What contributes to your overall well-being? Gallup scientists sought to answer this question, asking people in more than 150 countries about health, wealth, relationships, jobs and community. They discovered five universal elements of well-being that separate the merely surviving from the thriving:
- Career well-being: liking what you do every day
- Social well-being: having strong relationships and love in your life
- Financial well-being: being comfortable with your income and assets
- Physical well-being: having good health and the energy to do what you want to do
- Community well-being: having a sense of engagement in the area where you live
Most people surveyed felt they were doing well in at least one of these areas, but very few felt they scored high in all five. Those who hit all five are getting the most out of their lives. Those who don’t can focus on the areas where they are lacking, to ensure they are happier, healthier and well in everything they do.
What is community?
Merriam-Webster puts it simply: “Community is a group of people who live in the same area, such as a city, town or neighborhood.” Its second definition characterizes a community as a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc. Go ahead and have a quick laugh; when was the last time you were with a group of people who all shared your opinions and interests?
Yet community exists where people feel safe and connected. In the best sense, it’s like the old “Cheers” TV show: a place where everybody knows your name. Even if your life is a little more anonymous, there are many outlets to plug into and become engaged in your community.
Finding those outlets
Plugging in can be intimidating. Suddenly you feel like a 17-year-old walking into the school dance without a date. Finding your community can give you a sense of belonging and contribute to your overall well-being, but you may need to search for it first.
Many people find community with people who share their faith. Faith communities are often safe spaces for people to talk about their health concerns. Hancock Health’s Congregational Health Network helps connect congregations with healthcare providers to improve education and create better healthcare outcomes for community members. Conversely, people struggling with health challenges often benefit when the Congregational Health Network connects them to a faith community.
Community education groups allow people to grow together toward a common goal, whether it’s to quit smoking or learn to care for a newborn. Stressful situations are so much worse when you’re alone. Finding people in similar circumstances gives you an immediate connection and reassurance.
Hancock Health’s Healthy365 focuses on the wellness of individuals who live, work, learn, play and pray in Hancock County. They offer many healthy initiatives and links to local resources. If you don’t know where to start, reach out to a Support Navigator who will help find your community home.
Community involvement can mean the difference between feeling good and feeling great. You deserve a life that is happier, healthier and well. To connect with your community, contact a Healthy365 Support Navigator now.