In today’s NY Times:

It may sound counterintuitive, but people who spend more of their day having deep discussions and less time engaging in small talk seem to be happier, said Matthias Mehl, a psychologist at the University of Arizona

….the happiest person in the study, based on self-reports about satisfaction with life and other happiness measures as well as reports from people who knew the subject, had twice as many substantive conversations, and only one-third of the amount of small talk as the unhappiest, Dr. Mehl said

In today’s earlier post, we referenced a study showing better survival after a heart attack in people who has close social support.  Presumably, those with support are able to share with these friends and family, hopefully reducing stress.

So, pick your friends wisely! As my former colleague Dr. Nicholas Christakis has so elegantly shown, our social networks (our friends; their friends; and even their friends’ friends!) can affect our happiness.  His new book, Connected, is a great read for the lay audience!

Also, if our friends are fat, we are more likely to be fat!  So, try to pick some buddies who will join you in this weight loss journey...

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.


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