The MOST Important Way To Improve Your Health

What is the best change you can make?

What do you think is the single most important change you could make to improve your health?

๐ŸšฌQuit the cigarettes?
๐ŸธTurn down the cocktail?
๐Ÿ‘ŸPut on your running shoes?


The correct answer is: Improve the quality of your relationships.

Relationships MATTER

In fact, people who have great relationships live on average 8 years longer, according to a PLoS Medicine study on โ€œSocial Relationships and Mortality Risk.โ€

They are so important to our human wellbeing that during COVID, Icelandโ€™s government asked quarantined citizens who were feeling lonely to go outside and hug some trees.๐ŸŒณ

Sounds crazy, right?

But hugging a pet, a person, and yes – even a tree – signals the pituitary gland (a bean-shaped gland at the base of your brain) to release the โ€œlove hormoneโ€ oxytocin. ๐Ÿค—

The release of oxytocin provides a multitude of benefits. Itโ€™s very calming, helps reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels, and helps us regulate our emotions and bond with others.

At work, we want to release this chemical to create strong bonds and trust with our co-workers โ€ฆ but without bear-hugging them to get it!

Here are the first two of what I call the โ€œTen Commandments of Great Work Relationships,โ€ from my book, โ€œThe Brain-Friendly Workplace.โ€

๐—–๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐Ÿญ: ๐—œ๐—ฅ๐—Ÿ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€:

The moment you shake hands with someone in real life, oxytocin will be released in both your brains. If you can meet someone in person – it really does help you bond. You donโ€™t have to schedule in person-meetings, but if you choose not to, just be mindful that it DOES have an impact whether you meet in person or not.

๐—–๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐Ÿฎ: ๐—š๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐—œ๐˜ ๐—ฅ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—•๐—ฒ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด:

When we first meet someone, we feel a warm surge of oxytocin. This softens us up a bit and makes us more flexible and open. But use that moment wisely. Habits are already being established by the second meeting. Make sure they are habits you want to establish.

Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group