goal.
Last week’s episode, Brodie Welch joined us in the show and talked about the one thing that we need to know and likely not doing about the subject of meal timing. I’m sure you’ll be quick to ditch the diet mindset upon hearing her teachings about meal timing. I suggest you check it out! You can listen to the episode here.
Next episode, we’ll have Debra Atkinson in the show to discuss a very insightful topic about menopause myths that keep you from thriving. Take note, this is not just for women that are currently experiencing menopause. Listen up, younger women because this will change the way you are perceiving yourself going into menopause. Stay tuned!
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Links mentioned in this episode:
Study on Why Women Need Friendship:http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/gender/tendfend.html
The Crave Cure: https://www.stephaniedodier.com/cravecure
Safe Skincare-Beauty Counter Collective: https://www.stephaniedodier.com/safeskincare/
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