When we see a change in other people’s lives or an improvement in their wellbeing, we often assume it happened overnight and wonder how they did it.
‘They must have done it all by themselves’
‘Wow… They are amazing. I could never do that’
‘What changed? The last time I saw them they seemed so different’
What we often forget about and what we don’t often see are all the steps they took, the time they dedicated and the journey they have been on. We think it’s been a giant leap from zero to 100. All we see is the outcome, but we forget what is under the surface of that change.
And these assumptions can be obstacles for us changing something in our lives.
So, what is under the surface, what ingredients have led to that change, and how many small steps have been taken?
For me, a lot of change comes from connecting, from community, from even one individual reaching out to ask how someone is, ask them if they are ok, and asking them if they need any support. Connection and community are everything. They help us feel valued, feel heard and feel like someone cares. And when we feel these things, we start to get motivated to want to value our wellbeing and ourselves more, and we start to believe that with the right support, things can improve and be different.
In each of our stories of change towards better wellbeing, one common feature is that we talked to someone, we met someone or we came across someone else’s story that inspired us to believe we could do it too. Connectedness and community are also things that help us carry on, stay determined and keep going when we have tough days, or we come across obstacles on our journey of change. It is people and our relationships that keep us going and fill us up when we may feel low in reserve.
And that’s the power of connectivity. It’s the spark that starts the journey
Connectivity also helps us feel that we are not alone in how we feel. We may be going through different challenges, and experiencing them in a different way, but we are all human. When we feel we are not the only one to feel a certain way, we can reach out and ask for support and accept support, without shame, stigma or fear. And that is everything.
I believe social prescribing really has the power to help transform people’s lives on so many levels. I am a passionate supporter of the power of connection and community empowering each one of us to make positive change in our lives.
For me, social prescribing is about three essential ingredients – connectivity, one good thing and small steps. Watch out for my next blog to find out how one good thing – the next ingredient – can make a difference to our lives.
Dr Radha Modgil is a GP, broadcaster, author and Social Prescribing Ambassador. She hosts NASP’s Podcast on Prescription.