Shopping. Watching a sunset. Grabbing a bite to eat. Dancing. There are many activities in life that are simply more fun when enjoyed with someone else. The same can be said of health and wellness.
Humans are social animals by nature; we tend to thrive mentally, emotionally, and physically when we’re part of a community. Indeed, psychologists have found that direct contact between individuals can trigger the release of neurotransmitters that help us be more resilient to stress and anxiety, and the touch of another person can even reduce physical pain1.
Studies go on to show that people who have strong social connections to others are more likely to adopt better habits and a healthier lifestyle.1 In one study, participants who exercised in a group rather than on their own experienced decreased stress levels and enjoyed better mental and physical wellbeing at the end of a 12-week fitness program. Their peers who exercised alone did not see the same improvements1.
The social bonds we have with friends, family members, and our communities can also help us feel happier and more fulfilled, research shows1. For instance, studies reveal that teenagers who enjoyed close friendships during adolescence have a lower rate of depression and anxiety later in life, and seniors who lead socially active lives enjoy higher levels of satisfaction. This in turn can lead to a longer, happier life1.
All of these make a strong case for being part of a healthy, supportive community. A perfect example of this is Christian health sharing programs. With faith-based health sharing, people come together as a community to not only share the financial burden of medical care, but to encourage each other to lead healthier lifestyles.
When you join a Christian health sharing program, you typically commit to living by Biblical principles, which includes adopting healthy habits. With a faith-based health share program, you’ll also have access to a wide range of tools, resources, information, as well as the help of a close-knit community who shares your values and wellness goals. Together, with your Christian health sharing community, you’ll have the support you need to live healthier and feel happier. Here’s how.
Many faith-based health sharing programs provide tools, tips, guidance, and recipes to help you transition to healthy eating habits. Tips include getting the whole family involved in preparing nutritious home-cooked meals, spending mealtimes together without screens, eating more mindfully, and making sure you have healthy snack alternatives readily available. As part of a faith-based health sharing program, you can also get your entire community involved in nutrition challenges and goal-setting.
Family life is an important tenet of Christian faith, and an important focus of Christian health sharing programs. With access to tools and resources, you can help your family enjoy an active, healthier lifestyle.
Plan bike rides, 5K runs, soccer matches, disc golf, and other fun activities that involve all your family members. Get your spouse and kids a gym membership with you, so you can work out together. Or create your own fitness community with a workout buddy or join a group class. You’ll have added accountability while making exercise more social and fun.
Christian health sharing plans give their members options to explore more holistic approaches to health and wellness, including mindfulness. When our lives are busy and hectic, we tend to put family and community on the back burner and focus instead on our long lists of stuff to get done. We forget to be interruptible.
By applying the same mindful practices, you use in meditation to your family life, you’ll enjoy the health benefits that come with being present. Make a conscious effort to make time for family, friends, and community — away from the distraction of work, chores, and screens. By actively listening to those you’re with, you’ll be less inclined to engage in unhealthy behaviors. You’ll also be less likely to feel the stress and anxiety that come with worrying about your to-do list2.
We all struggle emotionally and mentally at times, regardless of how mindful we are. You can rely on your Christian health sharing community as well as your family for extra support when you’re facing stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), being part of a community can help you feel a sense of belonging and purpose that can bring more meaning to your life2. NAMI also recommends finding a community that shares your interests, values, and beliefs to help you form stronger connections that can help you build resilience during challenging times2.
If you’re looking for a like-minded community to help you and your family live healthier and happier — together — then Christian health sharing may be a great option for you. Learn more about faith-based health sharing programs and how they support you in your health and wellness goals.