When we think about health, we usually think about diet and exercise. We think about the things we are doing for our physical body to promote wellness, but what about the things we can’t see? Relationships are a big one. And we now know that loneliness and social isolation are as dangerous for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day! That’s an incredible comparison, one that hopefully puts into perspective how vital healthy relationships and human connection are to our well-being and longevity.
On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host Dhru talks to Marta Zaraska, a Canadian science journalist. She has written for the Washington Post, Scientific American, New Scientist, The Atlantic, among others. She is the author of the bestselling book Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism and Kindness Can Help You Live to 100.
In this episode, Dhru and Marta talk about how diet and exercise are indeed very important to your overall health, but whether you have friends, a quality marriage, or know your neighbors matters far more for health and longevity. They discuss how loneliness does not only result from being alone—that even those who live with others can feel lonely and isolated, meaning the quality of our relationships are extremely important to our health. They also talk about how friendship, kindness, and optimism are core interventions that help us live healthier and longer lives.
In this episode, we dive into:
- Why so many people are lonely (3:26)
- The biggest misconception around loneliness (5:53)
- The importance of romantic relationships when it comes to longevity (10:50)
- The Roseto effect—how a small Pennsylvania town held the secrets to a long life (14:16)
- How new media consumption impacts our happiness, joy, and longevity (23:28)
- Why chameleons live longer (29:29)
- The connection between purpose and longevity (32:20)
- The meaning of the Japanese word “ikigai”, and why it’s so important in Japanese culture (33:40)
- Where listeners can learn more about Marta (37:22)
For more on Marta Zaraska you can follow her on Instagram @mzaraska, on Twitter @mzaraska, and through her website https://www.zaraska.com/. Get her book, Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism and Kindness Can Help You Life to 100 at https://www.growingyoungthebook.com/.
For more on Dhru Purohit, be sure to follow him on Instagram @dhrupurohit, on Facebook @dhruxpurohit, on Twitter @dhrupurohit, and on YouTube @dhrupurohit. You can also text Dhru at (302) 200-5643 or click here https://my.community.com/dhrupurohit.
Interested in joining Dhru’s Broken Brain Podcast Facebook Community? Submit your request to join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2819627591487473/.
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