It’s common to want to feel a sense of belonging. When we belong, we are accepted as a member of the group. A sense of belonging is a normal human need just as our need for food and shelter is. When you feel like you belong, you feel your life has value and you cope with your emotions better.
Sometimes though, we lose our sense of belonging.
Regaining a Sense of Belonging
One way to help regain a sense of belonging is through kindness. Kindness releases the feel-good hormone. It makes you feel happier and improves your mood. Here are some ways to regain your sense of belonging.
- Contribute to the lives of others by offering to listen and be a sounding board for them. This not only brings joy but will give you a feeling of connection.
- Have compassion for others who are different from you. Spend time helping others who are less fortunate, have different likes or needs than you.
- Let go of judgments that build walls. Instead focus on people by connecting with them. No one is perfect. We all have struggles.
- Be kind with your words and way of thinking. Use words that offer strength, compassion, acceptance and caring.
- Begin building healthy relationships with others using kindness. Healthy relationships are important to our sense of well-being.
- Turn towards your partner for support during tough times.
- Give and receive compliments with kindness.
- Be compassionate of others who are suffering.
- Begin doing things that bring you joy. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Give your time at a soup kitchen.
- Be kind to yourself instead of always putting yourself down. Take a compliment for what it truly is - a gift of caring and kindness.
- Join groups or clubs that are interesting to you. Participate in discussions, be interested and act kindly to those who are members.
We all want to feel like we belong. Kindness to yourself and others is one of the easiest ways to begin gaining your sense of belonging back.
Why Kindness Is So Important
"Constant kindness can accomplish as much as the sun making ice melt. Kindness causes misunderstandings, mistrust and hostility to evaporate." Albert Schweitzer
Kindness seems to be missing in today’s society. People are more connected to their devices than to what is happening around them. They are self-absorbed. Kindness is oftentimes the last thing they think about.
Without kindness our world would be filled with strife, discontent and anger. We’d see relationships fall apart or never start, countries disintegrate into constant war and our world completely changed.
As children and even as adults, we look for kindness from our family and friends. We give and receive kindness every day in some form.
Kindness moves us. We remember past kindnesses done to and by us. Kindness nourishes, heals, strengthens and uplifts us.
Many studies have shown that kindness is not only a good moral value but it is good for you. It benefits your brain, your body and your emotions in many ways. It is a foundation for a meaningful life.
Here are 6 reasons why kindness is so important.
- Kindness makes us happier. When we perform random acts of kindness, we activate areas of pleasure, social connection and trust in our brains.
- It creates a positive loop in our mind. Kindness makes you happier and happiness makes you kinder. When you are happy, you are more likely to feel giving and kind towards others.
- Kindness can create social connections and bonding. As humans, we’re programmed to be a part of a group. Being a part of a group, a social connection of some type, enhances our physical performance and boosts mental clarity. Being kind allows us to be a part of a group.
- Kindness helps with the healing process. When healthcare is delivered with kindness it can hasten the healing process, thereby shortening hospital stays. Kinder care leads to a range of outcomes including reduced pain, lowered blood pressure and less anxiety for the patient and caregivers.
- Kindness can decrease or help prevent diseases. Kindness lowers our stress and anxiety levels and decreases pain because of the endorphins and feel-good hormones released at the time of the act.
- Positive emotions from kindness boosts your vagus nerve which regulates blood sugar. This helps the body prevent diabetes, strokes and heart disease.
Altruism has been shown to stimulate the reward area of our brain. Studies suggest that we get high on being kind. No matter how inconsequential an act of kindness might be, it is good for you. Without kindness life would be lonely, filled with anger and desolation, disease and stress.
But when kindness is both given and received with no expectations in return, our lives are calmer, happier and we build meaningful connections to others.