The Habit Society

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To: Society Members

Good Morning!

After some major R+D last week on how many people have forgotten their morning coffee, I’m glad to announce that most (but, not all…) of you believe that coffee is of the same importance as basic food, water, and shelter. Glad to hear it.

Some quotes from you…

Enough already. They do NOT exist. Coffee is a lifestyle. For life. Punto!

The answer to your question is “never”! I go to bed thinking about my morning coffee

I NEVER miss my morning coffee!! I get up early to enjoy a pot of coffee to myself! I love it!!

Shadow

Two Heads Are Better Than One

Unless one of those heads is Alan from The Hangover. Today, we talk about the correlation between social support and happiness, the studies in practice, and why we need to prioritize socializing just like any other habit we do on a daily basis.

Researchers went on a hunt to dig up the characteristics of the happiest 10% among us. Lo and behold, there was only one characteristic that distinguishes them from everyone else: the strength of their social relationships.

Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, ran an empirical study of well-being among 1600 Harvard undergraduates and found a correlation of 0.7 between social support and happiness. For those who didn’t listen during statistical sampling 102, that’s a pretty high correlation. (For some context, the correlation between smoking and cancer is 0.37)

Speaking of stats, here are some others that will convince you to drop everything and call Jon, because you haven’t spoken to him since Steph and Austin’s wedding in 2019.

  • Lack of social support can add 30 points to an adult’s blood pressure.
  • Emotional support during the first 6 months after a heart attack increases odds of survival by 3x.
  • Social support has as much of an effect on life expectancy as smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and regular physical activity. Eeeeep.

Hardwired

Psychologists Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener reviewed tons of research from the last few decades and concluded that “like food and air, we seem to need social relationships to thrive.”

It’s hardwired in our biology. Our bodies need it. Positive social connection leads to oxytocin which reduces anxiety and improves concentration and focus immediately. Social connection also improves our cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and immune systems. So, does that mean I don’t have to waste my time on the treadmill anymore? No, well… kinda?

Bouncing Back

Social connection helps you turn adversity into an opportunity more easily. When experiencing stress, you’ll bounce back quicker and you’ll be better protected against its long-term negative effects.

A longitudinal study of men aged 50+ found that those with more stressful life experiences had a much higher rate of mortality over the next 7 years. But, interestingly, they also found that this was true for everyone except the men who had high levels of social support. It proves to be our defense from the threats of stress.

Shadow

Pressure, Pushing Down on Me 🎶

Sorry, if I find a song title that even remotely relates to what I’m talking about, I‘m putting it in. Achor tells the story of two students at Harvard: Brittney and Amanda, both fun and friendly girls (with names like thatduh!). Once school started, Amanda chose the secluded cubicle study method, while Brittney chose the route of group study sessions (of course, who’s tweet would sell the most as an NFT may have slipped in). Amanda put in countless hours of solitude, just her and her textbooks, while Brittney took breaks to socialize and get involved, while still working very hard. I’m sure you can guess, but yes, Brittney excelled and Amanda succumbed to the pressure.

Power in Numbers

When stress or challenges arise at work, most of us will try to plow through it alone. But, keeping the relationships around us is key to our success. We try to buckle down, cut our social time, only focus on the task, but that can only last so long. Eventually, we’re burnt out and even worse, all alone.

We live in a very individualistic society. But, it’s silly because being with others fuels innovation, creativity, and productivity. So much so, that we should prioritize socializing just as much as we do our work. **Restaurants please open up.

Shadow

In case you missed last week’s newsletter, we talked about how breaks, even micro-breaks, are super important for you.

Well, a study from Microsoft Humans Factor Lab just confirmed this. Your brain needs breaks, especially from back-to-back virtual Zooms.

According to the study, stress-related brain waves build up with every virtual meeting you attend without a break.

Take a look. The red indicates high stress and blue, low stress.

Takeaway: Make sure to show your boss this study. Schedule in short breaks between your virtual meetings.
Shadow

The most successful people take the exact opposite approach. Instead of turning inward, they actually hold tighter to their social support. Instead of divesting, they invest. Not only are these people happier, but they are more productive, engaged, energetic, and resilient. They know that their social relationships are the single greatest investment they can make in the Happiness Advantage.

Shawn Achor

Shadow

Invest in getting your friends on the same page by sharing your unique referral link.

Shadow

This one’s for the science nerds, but Andrew Huberman does a good job of breaking down what stress really is and gives key takeaways in this podcast. Social support gets the spotlight towards the end as well.
Andrew Huberman Podcast
Shadow

Bye
Shadow

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