America has a social connection problem and it could be lethal.
The U.S. Surgeon General has just released an alarming advisory titled: The Healing Effects of Social Connection. This important research establishes that the lack of social connection (loneliness) is an independent risk factor for death, including deaths caused by diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia, as well as suicide.
Some of the key takeaways:
– Humans are wired for social connection, but we’ve become more isolated over time
– Social connection significantly improves the health and well-being of all individuals
– Social connection is vital to community health and success
For our own health and well-being, at any age, it’s pretty obvious that we need to do a better job of social connection. The Surgeon General has some excellent suggestions to help us broaden and strengthen our connections (on page 66 of the report).
To be honest, I’ve been lax in caring for my connections (depending on Victoria for that in the past). I intend to do a better job now and this is the way I’m doing it:
- Investing more time in nurturing my relationships through consistent, frequent, and high-quality engagement with others. Taking time each day to reach out to a friend or family member.
- Looking for opportunities to serve and support others, either by helping my family, friends, or strangers in my community or by participating in community service.
- Participating in social and community groups such as fitness, religious and community service organizations to foster a sense of belonging, meaning, and purpose.
How about you? Are you inspired to improve your own social connections? Don’t you think it could be very beneficial to you and others around you.
I’d love to hear your views on this subject.