Together By Vivek H. Murthy, M.D

The nineteenth surgeon general of the United States, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, explains why loneliness is a public health issue and the importance of community and social connection.

RATING: 4.2/5

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KEY TAKEAWAYS:

• According to a 2018 report, 22% of all adults in the US say they often or always feel lonely or socially isolated.

• People with strong social relationships are 50% less likely to die prematurely than people with weak social relationships.

• Lonely brains detect social threats twice as fast as non-lonely brains.

• “Lots both people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” -Oprah Winfrey.

• Checking your social media feed is like comparing everyone’s best day to your average days—and you always come up short.

• 54% of those who died by suicide have no diagnosis of mental illness.

• Widows who started volunteering in some service activity for an average of two or more hours a week were no lonelier than volunteers whose spouses were still alive. Helping others effectively erased the loneliness caused by loss.

• Learn how to cherish each relationship for its uniqueness.

• “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing, and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” -Henri Nouwen

• Friendship is not about what someone can do for you, it’s who and what the two of you become in each other’s presence.

• Harvard data showed that inner-circle relationships were better predictors of health and happiness throughout life than IQ, wealth, or social class.

• “There is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we are apart, I’ll always be with you.” -Christoper Robin, Pooh’s Grand Adventure

• Not only do adolescence with high digital screen time (more than two hours a day on weekdays) report lower levels of well-being than those with moderate use, but those who have minimal to no digital screen time also report lower levels of well-being than kids with moderate screen usage.

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