Community IS Medicine: How Community and Connection Facilitates Resilience

15 Apr 2024
World Health Day Banner Landscape
Read time: 7 min
Category: Emotional Health

Human beings are built biologically to interact and be social. The level and quality of social interactions may differ from person to person, but the need for community and connection is biologically inherent for humans. Social connections with meaning are essential for human survival, to thrive and to feel good and optimistic.

Social connections are as important as eating a nutritious diet, quantity and quality of sleep, or gaining the benefits from daily exercise workouts. Meaningful, purposeful relationships are immensely powerful, if the right people, they fuel us and help us to reach our potential, and can provide us with emotional resilience and connection. This is why becoming a credentialed professional coach is such a good choice for your own mental and emotional health and well-being.

The Science of Social Connection

The history of human evolution has proven that we have survived and thrived through connection and community support. This is not debatable. The impact of social connections on health has been widely documented in scientific journals.

The longest-running study on happiness, the 80+ year Harvard study on adult development shows very clearly that a loving partner, and close connected relationships with family and friends and community is the key to our happiness and also our longevity.

Significant studies show that a lack of social connections causes stress and health problems including obesity, smoking, high blood pressure and early death. Our connectedness with others is a key component for our mental and emotional health, and resilience.

One study conducted by Emma Seppala, a Stanford University professor, points out that strong connections make us healthier, and happier, and actually increase our longevity of life. Furthermore, it showed good social connections can improve your immune system, and reduce anxiety and depression. The study also showed that social isolation is a major risk factor for early death. It showed clearly an increased risk of mortality among people with a low quantity and quality of social relationships. How much time are you spending on a computer daily? This is isolation if you are alone.

Limbic Resonance

Limbic resonance is referred to as a phenomenon that occurs when two or more people share an emotional connection with each other. The experience and sense of mutual understanding and connectedness has a direct, positive impact on the limbic system of the brain, and I believe, the human heart too.

Dr. Thomas Lewis, a psychiatrist and author of the book ‘A General Theory of Love,’ writes that limbic resonance is ‘a symphony of mutual and internal adaptation’ whereby mammals become attuned to each other’s inner states and experience communal connection. Limbic resonance occurs when two or more people engage in positive social interactions. It may include an intimate or productive conversation, sharing laughter, enjoying a joke, or having conversations with work colleagues that you feel aligned with. The limbic systems of the individuals become synchronized leading to mutual emotional resonance.

Community – Your Healing & Resilient Building Force at this Time

The world has changed to become incredibly fast-paced with computer work being needed by all professionals, but we cannot get away from or ignore our biological needs. Hours and hours on a computer working without interactions in the physical reality with face-to-face, eye-to-eye connection CANNOT regulate you – you are in isolation (video calls are NOT enough). Again, this is why becoming a credentialed professional coach is such a good choice for your own mental and emotional health and well-being.

Numerous case studies have now illustrated that it is hard to recover from trauma, addictions, or depression alone. The heaviness of the difficulty or suffering is amplified and becomes immense, and often overwhelming regardless of how strong-willed an individual is. The symptoms of specific mental health disorders, like depression, become worse when people withdraw, isolate, or try to deal with the symptoms alone. However, if people build a community of like-minded and goal aligned individuals that provide value and security to their life, and not additional stress, they take the road to building a great life and experience connection, enjoyment, emotional resilience and success.

In the book, ‘Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy’, the author Dean Ornish explains the healing power of love and connection. According to Dr Ornish who is one of the world’s leading physicians promoting lifestyle medicine, he is not aware of any other factor in medicine — not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery — that has a greater impact on our quality of life or incidence of illness than human connection. He studied people suffering from heart disease and found out that human connection improves health in all situations. He says, “Anything that promotes a sense of isolation often leads to illness and suffering, while that which promotes a sense of love and intimacy, connection and community, is healing.”

Personal Words from Tony Vernon, HWC, NMC, AMC, MMC

Building a loving relationship, united family and working to build a community with people professionally and personally who are goal aligned, skilled and capable, adds immense value and security to your life. Playing a winning game with other winners is exciting and fun.
If you are wanting to win in business with these people, they must be physically fit too: to have the endurance, determination and mental abilities that come from working on your health and exercising hard regularly, to be robust and to handle the competitive arena that winning in the marketplace now is.

This is not therapy, this is a coaching approach that will build your community and sense of connection, mental health, internal sense of security and ability to be optimistic and resilient.

Training as a credentialed professional coach to make a career out of professionally coaching others will dramatically improve your well-being due to the coaching relationships you develop being meaningful. What other professional career can provide you with this?

Taking professional credentialed coach training without a desire to become a professional coach can too improve your communication skills to be at a higher level to apply in your personal and professional life, to assist you to reach greater fulfillment and your potential.


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