Research has shown (over and over again) that one of the key determinants of longevity is being part of a meaningful social network. Some call this social integration.
Author and researcher, Susan Pinker, calls this The Village Effect.
Susan explains that we are cavemen living in the digital era. Caveman triggered his/her stress response when separated from his/her tribe. This was a biologically appropriate response as caveman was unlikely to survive if separated from the tribe.
We exist in two states:
stress (the sympathetic nervous system) when we focus on escaping from threat, release adrenaline and cortisol and ignore our internal housekeeping
relaxation (the parasympathetic nervous system) when we lay down memories, eliminate cancer cells and repair damaged tissues.
Chronic triggering of the stress response puts us at risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's Disease.
We have retained cavemans' instinct to trigger our stress response if separated from our...