Tag Archives: Henry S. Lodge

How Important Is Social Connection?

How important is social connection to our life?  There is a biology of social connection according to Henry S. Lodge, M.D., one of the authors of Younger Next Year and Younger Next Year For Women.

We’ve all probably heard the concept of this, but here, ‘Harry’ brings in information from studies about it all.  Without going into statistical detail, I’ll just say that he proves the point that we need to stay connected to other people in a big way, for a better quality of physical life not to mention longevity of our life.

Having at least one close friend, has been proven statistically to create a younger cardiovascular system.  Blood vessels are measurably more elastic, cardiac reserve is higher, cardiac inflammatory protein levels are lower, blood pressure response to exercise better, and so on.

Also, people who are more connected have measurably healthier stress blood profiles, less cortisol, less inflammation, less insulin and lower blood sugar.   By way of cardiac catheterization studies, it was proven that women who are less socially connected have more plaque in their arteries.  Also, they will have fewer circulating immune cells in their blood and weaker immune responses to vaccines.

This isn’t just for us as we age, because it has been proven to be so for newborns.  The more a baby is touched and held the better.  This is especially true in the neonatal ICU.  The more touching and holding the better chance of survival for those at-risk newborns.

Well, this is a little different than most of my posts, but I feel it is good information for all of us.  Perhaps you already know and understand the importance of these concepts.  Good for you.  However, if this is new information, I’m glad to have shown you this.  Perhaps you want to look further into it.

The important thing is the concept of staying engaged in life.  Make connections.  Meet new people.  Join new groups.  Do new stuff.  Then you won’t have to worry about consequences listed above.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thoughts / Emotions–Chicken Or Egg?

From the book I referred to a few weeks ago, Younger Next Year For Women, by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D., recently I read a most fascinating section on how important our thoughts and emotions are to creating the life we have.

All of this ties into what I’ve believed for a long time.  Our thoughts are really important to the quality of our life.  However, these guys mention the importance of our emotions in all of this as well.  In fact, they believe that our emotions take the lead and the thoughts follow.  As they say, ‘Maybe it should be the other way around, but it isn’t’.  Actually, this information is in the chapter written by Harry, the doctor (author), so this is scientific fact stuff.

He indicates that:

Emotion precedes thoughts at the neural level.  So a positive emotion will tend to generate a positive thought in response.  And because it’s an ongoing dance, having a positive thought will loop back through the limbic (part of the brain) system to generate a positive feeling.

The same loop works for negative thoughts and feelings, and research has shown that we have a remarkable ability to think and feel our way into happier or more depressed states, regardless of external reality, and you can train yourself to live in either an optimistic or a pessimistic frame of mind regardless of your external circumstances.

How you view your life has a surprisingly large role in determining how your life goes, so there is a real premium on having positive emotions.  The good news is that you can create positive emotions by consciously creating positive environments.

By the way, not sure if you remember that these authors also wrote the book, Younger Next Year, which came out first and is mostly geared to men.  I’ll check with my husband to see if this information is in that book too, but I’m sure it is, since this is information is gender-neutral.  Wouldn’t you agree?

So how about you?  How are your thoughts and emotions?  After all, thoughts are things… choose the good ones.

Connections and Commitments

Last week I mentioned a book I’m reading, Younger Next Year For Women, by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D.  Just in case you missed it, there’s also a book for men, Younger Next Year, which was their first book.

The concepts about the importance of connections and commitments as we age, I think are pretty unique concepts to be mentioned in a book about aging.  But how very important!

Goals, charities, people, family, job, hobbies.  According to these authors, they feel that as we age, and especially after retirement these things are especially important.

It’s specific to each of us, obviously.  It’s hard to generalize but there have to be people and causes we care about.  It doesn’t matter what they are, as long as they’re important and interesting to us.  As long as we have a passion for them.  There have to be people we care about and a reason to keep going.

What is your passion?  What interests you?  What connections and commitments have you made lately that have revitalized you?

Let us hear about it.

Younger Next Year…

Younger Next Year and Younger Next Year For Women are books by Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge, MD.

Have you heard of these books?

Recently I purchased these books and the CD version for the women’s book for my husband and me.

This was probably one of the best things I’ve done recently.  My husband has devoured the book.  I have just gotten into it a bit, since I was finishing another book.  But together we listened to one of the CDs in the car recently.

The concepts I’ve read and heard so far and that my husband has mentioned are some of the most unique concepts I’ve ever heard.  Not one other author that I’m aware of or that I’ve read, mentions the concept of continuing meaningful relationships with people as we age.  And continue to have a passion, purpose and involve ourselves in something that really interests us as we age.

What I like about the essence of this book is that they give concrete information about how to keep the body from ‘rotting’.  Unlike most of the books out there, especially the ones directed to women, this book acknowledges that we will look older… Wow! now that’s honesty!

But they distinguish the condition of our outer body from the important part that will keep our quality of life in optimum condition.  And that is the condition of our inner body.  This book is a manual for making our body younger next year… REALLY!

Let me know if you are familiar with these books and what your thoughts are.