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Relationships Matter: They Help You Live Longer

Family, friends and community take center stage during the holiday season. I hope you are feeling abundant in relationships that fuel you. Of course, these connections are important all year. When it comes to health, wellbeing and personal growth, your relationships and community matter. Cultivate the connections that challenge you to be authentic as you grow in compassion, wisdom and power. In addition to your nurturing relationships, surround yourself with dynamic people who inspire you to become your best and express your magnificence. A soulful community encourages you to take the risks that fuel you. You will find interesting people within every area of life: Religion, politics, education, business, sports, the arts, music, etc. When you are with exceptional people who reflect your values and interests, you will feel fully alive. You might even find yourself contributing to something greater than yourself. Social psychologists report that socially isolated people have shorter life spans and are at greater risk for physical illness and depression. In a 2010 study at Brigham Young University, researchers discovered that people with strong social bonds reduced their risk of mortality by as much as 50 percent. In the article, Create a Sense of Belonging, Karyn Hall, PhD, reminds you to explore groups that can help ease your feelings of loneliness. The group experience enables you to see value in your life and cope with painful emotions. A sense of belonging also improves your motivation, health and happiness. To build your soulful community, you might: Join a group, volunteer in a non-profit organization, invite a business colleague to lunch, attend a social gathering, or take a class. You are in charge of the connections you make and the communities you enter. Be sure they nourish and empower you as well as put a smile on your face. To live well longer, create a soulful community that celebrates your authenticity and reflects your values.

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