Feeling like we belong is really important to feeling safe. So where do you belong?
I have found friends amongst the dog walkers of my local park. We don't generally talk about the heavy stuff, and definitely not Brexit, but the fact of the matter is our joint love of dogs means we all have something in common and soon you find yourself looking forward to bumping into your doggie pals and their owners.
Recently many of us shared a collective joy as one of our number who is in his 70s returned to the park after an operation for lung cancer. The fact that he couldn't walk far would not keep him away and we all rejoiced as he returned in an electric scooter with fancy personalised number plates with Grandad on!! His rescue dog, Caramel, couldn't be happier and so were his walking companions who were pleased to see this kind, gentle man out on the circuit again.
Another place I have found community is among the people I make porcelain with. And many of us have confessed to us that having a morning a week devoted to this painstaking, laborious process pays dividends to our mental health. But it is also actually the gentle chat of people from different paths who only meet once a week that also makes the experience so special. This class got me through a really bad patch of anxiety earlier this year. Another of its members who has been confined to a wheelchair since boyhood acknowledges that it's not only the pottery, which as an artist he paints, but also the company and good hearted banter which makes the cost worthwhile.
Joining the group for a first time is daunting, especially if you are feeling depressed or anxious. But it pays dividends. After all,'No man is an island'.
What communities are you part of that make you feel good? Or what could you join to make yourself feel better?
A Moodscope member.