Connect by Brazos Minshew

CONNECT

Brazos Minshew

“Connection is health.”

Wendell Berry

Healthy connections with family, close friends and people we volunteer with for a good cause not only give us pleasure and enrich our lives, but they are also vital to our health and longevity. Emotions like love, empathy and compassion can help balance the immune system against the immunosuppressing effects of stress and ward off illness and disease.30 Close relationships are as powerful and important to our wellness and sense of wellbeing as breathing, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep, eating nutritiously and maintaining physical activity.31

When we live in relative isolation and do not prioritize relationships, we suffer and do not recover from more illnesses and diseases than those with strong relationships.30,32 Our risks for cancer, dementia, hypertension, coronary heart disease and premature death from all causes are higher.30,33 The risk for premature death is so high, in fact, that it is roughly comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and living an obese and sedentary lifestyle.33

It is vital to seek and maintain close connections to enrich your life and contribute to your health, happiness and longevity.

References

29 Evans W, Rosenberg IH. Biomarkers: The 10 Determinants of Aging that You Can Control. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster; 1991.

30 Hafen BQ, Karren KJ, Frandsen KJ, Smith NL. Mind/Body Health: The Effects of Attitudes, Emotions and Relationships. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon; 1996.

31 Harvard Medical School. The health benefits of strong relationships. Harvard Women’s Health Watch Web site. http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/the-health-benefits-of-strong-relationships. Accessed February 27, 2017.

32 Lynch JJ. The Broken Heart: The Medical Consequences of Loneliness. New York, NY: Basic Books; 1977.

33 Harvard Medical School. The health benefits of strong relationships. Harvard Women’s Health Watch Web site. http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/the-health-benefits-of-strong-relationships. Accessed February 27, 2017.

 


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