Dr. Julian Abel: Compassion and Social Connections To Enhance Performance (And Boost Health & Longevity)
February 21, 2020
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Our guest on this episode is Dr. Julian Abel, who spent his clinical life as a palliative care specialist doctor where he developed a special interest in compassionate communities, initially as part of supporting people undergoing experiences of death, dying, loss and caregiving. Over the last 4 years, he has worked with Frome Medical Practice applying the compassionate community approach to healthcare in general, with some startling results. He is Director of Compassionate Communities UK, a charity which aims to share the lessons learnt in both palliative care and primary care more broadly. Julian is also an accomplished endurance runner who loves MAF, running with his dogs, spending time with family, surfing the UK coastline, practicing daily meditation, and making his health a priority. On this conversation, we share the power of becoming a healthier athlete via increased quality social connections and cultivating more compassion as well as how to take small steps to be a happier, healthier, more empathetic human, and overcoming loneliness.
On this show:
- Social relationships have a profound impact on health
- A public health approach to palliative care through Compassionate Communities
- Outlines how to help people come to the end of their lives through a wider treatment that includes family, friends, neighbors, and community members
- A similar approach to care was shown to reduce emergency admissions rates by 15% in Frome, England
- Study: Social relationships are more effective than any other intervention we have at reducing the risk of mortality
- Susan Pinker TED Talk
- Humans are social beings
- When we feel connected with others, we feel better
- The importance of compassion (the foundation of social relationships)
- Compassionate Cities – Becoming a Compassionate City
- What if someone feels lonely?
- The endurance community has started embracing connectedness through teams (e.g., Betty Designs, Wattie Ink.), training camps, Parkrun events, etc.
- When people come to the end of their life they often judge themselves for what they do, but they judge others by who they are.
- There seems to be a cognitive dissonance between what we value in others and what we value in ourselves
- Robert Waldinger & the Harvard Study of Adult Development TED Talk
- Quality relationships are key
- Practice compassion
- Social media and connectedness
- Social relationships are so much more than just hearing people’s voices
- The best way to direct your energy towards a meaningful life is through compassion, love, laughter, and friendship. Can you get that through social media?
- Be compassionate and kind
Additional resources mentioned on this show:
Book: The Compassion Project by Julian Abel & Lindsay Clark, available for pre-order here
Julian’s TED Talk is coming out in March or April; please check back for the link.