Having weak social ties is as harmful to our health as being an alcoholic and twice as harmful as obesity.
Without community, we cannot survive and we cannot thrive. Finding our tribe is the topic of this week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy with guest Radha Agrawal. Radha is the Co-founder, CEO, and Chief Community Architect of Daybreaker, the early morning dance and wellness move-ment. Daybreaker currently holds events in 25 cities and more than a dozen college campuses around the world and has a community of almost half a million people. She is also the author of a new book called Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life. In this episode, Radha makes a case for community.
Lack of support is one of the number one things my patients complain about. I’ve seen, firsthand, how social isolation can manifest into illness. Studies show that isolation can set off a cellular chain reaction that increases inflammation and suppresses the body’s immune response to disease. Radha and I talk about this, and we also discuss the contagiousness of positive and negative behavior. We now know that our social networks matter more than our genetic networks, so community is important for our mental and physical health.
I always say that the power of community to create health is far greater than any physician, clinic, or hospital. You need to build yourself a support system to succeed long term. And while this may sound easy to some, many of my patients and community members have said that they don’t have a community that is encouraging them to achieve their health goals.
The challenge is that no one has presented a practical guide to creating a supportive and thriving community. Radha is here to change that. She shows us step-by-step how we can foster a loving community, starting with going inward and acknowledging our own values and gifts and then taking those gifts out into the world to make friendships that matter.
If community is important to you, you won’t want to miss this episode.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD