Health & nutrition insights.

Fostering Connections with Others and within Our Communities

Fostering Connections with Others and within Our Communities

Listen to our podcast topic here:

Hello, welcome back to another episode of Practical Nutrition Podcast, I’m Anthony . . .


My recent experience with community and fostering connections. 


My definition of community

share common interests, values, or goals and are connected by social interactions and relationships, a space where people feel heard, connected, and a sense of belonging.


How would you describe community?

Health Value of Connection


  • Research: Wide-ranging research suggests that strong social ties are linked to a longer life. Having deep connections with others and a shared community can provide various mental and physical benefits due to improved sleep, emotional regulation, and making more healthful choices. In contrast, loneliness and social isolation are linked to poorer health, depression, and increased risk of early death.


  • This brings attention to the importance of strong relationships and connected communities.


What thoughts do you have on the value of connection in your lives?


Share a quote


  • Ralph Waldo Emerson, an intuitive spiritual thinker, once said our interior worlds are bridged with language. Friends who explore deep talk together have a chance of being uplifted, inspired, and transformed by meaningful conversation.


  • This brings about the connectedness we will be talking about today and highlights language as a critical component of forming connection. This encourages me to consider what it takes to form meaningful relationships


  • In this quote Emerson emphasizes the importance of language


  • Talking with others and asking for help takes vulnerability and courage


  • This comes with fear and the associated negativity bias we discussed in our last podcast. With vulnerability we feel we might be attacked or harmed emotionally or physically and courage is the ability to overcome this fear and do the thing that is scary


  • Being aware of fear and knowing it is a shared emotion and that we are supported by others brings us the knowledge and awareness that can then equip us with courage to open up to someone or something new. 


  • With this courage I believe it allows for the opportunity of deeper connections and understanding to be had between individuals and groups.


What do you all think it takes to encourage connections among people, how have you fostered connections in your lives? 

Developing Communities


How do you foster connection within communities? Are there any particular approaches or ways to encourage this?

  • Open communication
  • Collaborate through shared goals
      • fundraisers, study groups, book clubs, seasonal festivals, sporting events, these such events support a deeper sense of purpose and accomplishment outside of traditional everyday interactions
  • Mentorship
      • Professional and personal
  • Cultural and Diversity Celebrations
  • Support and Learning Opportunities
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Volunteerism
  • Local business and organization engagement

Third Place


We know the value of social connectedness and how tight knit communities can bring about better well-being and satisfaction with life, but how can we best encourage this in our lives?


Opportunity of socializing over Food and Drinks


  • Research: Research has revealed that the more often people eat with others the more likely they are to feel happy and satisfied with their lives.


  • 75% of respondents in this study recognized that making an effort to see someone more often was best done by sharing a meal. As this research shows, sharing food can help strengthen community bonds. 


  • Places to share food include restaurants, breweries, cafes, office space breakrooms, and outdoor recreational areas


How do you all see the role of food and drinks being a good method to fostering connection and community? What has your experience been?


What other ways can we socialize and connect instead of food and drink?


Have you all ever heard of the term known as the “third place”?


  • A “third place”: locations that facilitate social interaction outside of the people you live or work with and encourages “public relaxation.”


What do you all think about “third place”?


Do you all have a third place?


  • Shared spaces: Creating physical or virtual spaces where community members can gather, interact, and share experiences is essential. Local parks, community centers, and online platforms provide opportunities for people to meet, exchange ideas, and build relationships. Hosting events such as workshops, seminars, and festivals can further strengthen the sense of belonging within the community.


Where in your life do you feel connected to other communities outside of work and home? 


Do you have any suggestions on how others can find community within Springfield and our area?


Key Takeaways


  1. Value of connection with others for the wellbeing of yourself and those around you
  2. Creating communities to foster these deeper connections
  3. Finding a third place to relax and socialize outside of work and home. This third place could be focused around food and drinks, exercise,