Social health – Are your friends making you fat and depressed?


The importance of your Social Networks… Do your friends make you happy? Do they make you fat?


This week I wanted to discuss the importance of having a supportive and like-minded community surrounding you. To help you take a moment to appreciate how influential your peeps can be within your experience of life.


We all know about peer pressure (especially from our teen years) and I’m sure we have all found ourselves measuring or justifying our position or our relationships against the ‘societal norm’.


Turns out we didn’t even know the half of it!


Interestingly enough even friends of our friends, people that you don’t even personally know, are having an influence on your perception and day-to day decision making. This leads us to ending up in social circles, or “clusters”, of people sharing anything from the same dietary and weight battles, to the same overall mood.


It was to my benefit and now hopefully yours, that I stumbled across this insightful TED talk presentation by Nicholas Christakis. Dr. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is a sociologist and physician who conducts research in the areas of social networks and biosocial science. Next chance you have, take a quick 18 minute kick back and prepare to “free your mind” as Morpheus would say (somehow the way he plots humans into complex graphs and likens us to a quilt reminds me of The Matrix).

Ted Talk - Social Networks - how you friends influence you


Nicholas Christakis: The hidden influence of social networks

Makes you think right?

If we have this much influence on each other without consciously knowing it, then putting some thought and effort behind who we wish to be and what we wish to impart on our community carries more weight than most of us perhaps would have believed. Nourishing our social network truly is important.

Do you feel nourished and supported by the people around you?

Are you in a happy square on the quilt, or a sad one?

Are you becoming someone you are proud to be, or heading in the opposite direction to some of your goals and values?

These are things you can have awareness of.

These are things that others can influence in you.

These are also things you can influence in others.

How do you want to make your mark?

Now I’m off to have a word with my better half about my current affinity for an evening beer.😉