Strengthen Your Community

The fifth and final phase of the SHARP Solution will focus on techniques that help you build support by connecting with others, investing in your social capital, creating strategic alliances, setting yourself up for success, and teaching others about what you've learned for added accountability. This phase will strengthen your sense of community, which will in turn boost your social energy source and provide you with extra accountability and support for your journey.

When it comes to our survival instincts, being part of the right crowd may be one of the most important factors keeping us alive. Researchers often trigger the physiological stress response in animals by removing them from their social structure, as the simple act of isolating them activates stress hormones. The same applies to us—loneliness is a threat to human survival.

Considering all of the technological advances we have to keep us connected, you might think we are more social than ever. However, this constant preoccupation with staying connected has actually torn apart the concept of relationships, as we once knew them. We may have more breadth in our number of connections, but it's taken a toll on the depth of our relationships.

Keep in mind that social connection is based on how you feel, not the number of friends you have or whether you're married or single. A recent study at Harvard examined data from more than 309,000 people and found that a lack of strong relationships increased ...

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