Having a community of people you can connect with is often times overlooked when talking about health, but human connection is super important. It can be as simple as giving or receiving a kind remark, or it can be as personal as sharing your struggles with a support system. Humans are social animals, and for better or worse we crave human engagement, even if it is negative engagement. I can hear it now, “why is this important enough to be a ‘Principle of Health’?”
Well having a support group or a community of people behind you can give you the confidence to stay the course when it seems like everything is against you. You can go to this community when you have questions. We all have those days where it seems like we can do nothing right. Instead of throwing your hands in the air and driving to the nearest ice cream shop, you can talk to someone in your group about your feelings and you can grow from the pain. So we can either sink into the negative feedback loop of eating away your pain, hating yourself for doing it, promising next time you’ll be stronger, just to give in again which starts over the downward spiral, or we can humble ourselves enough to say that sometimes we need help, and there are others who feel the same way you do.
Communities are not just for negative emotions, but they can also complement your positive emotions. Have you ever just felt the need to go up to someone and tell them about the awesome day you are having, that just got better because you realized you are no longer a slave to hunger? With a support group or community, you can express those emotions without a well-meaning friend telling you that the way you are eating will kill you.
This is part of the reason I wanted to start this blog, so others can read my journey and know they are not alone. There are a ton of great communities out there and I hope that one day, this blog can be one too.