Perhaps the most impressive study underscoring the importance of
quality friendships and the need for a strong support group was
conducted by Dr. David Spiegel who, years ago, studied the survival
rate of women with breast cancer. Simply stated, those who had a
strong, supportive circle of friends outlived (by many years) those in
social isolation. By our vary nature, humans are social beings. No man
(or woman), as the expression goes, is an island. As science begins to
explore the relationship of energy, entrainment, emotions, thought and the human condition, we are beginning to see that the vitality of human life includes a healthy connection to others. We can contribute to this vitality by forming communities of friends who, through their inspiration and compassion, add to this vitality.
In many ways the world has become quite fragmented, but this is only a perception. In other ways, the world has never been more connected, primarily through technology (e.g., Skype, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) But support groups don’t just happen. There is always a catalyst that brings like-minded people together, whatever the means. Recognizing this catalyst is extremely important, either in knowing how to access it, or perhaps being the catalyst yourself. The wisdom keepers remind us that life is not about the accumulation of money or power, but the expression of love to our fellow human, particularly in times of stress. This, after all, is what quality friendships are all about.
Stress Tip for the Day:
Take stock of your circle of friends this week. Who resides in your
innermost circle? Who constitutes supporting members of your personal community of friends? Make a plan to reconnect with your support group this week. Make an effort to move beyond the social networking outlets to have face-to-face contact. Organize a pot-luck dinner. Schedule a
tea party. Plan a weekend BBQ. Bake a lasagna for a neighbor in need or crisis. By giving support to others we learn that we benefit greatly ourselves in ways untold.
Links/Books/ Movies Worth Noting:
Over the weekend, I received a few video links that were just too special not to share. These first two links speak to the nature of connection, support groups and the need/desire for real social interaction. I think you will really enjoy them. I did. The third link contains more information about David Spiegel’s landmark study.
Quote for the Day:
“We are one big family of people, trying to make our way through the unfolding puzzle of life. We are all connected to one another in the heart. Connecting with the ultimate source of love is possible through discovering the hidden power in your heart.” — Sara Paddison
Photo for the Day:
Over the weekend I invited about 50+ friends from my local support group to come over for a potluck dinner and Celtic music concert. It was a packed house of great people, delicious food and incredible music. Special thanks to Jessie Burns, Adam Agee and Jon Sousa who, as
the catalyst for the evening, perform an encore to an incredible and most memorable event. In the words of Adam, “to come together and have joyful music and community was tonic for the soul in these turbulent times.” My deepest gratitude to everyone!
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the
author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward,The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.