You can probably guess the definition of community, a group of people who share something in common and create a feeling of fellowship, as a result of sharing those common attitudes, interests, and goals.
But did you know that being in a community is pivotal for brain health?
Studies show that “a rich social network provides sources of support, reduces stress, combats depression and enhances intellectual stimulation. Studies have shown that those with the most social interaction within their community experience the slowest rate of memory decline.”
Neuroscientist, Matthew Lieberman, discovered that our need to connect with others influences how we remember and how we learn. “When we are first taking in new information, part of what we do is consider whom we can share information with and how we can share it in a compelling way,” writes Lieberman.
It is natural for us to want to share experiences and information with others, confirming we were not created to be alone.
We should take time to build and nurture social relationships. Not only will we be using our brains for what they were designed to do; we will be happier for it, too.
“Our experience of pain is lessened by the presence of those we love and our sense of worth is connected to our social standing more than to our monetary wealth.” And Lieberman cautions against remaining so isolated that we eschew social ties. It can damage our physical health and overall well being to try and exist alone.
This is why an integral part of the LifeStrengths program at I Pour Life covers relationships and the importance of social capital.
Through our program, a certified LifeCoach meets individually with at-risk youth each week, to assist them in setting and achieving their personal goals, while building a community network of support.
Social capital is the tangible result of having a network of relationships. It is the benefits of having friends who can assist you in the areas of life you can’t navigate on your own. The youth – coaching relationship contributes to social capital, and gives youth someone to go to in need of advice and guidance, however, we know that a network is more than just one person. That is why we have started the Social Capital Club.
The Social Capital Club is a club created to expand the social capital of youth by coming together once a month for dinner and to hear from a guest speaker from the community. Through this, youth have the opportunity to build several positive relationships and achieve interdependence within their communities.
This combined with the positive relationship with a LifeCoach contribute to the overall health and wellness of these youth.
If you would like to be a part of providing a much needed community for these youth, you can donate to our program or learn about volunteering at the Social Capital Club by emailing email@example.com!