The New York Times Bestseller from Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, MD.
"We have a massive, deadly epidemic hidden in plain sight: loneliness. It is as harmful to health as smoking and far more common. And as his gripping stories of science and suffering make clear, we can do something about it. Together is fascinating, moving, and essential reading."--Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal
"Together made me rethink much of what I believe about physical health, public policy, and the human condition. By revealing America's epidemic of loneliness and offering an array of remedies for the condition, Murthy has done a great service and made Together the most important book you'll read this year."--Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of When and Drive
In the book we need NOW to avoid a social recession, Murthy's prescient message is about the importance of human connection, the hidden impact of loneliness on our health, and the social power of community.
Humans are social creatures: In this simple and obvious fact lies the problem and the solution to the current loneliness crisis. In his groundbreaking book, the 19th surgeon general of the United States, Dr. Vivek Murthy, makes a case for loneliness as a public health concern: a root cause and contributor to many of the epidemics sweeping the world today, from alcohol and drug addiction to violence to depression and anxiety. He argues that loneliness affects not only our health but also how our children experience school, how we perform in the workplace, and the sense of division and polarization in our society.
But, at the center of our loneliness is our innate desire to connect. We have evolved to participate in the community, forge lasting bonds with others, help one another, and share life experiences. We are, simply, better together.
The lessons in Together have immediate relevance and application. These four key strategies will help us weather this crisis and heal our social world far into the future.
Spend time each day with those you love. Devote at least 15 minutes daily to connecting with those you care about most. Focus on each other. Forget about multitasking and give the other person the gift of your full attention, making eye contact, if possible, and genuinely listening. Embrace solitude. The first step toward building stronger connections with others is to build a stronger connection with oneself. Meditation, prayer, art, music, and time spent outdoors can all be solitary comfort and joy sources. Help and be helped. A service is a form of human connection that reminds us of our value and purpose in life. Checking on a neighbor, seeking advice, or even just offering a smile to a stranger six feet away can make us stronger.
During Murthy's research for Together, he found that there were few issues that elicited enthusiastic interest from both conservative and very liberal members of Congress, from young and old people, or from urban and rural residents alike. Loneliness is something so many people have known themselves or have seen in the people around them. In the book, Murthy also shares his deeply personal experiences with the subject--from struggling with loneliness in school to the devastating loss of his uncle, who succumbed to his loneliness, as well as the paramount example of community and connection his parents modeled. Simply, it's a universal condition that affects all of us directly or through the people, we love--now more than ever.