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Study shows that relationships have the biggest effect on health

Good health and positive emotions

We spend a fortune on medical care but we don't get the health results we desire.

It is probably because we're overly focused on medical care, but don't invest in our social world the way we could. We need to have a broader understanding of health, that involves day-to-day interactions.

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Study shows that relationships have the biggest effect on health

Study shows that relationships have the biggest effect on health

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/10/according-doctor-biggest-contributor-health?fbclid=IwAR0Fc3DuItvj11kIqRKpwzhMAO3gv9L8sjMmekJ8Xt84lKGNiBpueHwnerE

weforum.org

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Key Ideas

Good health and positive emotions

We spend a fortune on medical care but we don't get the health results we desire.

It is probably because we're overly focused on medical care, but don't invest in our social world the way we could. We need to have a broader understanding of health, that involves day-to-day interactions.

High-value health care

There are low-cost interventions that are community-based that can have a significant impact on people's health down the road.

We need to be gentle on new mothers and families and provide support to help buffer the stresses that may arise. It is something every person who's listening can do something about.

Loving actions

They actually change our physiology. In one study, groups of rabbits were given a high-fat diet to establish the effects on heart health.

One group of rabbits did particularly well. The researchers looked around and discovered that one particular researcher was petting the one group of rabbits while feeding them. She was giving them love and kindness.

Influences on health

  • Loneliness is as much of a health risk as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, heavy alcohol use, high blood pressure, and obesity. 
  • Divorce. Some studies show that a good marriage is health-protective. It's not just about being kind. It involves learning to navigate conflict.
  • Education. Statistically, for every one life saved by biomedicine, education saves eight. Education is linked to having a life purpose that makes people feel optimistic.
  • Stress levels. Positive interactions like hugging someone can improve our response to stress.
  • Microaggressions. These are small events that happen during the day but have a cumulative health effect. Fairness, by being aware of our biases can help curb this.

What we're missing in medicine

When most of us think about health, we think about diet, exercise, and sleep, but access to medical care only accounts for about 20% of our health.

How we treat each other is the biggest contributor to health. The missing component of medicine is kindness, love and a strong sense of community.

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