Highpoints of the blog:
Sense of belonging established in the right way can improve health, happiness, and motivation.
The importance of a sense of belonging is to see value in life and learn to cope with intense emotions.
One of the best ways to increase a sense of belonging (professionally and personally) is to reflect on the similarities instead of focusing on differences.
First of all, it is really important to learn what the sense of belonging actually means. Well, according to psychology, a sense of belongingness means the emotional need of humans to affiliate with or be accepted by the group. The need to belong to a group in school or to be accepted by co-workers can be the best example of understanding the sense of belonging.
Sense of belonging in a nutshell…
A sense of belonging is more than being at ease with a group of people. A sense of belonging is more focused on gaining attention, support, or attention from a group. It also includes providing the same consideration to other group members.
Looking at the other side, we will be able to understand that such attention or acceptance-seeking behavior can lead to severe changes in beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors because an individual strives hard to match the norms or standards of the group.
According to psychology, a sense of belonging comes from intrinsic motivation. The urge to be socially accepted or affiliate with others plays an important role in self-presentation.
In this blog, let us understand how we can increase our sense of belonging the right way in our professional and personal life. So, let’s get started.
Importance of Sense of Belonging
Have you ever wondered what inspires us to be a part of the group? Well, focus on the right part, and you will be able to observe that when we begin to enter a group, we try to find similarities in a group so that we can share some commonalities and increase the bond eventually.
For example, a group of co-workers with the same taste, personalities, and interests often seem to have a better bond with each other.
When we get to be a part of a group that accepts and affiliates with us helps improve our motivation, happiness, and health. According to psychology, when we are able to form a connection with others, it indirectly helps us to become resilient. It makes us feel that we are not alone and we are in our comfort.
However, not being able to form a connection in a group can really test our self-control and often develops conflict and pain within.
Impact of Sense of Belonging on Mental Health
The urge to be accepted by a group can help in forming a stable and long-lasting relationship with the members of the group. Moreover, a sense of belonging motivates us to be a unique part of the group, enhance our talents, and provide 100% participation in group activities.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a sense of belongingness is included as one of the major needs since it motivates human behavior. Sense of belonging is placed under social needs (available in the pyramid’s centre).
When we belong to a group, we try to reflect with others and eventually become an important part of the group. Maslow’s law suggested that the need for belonging to a group increases acceptance and companionship among friends, family members, and other group relationships.
I found a study that shows a sense of belonging can help reduce mental health issues like anxiety, hopelessness, depression, social anxiety, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, stress, and more.
Ways to Increase your Sense of Belonging
Building or increasing one’s sense of belonging does not come directly; it requires a lot of effort and run-through. In this section, we will understand the ways to increase your sense of belonging (professionally and personally):
Increase a Sense of Belonging Professionally
Below are some of the effective ways to increase a sense of belonging at work or in professional life:
1. Establish open communication with team members
Creating an open communication space with team members is one of the best ways to increase the sense of belonging at work. It makes everyone feel secure, supported, and accepted. Create an environment wherein your team members can bring up issues that address problems.
2. Welcome interests and learning
Try to find ways that look fresh and thrilling to everyone. You can easily achieve this by embracing everyone’s uniqueness and working on core values. In this way, everyone is going to feel connected within the group.
3. Empower people
Create a connection with other members of the group in such a way they can feel encouraged. Open your ears to everyone so that people can enhance their capabilities beyond their differences, race, age, gender, identity, or personality.
4. Embrace the diversification within
Educate other team members and radiate knowledge so that other group members can also understand the goals and gain the motivation to become unique in their own way.
5. Focus on internal working
Listening to others without biases and questioning their capabilities can turn your team members to have an open and challenging conversation within the group. It will also help in increasing understanding and empathy within the team.
6. Form better connections
In order to make everyone feel accepted, supported, and secure, you must try to form a healthy connection with other members. Try to build trust within so that you can seek support during tough or challenging times.
7. Make a room for others as well
You don’t have to be confined; you have to become a welcoming personality. Make a room for other or new people and welcome them with your open heart. This is known to be one of the best qualities of a leader.
Increase Sense of Belonging in your Personal Life
Below are some of the effective ways to increase the sense of belonging in your personal life like family, friends, and other social connections:
1. Keep putting efforts
One of the most important ways to establish a sense of belongingness is to put in the effort. You need to engage with others, it might feel a little uncomfortable in the beginning but trust me; you will be able to make a proper connection with others.
2. Be mindful of others as well
When you’re in a group, you need to think about others as well instead of thinking only about yourself. It is important to develop mutual plans, make efforts, and enhance comfort with others.
3. Be in touch
In order to be a part of the group or increase your sense of belonging, you need to be in touch with everyone. Try to meet people or try to connect with everyone so that you can seek or give support when needed.
4. Create a non-judgment space
You need to accept that others can have different ways of thinking, and you don’t have to change that. In order to increase the sense of belonging, you need to focus on the similarities. Create a non-judgment space for everyone so that people can put up their issues in front of you without the fear of being judged.
5. Practice acceptance
Accept the uniqueness within each other. Similarities and acceptance can help increase bonding within the group. It will enable you to become a better person and improve your overall well-being.
6. Validate your actions
If you’re not able to create a sense of belonging, try to gain encouragement by validating your own actions. Remind yourself that you’re doing this to become a better version of yourself and you’re ready to put in the effort.
7. Prioritize healing
Putting yourself and others on a healing journey can help you achieve a sense of belonging the right way. Accept that we can’t change behaviors or mindset, but we can put efforts to heal ourselves and others. We should always be open-hearted toward healing.
Establishing a sense of belonging positively is really important for overall health. If you think you’re a different personality and can’t fit into the norms of a group; you can always connect with a mental health professional. A mental health professional can help you understand the root of your emotions and help you achieve belongingness.
I hope this blog helps you increase your sense of belonging the right way. Comment down and share your views on “the importance of a sense of belonging in the 20s.”
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Thanks for reading!