This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Feel Positive in Tough Times

Power Skill 4

a strong catalyst for a meaningful life

Build Community

Increasing resilience means building an active support community. You don’t need to have many people in your support group, but it’s essential to reach out and make new connections when needed. 

A community is an active catalyst for a meaningful life. Having others to share our highs and lows with gives a stronger sense of purpose and acceptance. 

When we’re going through difficult times, it’s of the utmost importance to hold on to a community. 

Other people can serve as guideposts, cheerleaders, and supporters when we let them in. Building a community is a vulnerable thing to do because you have to reveal parts of yourself that show you might not be perfect.

It might feel scary at first, and then it will feel freeing and relieving.

 

Try these techniques to build your community:

 1. Analyze your community. Look at the people around you and examine your relationships with them. Do they need to be closer? Do you need to meet more people? Are there ways you can open up?

2. Strengthen connections. Bonding with friends is essential, and you can do so by inviting your friends to participate in activities you’re interested in. Doing things you enjoy with the people you care about is a great way to build a stronger connection.

3. Allow time for conversation. Actively listen to your friends by responding to what they have to say and staying off of your phone. By getting to know your friends better, you’ll allow them to get to know you better.

4. Join a group. You can find local groups of people who are interested in the things you love. Engaging with them frequently will give you a group of people that you can confide in and rely on.

5. Express gratitude for the people in your life. Even if you only have a few, you can build your relationships by letting them know how much they mean to you. It can be challenging to find good friends, and expressing gratitude is a great way to allow even more friendship.

6. Be authentic. Authenticity breeds joy and stronger relationships with those around you. Check-in with yourself and ensure you’re allowing yourself to be seen.

 

Communicate

Communication is a skill that is indispensable for getting around daily life. Working on communication skills will enhance the connections you have with others and build new bridges. 

The first thing to think about when it comes to communication is listening. Talking is important, but nothing will get done if someone isn’t a good listener. Actively listen to those you’re engaging with. You can do this by making eye contact with them, facing them, and really listening to what they’re saying.

If your mind is wandering, that means you’re drifting from the present moment. Bring your attention back to your conversation. 

Be aware of your body language when you’re with others. Much of what we say is said with our body language. Relieve any unnecessary tension in your body, relax your arms and shoulders, and ensure your arms aren’t crossed.

Closed-off body language sets a negative tone. Open and positive body language is better for conversations. 

Show confidence when speaking to others. If this is something you struggle with, that’s okay. The practice is the only way to get better, and you’ll become more comfortable. You can increase confidence by standing tall and being aware of what you say. Speak thoughtfully and listen carefully.

Having confident body language will help you become more confident mentally. 

Beauty luxury spa room two women relax chatting on sun-beds

Remain Accountable

When you have a community, you have a group of people who can support you through rough times. When you’re struggling, they will help you to help yourself up. When you’re celebrating, they will celebrate with you. 

These kinds of connections add a stronger sense of purpose and meaning in life. If you’re hoping to implement some changes in your daily routine, you can call on people in your community to hold you accountable. You can do this by letting your friends know what your goals are and when you would like to complete them. 

For example, if you’re hoping to go to a yoga class by Wednesday, let some of your friends know your goal. Once Wednesday rolls around, they can ask you how your yoga class was. If you’re nervous about attending a yoga class, you can request that a friend join you to ease your fears.

Having an active community builds resilience by ensuring that you have people who have your back. 

If you’re going through a difficult time, you can rely on your support community to provide encouragement and guidance. If you’re stuck in a rut and are not sure what to do next, you can consult your community. Your friends and family members can offer new perspectives and give you ideas for solutions you had not thought of. 

You never have to worry about being a burden on your support system. Consulting with other community members will shine a light in times of darkness, and you can do the same for them when they’re struggling.

The purpose of a community is to have a place where you feel accepted. By feeling accepted, you’ll find a stronger feeling of hope. Others can help bring you back to reality when you have tunnel vision during a problematic situation.