Resilience and Health

Resilience and Health: In response to life’s adversity, how effectively do you bounce back?

“. . . everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of the human freedoms . . . to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
~ Viktor Frankl

As certain as taxes and death, we can anticipate adversity in our lives. No one is sheltered from the vulnerability of being human. Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of such adversity.  When it comes to health, quality of life, and longevity, a person’s capacity for resilience is where the rubber meets the road. Continue reading

Social Connection

Social Connection and Health: Are we born to bond?

“And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and the sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Is it possible that the quality of one’s friendships and social connections is as strong a predictor of health and longevity as blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight?  Is it possible that the quality of your relationships with friends, neighbors, family and co-workers forms the foundation upon which your ability to remain resilient under stress resides?  The answer is YES and YES!  As I will suggest from some recent research, social isolation is both common and a formidable predictor of premature death and disease. In many respects this is a silent epidemic in our communities. Let’s briefly examine some of the evidence that supports how common loneliness is and how this ex translates into diminished quality of life and disease or as health, happiness, and longevity. Continue reading