Being connected to the people you love. That's according to Dr. Dean Ornish, who wrote a book about it called "Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy"--Dr. Ornish says if they made a drug called "closeness", every doctor on earth would be prescribing it for their patients because it works. So here's how to improve your health just by connecting with your family and friends.

  • Start by being complimentary. Research from the University of Alabama shows that the one thing happy families have in common is that they give each other lots of compliments. Looking for the good in others brings you closer and boosts their self-esteem.
  • Another tip from the experts to bring you closer to others   make mistakes. According to Dr. Mary Valentis, author of Romantic Intelligence, showing your vulnerable side intensifies personal connections. Try sharing the story of your most embarrassing moment. Also, research shows that whenever an authority figure spills coffee on themselves, affection for them increases.
  • And here's one last way to get closer to your spouse   have casual contact. Tousling their hair or holding hands triggers people to reveal more personal information. Also, standing or sitting shoulder to shoulder, instead of face to face, makes people feel more comfortable about opening up.

So what will all this closeness do for you? It'll reduce your stress levels, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and help you heal faster after an illness or surgery. Want more information on this? Check out Dr. Ornish's book "Love and Survival".