A Sense of Belonging:
Staying Connected and Maintaining a Healthy Support System
Brene Brown once said, “we’re physically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually hardwired for connection, love, and belonging.” This quote has never rang more true than at this point in time. Human connections are present throughout our lifetime and are constantly evolving. Now more than ever we can understand and appreciate the meaning of these connections, and be grateful for the in-person time we get to spend with loved ones, co-workers, and valued friends.
Having a sense of belonging in the home, workplace, and other aspects of life is fundamental in building a support system, and the groups we belong to or identify with are central to our identities and self-concepts .Psychology Today’s article, “The Importance of Belonging Across Life” highlights the innate human desire for connectivity and social and emotional support. The relationships we have and a strong sense of belonging impacts physical and mental health, and is imperative in regulating stress and other negative emotions. Becoming emotionally detached and distant from those who act as your support system is associated with a variety of negative psychological effects as well as decreased well-being..
Feeling supported has taken on a different meaning in our pandemic stricken world. Being physically close to one another is less emphasized, and physical support has in many ways been replaced by technological contact and distanced communication. Our disrupted and altered social patterns have brought about a new understanding of connection and belonging. In a time where isolation is almost encouraged, feeling connected and supported is less straightforward than it used to be, and this has the potential for dire consequences.
With the present barriers to social gathering, belonging must be approached in a new light. Luckily there are steps to take to increase one’s sense of belonging that can help fill the gap left by our inability to be physically near one another. Putting in the effort in relationships is more important than ever. Keeping in touch with your network is different but doable! Text that friend you’ve lost touch with, facetime your loved ones, and work to stay connected with those you care about from a distance.
At Haig Service, we understand that these are not easy tasks, and we strive to do our part in bringing people back together and allowing the resurfacing of physical belonging. Our motivation is the promise of propinquity, and our understanding of the importance of physical nearness and the lack thereof is our motivation.