For Stanford researcher Emma Seppala, it’s our connections with others that matter most.
“One telling study showed that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure,” wrote Seppala. “On the flip side, strong social connection leads to a 50 percent increased chance of longevity. Social connection strengthens our immune system, helps us recover from disease faster, and may even lengthen our life.”
She suggests that one of the best ways to make these kinds of healthy connections is by simply hanging out with compassionate people, a practice she says leads to “a state of elevation” and inspires a “chain reaction” of compassion.