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. For example. committing just ten to fifteen minutes a day to talking to someone we love is a powerful way to keep ourselves happy and connected, especially now during this time of coronavirus quarantine. Today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I talk with Dr. Vivek Murthy about nurturing greater connection and what it means for our health.
Dr. Murthy served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States between 2014-2017. As the Vice Admiral of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, he commanded a uniformed service of 6,600 public health officers globally. During his tenure, Dr. Murthy launched the TurnTheTide campaign, catalyzing a movement among health professionals to address the nation’s opioid crisis. He also issued the first Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, calling for expanded access to prevention and treatment and for recognizing addiction as a chronic illness, not a character flaw. In 2017, Dr. Murthy focused his attention on chronic stress and loneliness as prevalent problems that have profound implications for health, productivity, and happiness. His book Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World was just published on April 28th.
*For context, this episode was recorded in February 2020.
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Here are more of the details from our interview:
How Dr. Murthy came to focus on loneliness (9:04)
The science behind loneliness and its impact on our health (14:24)
Why we don’t always see the loneliness that exists around us (19:22)
Loneliness and its connection to addiction (20:45)
Building connection through love and kindness (29:51)
Steps we can take in our individual lives to combat loneliness and build a connected life (37:36)
Shifting culture to a society that focuses on people over reputation, power, and wealth (42:27)
Our connection to other people is built on having a strong connection to ourselves (44:01)
Why we often struggle with loneliness in the workplace (45:22)
Getting over the obstacles that keep us from investing in connection in our own lives (48:54)
Learn more about Dr. Murthy at www.vivekmurthy.com and get a copy of his book, “Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World” at https://www.vivekmurthy.com/together-book
Follow Dr. Murthy on Facebook @drvivekmurthy, on Instagram @drvivekmurthy, and on Twitter @vivek_murthy
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