Who has seen the Sandlot? We may not all have block parties and an active neighborhood watch, but the neighborhood we live in can affect our happiness and stress levels in multiple ways. When you’re thinking of strategies to manage stress, consider investing in your relationships with your neighbors. There are ways that neighbors can affect our lives and be resources for stress management. Nowadays, we rely a lot on our friendships and family relationships to socialize more, but our neighbors obviously have a lot in common with us. They chose the same neighborhood to live in. That means they most likely share our taste in homes and neighborhoods for probably most of the same reasons we do. That in itself should be a good way to start a conversation with them.
Socializing is important. With our busy schedules, we don’t always see friends as often as we’d like. And I know we don’t see our families as much as most of us would like. For a bit of socializing that takes only minutes out of your day, it’s nice to stop and chat with people for a few minutes on your way out to your car when possible. The more people you have available for shared social support, the better, generally speaking. You feel better about everything at home when you can have a rapport with the people who live around you for several reasons. You can pool your resources is a good one. People in some more of the friendly neighborhoods who share dinners, minimizing the effort it takes to cook. Others trade fruit from their trees. A neighbor who borrows a few eggs may come back with a plate of cookies that the eggs helped create. Knowing your neighbors increases everyone’s ability to share. I just borrowed my neighbors tool the other day and it was a good thing to do for us both. Now he isn’t shy about saying hi as he drives by.
One of the best reasons to know your neighbors is simple: security. Knowing the people around you can bring a sense of security. If you need something-, whether it’s a cup of sugar when you’re baking cookies, or someone to call the police if they see someone lurking outside your home, it’s nice to know you can depend on those around you and they can depend on you. It gives you a protected feeling. Having pride in your neighborhood is important and security helps us feel prouder of the place we live. Knowing the people who live around you provides a strengthened sense of pride in your home and neighborhood. Coming home just feels nicer when your neighbors are your friends. Staying home and saving money is also more easily accepted by your family when there are people to have hang out with.
In conclusion, while you may not be able to change the neighborhood in which you live, you can change the experience you have in your own neighborhood by getting more involved with those around you and taking pride in the area in which you live. Being a good neighbor is helpful to your own family as well as the families around you.