If you struggle with any form of anxiety or isolative disorders, you will not be jumping at the idea to putting your big kid pants on and heading out the door to meet up with locals. Doing so could provide multiple benefits to your mental health and well being.
These groups usually involve a niche, and thus, you would be socializing with people you have common interests with. These individuals would understand your passions and be relatable for you, providing a positive ground for you. Not to mention, most of these are free to join, and thus, won’t rip a hole in your wallet!
But, why would it be worth it if I have a mental illness?
Social Interactions/Meeting New People. A great deal of mental illnesses involve us isolating ourselves, and refusing to participate in social situations. This creates a decline in friendships and relationships we’ve formed in our life, resulting in negative feelings towards ourselves and the people around us. By pushing ourselves to go out and meeting individuals with common interest, we expand our horizons. We meet people from different age groups, backgrounds and professions, that all share the same passion.
These new people in your life will offer you more than you could imagine; from peace of mind to confidence boosters. Most individuals in these types of clubs are optimistic and supportive, and will likely desire that you succeed.
Pushing the Comfort Zone. No one has ever gotten any better without pushing the boundaries a little bit. Progress is attained through discomfort.
Taking a quote from The Dinz Episode Get Over It!!, it should be clear that change should actually be less scary than things staying the same.
“If you’re afraid of change, just ask yourself. What’s scarier; the unfamiliar, or things staying exactly the way they are, right now, forever?”
-The Dinz, Get Over It!!
Change is a common experience for all humans to experience. It isn’t ever entirely comfortable for anyone, but if it was, it wouldn’t evolve us as people or teach us the value of things we have. It is an inevitable fact of life, and when we live with mental illness, we have to force changes upon ourselves to attain overall better wellness.
That boundary pushing is going to reduce your anxiety in the long run. The more that you expose yourself to these types of situations, the more comfortable you are going to get. The more vulnerable you make yourself, the stronger you will become.
We must learn to cope with our mental illnesses, and not let them define or control us.
Hobby. Hobbies occupy time, and get the creative juices flowing. This type of activity can actually bring you to be inspired and motivated, and may surprise you with how able you are with your mental illnesses.
Not to mention, it adds more depth to your character, and that is an attractive trait. This level of independence and love towards your self-worth will attract more people into your life.
Positive Environment. Environments like these are flooded with positive people who just want the best for you. If you are all joined in that group, you all share a passion, and no one who understands the passion will want to bring anybody in that field down. They will want you to succeed, and will provide positive feedback on your contribution or your work.
Pushes Productivity. Constant support and belief in your character will push you to excel or produce a higher level of content. The positive reinforcement from your peers will inspire you. This constant flow of encouragement will make you more productive.
Coping with Criticism. It is inevitable that you will receive criticism, especially in public situations. Though it’s not always easy to deal with, the kindness of your peers should be considered. If you are sharing a written or artistic piece, they may offer their opinions on what could better it to the public eye, or in general.
It is important to note that any comment they make, unless intentionally hateful, is never meant to harm you. It is important to learn this, and to fight the anxieties that criticism will evidently invite.
These local groups and clubs will involve you in the community, and overall, better your mental health and wellness. It is important to consider your future, and choose to consistently move forward, even if it makes it difficult for you to process.
If there aren’t any that interest you in place, why not try to build your own! (Look for that topic in upcoming posts.)
So, please, go out there, and get involved!
Don’t know where to start or what is available in your town?
Try searching for these groups: