The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

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A Resiliency Killer: Loneliness

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, April 29, 2019

According to a CIGNA Survey conducted in 2018, 46% of Americans feel lonely sometimes or always. Only around half of Americans (53 percent) have meaningful, in-person social interactions, such as having an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family, on a daily basis. Gen Z's are among the most lonely. Although the 18-23-year-olds think they are super-connected, they are not. They're attached to the wireless "umbilical cords" connected to smart phones which—in the scheme of things—are not very smart. Communication that is purely digital can never replace the sound of a voice or the touch of a hand. Or—for that matter—the tone of a voice. Chronic use of social media increases loneliness.

Here’s the kicker: loneliness has been determined to be more dangerous to your health than if you smoked 15 cigarettes a day! According to Vivek Murthy, former US Surgeon General, this loneliness epidemic poses significant risk for our nation’s well-being. A Brigham Young University study showed that loneliness can weaken your immune system, increase inflammation, and fuel heart disease and stroke.

Doesn’t sound resilient to me.

One solution: meaningful human connection through listening. When connected with someone who lovingly and respectfully listens with her heart, life become lighter, even healthier. It’s such a simple but powerful tool that psychologist Tracy Ruble began setting up chairs on a sidewalk in San Francisco. Trained volunteers sat and just listened to any passerby who just wanted to stop and talk. From humble beginnings in 2015, Sidewalk Talk has grown to over 400 volunteers in 50 cities and in 12 countries.

According to Ruble, “We aim to teach people how to be effective listeners and compassionate community members so we can all show up and support one another. We teach people how to be listeners and empower them to start Sidewalk Talk chapters in their own cities.”

SO, dear readers, put away your not-so-smart phones. Walk into your home, office, or neighborhood and just try listening to one person without judgment or advise. You can even download a training program on how to be a better listener. I’m in the field of communication and I know I can always become a better listener. Time to impact the loneliness epidemic!

Having a solid social network of real friends is an antidote, even the Magic Elixir for good physical and mental health. Being social can prevent us from being lonely which stresses our immune system.

 

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Resilience Requires Support and Empathy

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, March 11, 2019

A recent study at the University of Michigan found that empathetic skills in college students have declined by as much at 48% over the last 8 years. The reasons for the decline are many, but two in particular stand out: 

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How to Stay Happily Married

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, February 11, 2019

Seems crazy but –as the song says—"what does love have to do with it?” 

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3 Tips for Creating Resilient Work Relationships—and it’s NOT Money

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, February 04, 2019

Let me first define what a resilient work relationship looks like. It is not someone who stays in the organization forever. The truth of the matter is people can “stay” but their minds and spirits are gone. Their bodies are present, but they are absentee landlords!  

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Our Common Fate Can Be Eased Through Singing

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, December 31, 2018

I am not talking about singing as you pay your taxes. Instead, it is the one fate that regardless of wealth, we all will experience: death. It is about joining your voice with others to ease the fear and pain of people who are facing the end of their lives. The seed for Threshold Choir began in 1990 when Kate Munger sang for her friend who was in a coma and dying of HIV/AIDS. In the 2 ½ hours that she sang, it comforted her while it comforted him. An idea was slowly born. Finally, through technology and the grace of women gathering together, Threshold Choir was born. 

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Resilience at Work Equals Great Cultures

By Eileen McDargh - Friday, November 02, 2018

Hyper-speed and hypertension. Connectivity 24/7. Disruption upon disruption. Technology that overturns the latest and the greatest. The list is endless as workers at all levels face an array of demands.  According to my colleague, Bill Jensen, 47% of jobs will disappear in the next 25 years which means workers at all levels will face a rethinking and retooling of what “work” really means.  

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Book Excerpt: Take A Bird’s Eye View of Life

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, October 29, 2018

“The Earth was small, light blue, and so touchingly alone, our home that must be defended like a holy relic.The Earth was absolutely round. I believe I never knew what the word round meant until I saw the Earth from space.”  

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Not All Disruption is Equal

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, October 22, 2018

Just this past week, I’ve been booked to speak about disruption and resiliency at an international women’s conference in Dublin, at a leadership forum for Colorado School of Mines, and at a large healthcare network involved in a merger. Disruption is on everyone’s mind.  

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It’s Not What You Say

By Eileen McDargh - Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Given the vitriol that has swarmed around the hearing to confirm Judge Kavanaugh, at face value, it does appear that words matter. Name calling, slurs, accusations are all examples of words that have been slung like daggers at the opposition. 

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Book Excerpt: Improvise to Maximize

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, September 17, 2018

Great conversations result when there's an easy give and take, a go-with-the-flow sensation, along with an acute sense that you are being heard at a deeper level than the normal chitchat. In this instance, good conversations resemble improvisational theater.  

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