Community’s strength

Community, family and friends. What would you do without them? People who care about each other, who spend together their leisure time, whose relationship has persevered despite the odds and obstacles. The people with whom we can share every moment of our life are the key to provide us with fulfilment and joyfulness and this is what makes a difference when we are thinking about a happy and healthy lifestyle. Especially now when we are distancing from each other physically, it is even more important to maintain social connections with people. There is a wide variety of devices which can support us in this matter, but why is community so crucial for people’s well-being? Let’s study the topic a little bit more diligently.

One of Oriflame’s cornerstones is “Community.” Engaging with the community is a vital aspect of well-being and supporting a healthy life. There have been many studies of people and populations that are inter-connected, engaged, live with a sense of purpose, and involved in the community. The 1986 McMillan & Chavis’ report, “The Sense of Community,” became a widely studied, utilized, and valued theory in the field of psychology. It postulated that having a sense of community is defined by 4 areas: Membership, Influence, Integration, and Shared Emotional Connection. With a sense of community, one feels connected, valued, and contributing.

There have also been numerous studies analyzing “connection” and “community” and the benefits of such, from the physical and mental health aspects to the impact on longevity and lifespan.

Blue Zones – what is it?

It is known now that there are areas of the world called, “Blue Zones”- areas where a larger than average percentage of people live into their 100s and are active and contributing well into their 80s and 90s. These people not only live longer but they are active, healthy, and frankly…live better! Some of the lifestyle factors and characteristics that are consistent within these Blue Zones (also known as Longevity Zones) of the world are:
1. Movement – activity throughout the day
2. Purpose – contribute and feel needed
3. Stress-relieving habits
4. Portion control, or 80% Rule – stop eating when 80% full and eat the smallest meal in the early evening
5. Plant-based diets with little to moderate animal-sourced foods
6. Wine – moderate and regular consumption
7. Spiritual involvement
8. Family – loved ones first
9. Friends and social networks

Interesting Fact:

Professor Stig Steen’s interest in these areas of the world with great longevity and health contributed to his development of the Natural Balance Shakes.
Community is not just an insignificant bonus to your life.
A common thread through most of the factors presented above is that they relate to connecting with people, being involved with community, and interaction with others. Living in a state of connectedness has many benefits throughout life, birth to death. Below is an excerpt from Phycology Today that describes the health benefits of being connected and involved
in the community:
1. People with more social support tend to live longer, and this is true even after accounting for your overall level of health.
2. Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system, especially for older adults.
3. Interacting with others boosts feelings of well-being and decreases negative feelings. Research has shown that one sure way of improving our mood is to work on building social connections.
4. Recently there has been accumulating evidence that socializing is good for our brain health.

In the long run, people with active social lives are less likely to develop dementia than those who are more socially isolated.

Community’s strength

So becoming and staying involved, connected, and engaged as we go through life is not only important for our psychological health, it is also vital towards our physical health. From reducing negative stress to stimulating brain health, to strengthening our immune system…social connection, interaction, and involvement empowers us to live a more positive, healthy and engaged life.

Simply stating…being engaged and connected with the community throughout life is good for us!

Wellness by Oriflame embraces and supports the community.

By sharing the Wellness products through community we can help others obtain and maintain a state of well-being.

Heather Livingston, M.Sc.
Director of Global Wellness Training
Healthy People in Healthy Communities Conference, Loma Linda University, California 2017
Phycology Today, June 2016
UK.GOV, Public Health England, Community Mattes for Health, February 2015
McMillan & Chavis, The Sense of Community, 1986