I am not aware of any other factor in medicine - not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery - that has a greater impact [than love and intimacy] on our quality of life, incidence of illness, and premature death from all causes.
— Dean Ornish, M.D., New York Times bestseller and world-renowned physician
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and yet...most of us feel disconnected

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Exercise is a good metaphor for meaningful friendships…We go in to a gym expecting exhaustion and discomfort — even wanting it!— as proof of our exertion. We understand our physical health requires intention and energy. Unfortunately, far too many of us don’t realize the same is true for friendships, too. We have forgotten that relational health doesn’t just happen to us without emotional sweat, practice, or effort. It’s time to remember that we can learn to create the friendships that really matter in our lives.
— Shasta Nelson, author of Frientimacy, How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness