How a community contributes to health and happiness
If you were going to invest in your future best self, where would you put your time and energy?
Moving to Portugal was the biggest dream for BLC founder Sabine but she quickly realised that the beautiful nature, the beaches and the sun were not sufficient to keep her and her family happy and healthy. The fulfilment and happiness came with the connections and the Sea Cows community which provides support and a safe space at all times. The Sea Cows is a group of like-minded women who live around Azeitão in Portugal. The group started meeting in 2020 for regular cold water plunges and since then developed into a trusted community with the goal to live a meaningful, happy and healthy life.
The fulfilment and happiness that Sabine experienced through the Sea Cows community is scientifically supported by The Harvard Study of Adult Development. The study was launched in 1938 and followed the entire adult lives of 724 men and their children with the goal to understand what makes a happy and meaningful life. The one simple scientific finding of 8 decades of research is that close relationships are what keep people happy and healthy throughout their lives. Social connections are good for us and protect our body and brain. The research has shown that it is not the quantity but the quality, satisfaction, support, and reciprocity that matters most.
What about you? Do you lean into relationships?
Below are some simple actions recommended by the Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which help to improve your social fitness:
- Replace screen with relationship time
- Be proactive. Take the initiative and ask a friend for a walk
- Establish routines with your connections
- Refresh longtime relationships
- Connect around a shared interest
- Get more comfortable with casual conversations