Better Together - the health benefits of meeting up and having fun!
2022 is set to be a busy year for events and gatherings! With Covid cases falling, some nice weather on the cards, and the Queen’s forthcoming platinum jubilee – many people are planning celebrations, street parties and other social gatherings.
But joining in with these events can have benefits over and above just having fun and eating cake! Some of the benefits include:
- Connecting with others reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation – leading to improved mental health and better ability to cope with daily stresses
- Getting involved with organising events, or other types of volunteering, increases sense of belonging, self-esteem and sense of purpose, all of which are shown to lead to greater happiness
- Sporting activities including sponsored walks or group dance challenges can influence physical health – improving flexibility with the potential to reduce stress and blood pressure
- Being outdoors can benefit mental health and sleep patterns, through exposure to daylight and fresh air
- Events that involve arts - such as singing, dancing, photography or poetry - aid expression of emotions and provide a chance to switch off and become absorbed in something in a mindful way, which can help reduce anxiety
We all recognise the importance of happiness. With the help of National Lottery Funding, Spirit of 2012 are investigating the positive impact of cultural, sporting and community events. The organisation is currently undertaking as inquiry into how and why well-organised events, activities and volunteering can improve happiness. The inquiry will gather evidence of the benefits “to develop workable ideas and recommendations” which can be used by organisers and policymakers.
If you would like to input into this exciting project, there is an open call for evidence from individuals and organisations, to complete a questionnaire detailing how to maximise the positive impact of events to build happier, more connected communities. The questionnaire is open until 30th June and the results are expected this Autumn.
For more information, visit the Spirit of 2012 website