In the spirit of community, we are having our One-Day Mindfulness Retreat that I will be leading with Elizabeth Greig, FNP. It’s a wonderful way to come together and experience the supportive community that we have created here at Blum Center for Health. While I am on vacation in Asia, I am handing off the reigns to Darcy McConnell, MD.
Have you ever attempted to make a big lifestyle change alone? Of course you can, but to ensure your success, we encourage you to not go it alone. Having the support of your community – friends, family, and colleagues – has proven positive health outcomes.
Here at Blum Center we believe that real and lasting change in behavior is necessary to achieve the goal of feeling better and getting well. There are old habits to be broken and new habits to be ingrained. Social connectedness not only helps you achieve your health goals, but is also linked to improved heart health, decreased inflammation, and less depression and anxiety. This is true for one-on-one relationships like marriage and friendship, as well as for social relationships such as at work, school, or in a religious community.
Simply having social connection in and of itself leads to a healthier life, but research shows that better health outcomes are achieved when coming together in groups. For instance, support groups for exercise (e.g., walking), weight loss (both medically supervised and commercial), and illness support groups (for anxiety, cancer, or autoimmune disease) have a powerful effect on mental and physical health. And there is even evidence to suggest that joining a health support group with a friend increases the likelihood of continued adherence to a lifestyle program long after the group meetings end.
Bottom line: Sharing a lifestyle changing experience with a partner, your family, or a group will lead to improved outcomes and overall better health. So nourish your connections and use them to help you grow and be successful.
This philosophy is the reason Blum Center for Health offers a variety of ways to come together in shared community. We provide a safe environment to meet up and share experiences with others as you navigate these sometimes challenging lifestyle changes. Some groups, like our ongoing mind-body groups and weight loss groups, meet more than once, allowing the members to get to know one another more deeply. While other programs like our cooking classes, Learn at Lunch, and weekly meditation groups, allow you to meet an ever-changing array of like-minded people looking to share and connect.
If you are not in our area, we encourage you to sign up for our free Do It With Us! online programs that correlate to Dr. Blum’s book, The Immune System Recovery Plan. It’s a great resource that provides you with added support and valuable information as you work toward your goal of healthful living. To further expand your support community, look for a meditation group or yoga classes near you.
Nurture your social connections – it’s really good for you!