The smallest action can impact your community well-being. By simply volunteering, donating, or engaging in your local community, you’re making positive changes that can have a reverberating effect on others around you.
People around the world experience well-being in five distinct ways, according to Gallup scientists Tom Rath and Jim Hartner. These five elements of well-being are an excellent reflection of the ways health and wellness enhance our lives: career, social, financial, physical, and—of course—community.
This month, we’re focusing on community well-being, the last of Rath and Hartner’s five elements. We’ll discuss how engaging with your local area impacts its well-being—and how you can easily interact with your community in a positive way.
If you have community well-being, this means you have a sense of engagement, pride, safety, and satisfaction where you live. The more content you feel about your community (or the more you feel compelled to address a community situation), the more likely you are to take action to help others around you.
Communities are built, developed, and improved by their local members. When these members become more active in their area by volunteering their services, donating their time and finances, or simply getting involved, they’re strengthening their community well-being. In other words, more people can feel that pride, safety, and engagement where they live—which leads to an overall increase in community well-being.
So, how can you tell if you have strong community well-being? Feeling pride for your local area and seeking ways to help it improve are both excellent indicators!
The difference between a flourishing community and a stagnant one is often pretty evident. A healthy community attracts an array of diverse people, and a sense of pride emanates from its residents. Festivals, outreach, programs, and other similar events are indications that a community is actively engaging its members and, therefore, enhancing their well-being. On the other hand, a stagnant community might not have as diverse of a population, or its members may not engage with others beyond their immediate circles.
So, how can you help your community flourish? Getting involved doesn’t have to mean volunteering every weekend or donating large sums of money to charity. Try starting small by donating blood at your local blood drive or bringing canned items to the food bank.
According to Rath and Hartner, people often find great inspiration and meaning from the positive impact they’ve had on another person or group. As you start to see the positive impact of your small gestures, you may feel inclined to give back even more and reach out to others in your community.
Helping the people and area around you can take many forms. Here are a few simple ways you can boost your community well-being:
Blood drives have a major positive impact on your local community. Giving blood is one of the easiest and most precious gifts you can give. Through your small donation, you can help save the lives of three people. You can find a blood drive near you with the American Red Cross.
If you live in a small community, you’ll likely see “Shop Local” signs in the windows of many local businesses. While big box stores are convenient for some items, the care and time devoted to you at a small business simply cannot be matched. Take the extra time and seek out local shops for your needs, and you’ll be able to keep your money within the community.
Whether you work in IT, marketing, carpentry, or any other profession, you have talents you can share with your community. Reach out to your local nonprofits and offer your time and talents. Many of these organizations are run by only a few full-time employees and rely on the help of talented volunteers like you.
Sign up for your local 3k, 5k, or mini-marathon to support local organizations and nonprofits. You’ll get a great workout during your run, too! Local races are a great way to show your passion for an organization and to get your family and friends involved.
Developing community well-being is as simple as engaging in local events and small acts of volunteering, donating, and giving back. You’ll not only make a positive impact in the lives of others, but you’ll also help your community grow.
Paradigm Health & Wellness is located in downtown Lafayette, Indiana. We offer a unique and strategic approach to employees’ mental health, physical wellness, and more. Learn more about our services and contact us today! Like us on Facebook, and follow us on LinkedIn!