In 2012, I released my book The E Factor: Engage, Energize, Enrich. It is about those three components and how they help us to live a healthier life. As I thought more and more about those three Es, I started wondering if I could develop an alphabet of factors for a healthy life. I love memory devices, and three factors for each letter seemed like the perfect way to highlight the different elements of our wellness journey.

I am particularly interested in highlighting the health factors that we regularly overlook. Everyone talks about exercise as a factor of health, but we need reminders about the other things that are also important.

Faith, Family and Friends… The F Factor!

The three factors I decided to highlight for F are faith, family, and friends. When we invest time into these areas, we have a better life.

I recently posted a TED talk on my Facebook page called “The Secret to Living Longer May Be Your Social Life.” In it, Susan Pinker explains research on what makes people live the longest. You might guess the results from the title, but it’s surprising that your social life ranks higher than healthy habits like regular exercise and not smoking. The research found that the two most important characteristics for living longer are close personal relationships and face-to-face interactions.

Our friends and family provide those close personal relationships. They are the people that you can call on when you are celebrating, when you need to vent, or when you need help. They are the people that you want to spend time with, and they make life more fun.

Don’t take your friends for granted. Reach out to them and be available to them when they reach out. Make sure that those close relationships are as close as you want them to be.

Faith

How does faith tie in? Faith gives us a purpose to work toward in our lives and can help us continue working when our purpose seems difficult or unattainable.

For me, my purpose has given me a dream that is much bigger than I think I can actually do. But I use my faith to remind myself that God never gives us a dream that is too big. With faith, I know that God also gives me a way to make the dream happen.

How do Faith, Family, and Friends impact your health? Let me know in the comments!

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