In a recent class my husband watched a video about stress. In this video they talked about the health benefits of community. Not only do company, compassion and laughter reduce stress they also release hormones that rebuild the telomeres of your DNA, which are shortened by stress, decreasing your ability to replicate DNA and increasing your genetic aging. So the biggest enemy in the midst of stress is that we isolate ourselves when we feel overwhelmed. In reality we need people. We need to serve others!
I found this an interesting lesson, especially in America where our busy schedules make even meeting together in community a thing to stress over. When our stress often gives us excuses to avoid situations where we may serve others. We do not typically sit for hours at a community table every day or find ourselves in easy company by chance. We eat on the fly, rushing from one thing to the next. We fight for hours if not days trying to set up times that work for everyone to get together or even just one other person to meet for coffee. And then when we succeed typically there is something else to get to or a cell phone constantly reminding us of the time, etc., so the time we spend in company is less relaxing than it could or should be. We are also so focused on our own schedules we miss seeing the needs of others.
Maybe it's just me.
I do find it fascinating that God designed us for relationship. So much so, it would seem, that community not only makes us feel better emotionally but physically as well. I knew my crazy schedule was missing something.