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Belonging and wellbeing

What exactly does it mean to belong?

Belonging refers to our own experience of seeking connection with others and our relationships with each other – our friends, family, neighbours and community. It’s also an important part of our own sense of self and wellbeing.

Belonging is not just about being physically present in a particular place or with a certain group of people. It’s about feeling accepted, valued, and understood for who we are. It’s about finding our place in the world and building meaningful connections with others.

Why is belonging so important for our wellbeing?

Our sense of belonging has a positive impact on our relationships, but it has also been shown to positively affect our academic achievement, success in the workplace, as well as our physical and mental health. When we feel a sense of connection to others, we are more likely to thrive in other areas of our lives.

Belonging is where you feel comfortable to be yourself. It’s where you want to spend your time, with people you can relate to. It’s your desired third space; the activity, people and places you want to be, where you can interact with other people that have shared interests.

Belonging and community

Fostering a strong sense of belonging within our community has a flow-on effect that helps others in our community to reap these rewards as well, reducing the potential for feelings of isolation, distrust, and division.

Within our diverse multicultural community there are more than 300 different cultures and languages, which makes fostering a sense of belonging an important component in helping yourself and those around you in strengthening wellbeing for a mentally healthy community.

Building these social connections helps us all find our place in the community by creating inclusive spaces and fostering a sense of belonging for everyone around us.

When we feel connected to our community, we are more likely to thrive both personally and collectively. But fostering a sense of belonging doesn’t happen overnight; it requires intentional effort and active engagement at the grassroots level.

What can I do to create a sense of community?

Perhaps connecting with people nearby could help, getting to know your neighbours and maybe offering to help when needed. Simple acts of kindness can strengthen bonds and create a sense of belonging within your community. A simple gesture like saying hello can go a long way.

Take the time to explore your neighbourhood, visit local businesses and explore local community events. You can also use the Act Belong Commit Activity Finder to see what’s happening nearby. Whether it’s volunteering, joining an interest group, or attending a community event, actively participating in your community strengthens a sense of belonging.