The world is made up of communities. Each of us belongs to several communities at once, whether we realise it or not. A community is defined as “a group of people who have a particular characteristic in common”. So we are naturally members of our work community, our family community, our fitness community, our cultural community etc. In fact, if you are reading this newsletter, then you are a member of the Centred Meditation community too 🙂
Whether we feel a ‘sense of community’ though is a whole other matter. McMillan and Chavis are two leading academics in the field of ‘Community Psychology’ and they propose that there are four elements that make up a sense of community: 1) Boundaries that define who is part of the community, 2) Members receive something from the community, 3) Members feel as though they can both influence and be influenced by the community, 4) There is an emotional connection with other members of the community. Take the Australian community for example. Living in Australia is the boundary (1), we get to take advantage of everything our incredible country has to offer (2), we are influenced by Australian society and we can vote or speak up about what matters to us (3), and you only have to bump into another Aussie half way across the world to experience the natural bond that exists between us Aussies (4).
Research suggests that a sense of community is associated with greater psychological health and wellbeing. It has been shown to improve academic performance, prevent mental disorders, improve mental health, and empower individuals. On the converse, a lack of a sense of community can lead to feelings of low self-worth, anti-social behaviour, aggression, and depression.
This year, we have been working hard on creating a heightened sense of community amongst our guests. Since our studio is located in the heart of ‘stress-land’ and our drop-in sessions are designed for busy urban professionals on the go, we get that it can be hard to experience the community feel. So we wanted to take this opportunity to let you know about our various free community gatherings that we would be thrilled for you to be part of:
- Who Cares – a monthly meet up for urban professionals experiencing anxiety and/or depression (next session is this Wednesday 4th October with a guest psychologist);
- Gathered – a bi-monthly gathering for men and women alike to share about their unique experiences on their journey with fertility;
- The Book Circle – a brand new gathering for urban professionals to discuss and ruminate on ideas and concepts inspired by the books we don’t have the time to read but have always wanted to (next session Tues 7th Nov).
Please remember that whether you only read these newsletters, or drop in for sessions every week, we really value you as a member of our Centred community and are here to support you on your journey through ‘stress-land’. We are always looking for ways to better serve you so don’t ever hesitate to reach out 🙂