Connection and community

In his book ‘Lost Connections‘ Johann Hari talks about the importance of connection in tackling depression and anxiety. He talks about connection to nature and connection to each other, and how both can help us to feel held and safe and supported.

It can be hard, as grown ups, to find the time to nurture our relationships, or indeed forge new relationships. And it can be hard to find the time to get out into nature and feel nourished by the trees or the sea or the hills.

But if we turned the dial up on either, even just a tiny bit, we would feel the benefits.

I learnt this recently as I’ve grown my community. Having experienced a change in life circumstance mid way through last year I knew in my gut that I wanted to build more of a community for myself in my local area. Luckily for me there are some brilliant people who live near me, and I happened to come across and connect with a number of them. I have a growing, supportive community now and it helps me immeasurably to feel safe, supported and championed. I feel connected, which helps me feel more resilient and like I can tackle the challenges that life throws my way.

I have had times in my life where I’ve been a lone wolf. As an introvert I am happy in my own company so can sometimes get a bit stuck there. But I know, that having people around me I can reach out to, absolutely improves my experience of life.

Over the Christmas break I also connected to nature. I went for a number of walks in different woods, and remembered to sit by the sea as much as I could. Watching a clear sunset over the sea as the waves rolled in reminded me of how vast the world is, and how my problems become smaller in comparison.

So my suggestion for you this week is to think about who your people are. If it’s time to grow your community, how might you go about that? Where could you look to find people you feel connected to? Furthermore, could your sense of connection be with nature? Is there a park or some woods near you that you could take a half hour lunchtime walk in?

Society encourages us to be individualistic, but as Johann Hari’s research shows, we need the opposite. Humans are tribes-people, we thrive when we feel connected either to other people, to nature, or to both.

With love as always, Hannah and Team Bird

Ps. We are running a workshop on April 7th in collaboration with The Social Change Agency. This is a rare opportunity to attend one of our workshops externally, and we’d love to see you there. Follow this link for more information:

Photo by Mario Purisic on Unsplash

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