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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

People need people

We are more connected than ever but not in ways that matter. How do we create real communities that help us lead happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives? Anita Chaudhuri finds out

Lately, I’ve been craving something in my life – something I didn’t even realise was missing until an online friend organised afternoon tea for members of our Instagram photography group. The funny thing is, I nearly didn’t go but, after several hours of sharing stories, laughter and lots of cake, I wondered why I had felt so wary. It was because I had feared those strangers would be different from me; that I’d be the odd one out. Being the odd one out is a situation I run a mile to avoid as it takes me back to my playground self – the only Indian girl in the class. But I wasn’t the odd one out; no one was. We all belonged to the same camera-loving tribe and so, pardon the pun, our conversations were filtered through that lens.

Afterwards, I marvelled at the feeling of wellbeing this sense of belonging gave me. I needed more of it in my life. What was going on? ‘A sense of relatedness is a core psychological nutrient,’ says Vanessa King of charity Action for Happiness. ‘It’s vital for wellbeing. We need to be seen and heard to experience connectedness. We have close relationships, but it’s those wider bonds with colleagues, neighbours or the people in the corner shop that are so important.’

A community can be tricky to find if, like me, you work from home and live 400 miles from your home town”


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