Are you contributing to your community ?

July 10, 2014

With it being Australia Day yesterday I thought it timely to write a piece on community and it’s direct relationship on happiness.

International research has shown that happiness can be improved by contributing towards others and the local community. Not only does contributing to the community bring about a greater sense of belonging, it assists in the development of life purpose and meaning. Egocentrism and self preoccupation on the other hand dramatically impacts on negative mood states for the individual and everyone around them.

Many of us contribute to the life of those directly around them including family and friends by offering their services, giving them a helping hand and socially connecting and checking in about how they are going but how many of us contribute to the larger community?

You can belong to 1) yourself, 2) a family, 3) a social network, 4) a workplace or educational institution, 5) a community group, 6) a national community and 7) to the world.

While contributing to the community should not be at the detriment of your mental and physical well-being, finding a way to contribute in a meaningful way without too much consequence is important to well-being and long-term happiness and meaning.

What ways can you contribute to your community? It may be by attending and participating in a community event, it may be about contributing financially to a charity or not for profit organisation or volunteering your services to an organisation or educational institution for an event or on an ongoing basis. At the very least for those that are time or money poor, help someone across the street that needs it or take unwanted clothing to the community clothes bins for people less fortunate.

If you already contribute to your community! Well done and keep it up. The world needs more people like you.