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Are You Overlooking This Key Pillar Of Health?

We all think we know how to take good care of ourselves: eat our vegetables, exercise and try to get enough sleep. But how many of us know that social connection is just as critical to our health and well-being?

Studies have shown that people who feel more connected to others have better immunity, lower levels of inflammation, faster recovery from disease, greater longevity and lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Moreover, studies show they also have higher self-esteem, greater empathy for others, are more trusting and cooperative and, as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them.

In other words, social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being.

As someone who moved to a new country as an adult and has decided to stay here and build a new life overseas, I have found myself lacking connection, feeling lonely and craving home many times.

But during my almost 10 years here living in Australia (jeez!) I’ve very gradually met people where it has just clicked and from there I’ve built up a little assortment of wonderful friends.

I’ve seen such a dramatic improvement in my health and happiness as a result of finding, enjoying and nourishing those connections.

And most importantly, realise that it is not so much about how many people you have in your life to call friends, but the quality of those that you can.

While people may have many health goals to work on, I firmly believe that if we are lacking support and social connection, trying to break unhealthy habits and make new ones will be even harder than it is when you do have support.

This is why one of my questions in my initial consultations is always about a client’s community, support and happiness.

So I think if there is anywhere to start with our health, as a nation and as an individual, it’s always with this.


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