Focusing on kindness to create a powerful sense of belonging in your life may be a connection that is not readily considered. We must belong to something or someone at our most profound emotional level. This is common to the human experience. However, nowadays, many feel isolated and alone. We haven’t found a sense of connection in the groups we are a part of. When we “belong,” we are accepted as a group member. You may be in a great family, have a fine job, and even have a pricey gym membership. You may even attend a beautiful church. But yet, you can still lose your sense of belonging and feel disconnected.
Many things can adversely affect our sense of belonging. Traumatic events, past or present, can influence a person’s self-esteem and self-compassion. Trauma often leaves survivors feeling out of sync with the rest of the world. You may feel lonely, overwhelmed, anxious. This turmoil and emotional pain can make you feel different and separated from the world around you.
As humans, we are social beings, whether introverted or extroverted. Our mental, physical, and emotional health directly affects our relationship quality. When the quality of your physical, emotional, or mental health is challenged, you can cause strain and distance in your relationships at work and home because you’ve unknowingly built a barrier around yourself to self-protect.
Regaining a Sense of Belonging Through Kindness
Kindness is an underutilized weapon in our arsenal, ready to battle against the ill effects of disconnection with others. This brings me back to my father’s voice many years ago, saying, “Just be nice to people; smiling is free.” It is just that simple. Kindness is the simple act of just being nice to others. This simple daily act can open the door to finding a sense of community almost anywhere you go. You can create a sense of belonging through random acts of kindness or by being friendly and smiling. :).
Kindness releases the feel-good hormone. It makes you feel happier and improves your mood. It may even enhance the spirit of those around you.
Here are some ways to activate kindness and create an atmosphere of belonging:
Be A Sounding Board for Others: Contribute to the lives of others by offering to listen and be a sounding board for them. This brings them joy and gives them a feeling of connectedness.
Practice Real Compassion: We don’t always know the struggles of others. Try to have compassion for others who are different than you.
Be Willing to Help People: Spend time helping others who appear less fortunate.
Put a Stop to Judgement: Judging a book by its cover, so to speak, is child’s play. Grow up. Let go of toxic judgments that build walls. Instead, focus on people by connecting with them. No one is perfect. We all have struggles.
Think Before You Speak: Be kind in your words and thinking. Use words that offer strength, compassion, acceptance, and caring. If you can’t think of something edifying, be silent.
Stop Being So Fake: Often, victims of unresolved trauma need to put on a show. They struggle with being themselves because, deep inside, they may not like who they are and are afraid they may be rejected by others who do not like them. But fakeness is repelling. It doesn’t build bridges; it makes walls. After a while, those closest to you will grow weary from consistently hitting a wall when trying to connect with you.
Drop the fakery and build authentic, healthy, thriving, and exciting relationships with others using kindness.
Healthy relationships are central to our sense of well-being. By showing them kindness, you can help trauma survivors realize they are safe and secure. If you are a survivor, get professional help to overcome these stumbling blocks to personal growth and victory.
Practice Using Compliments: Give and receive compliments with kindness. But remember to be genuine at all times—no hype allowed.
Practice Joy: Start doing things that bring you joy. Immerse yourself into a new hobby—volunteer at an animal shelter. Serve meals at a soup kitchen. Run a marathon. Do something fun that allows you to experience joy.
Start by Being Kind to Yourself
Sometimes, being kind to ourselves is the hardest thing to do. We can be all things to all people and neglect our deepest needs. This is not a hero’s reward. A true hero must indulge in self-care to successfully care for others. As you know, we women can be the guiltiest of all in this area.
Start by taking a long look in the mirror. Look deep into your eyes and say: I love you. It sounds silly, but try it first. If you’ve struggled to be kind to yourself, you will find that it’s not so easy. Resist the urge to examine your new pimple or your expanding waistline. Look into your eyes and say: “I love you, all of you, just how you are!”Whew…You’re starting to break through.
Be kind to yourself instead of always putting yourself down. Start cherishing yourself and acknowledging your actual value. If someone compliments you, don’t deflect; rather, accept the compliment for what it truly is – an act of genuine caring and kindness.
We all want to feel like we belong. A sense of belonging is a typical human need, just as our need for food, shelter, and air is. When we feel like we belong, we think that our life has value and cope with our emotions better. When our sense of belonging becomes affected, threatened, or destroyed by trauma or other factors, we must find a way to regain it. Kindness to yourself and others is one of the simplest and most effective ways to recover your powerful sense of belonging.
You deserve the best!
Be well + prosper,