Sex, Intimacy, Socialization … Let’s explore why this S is essential in the Power of 5 Ultimate Formula for Longevity & Remaining Youthful.

In developing my concepts, I wanted all the components of the Power of 5 Formula to begin with the same letter of the alphabet, making the 5 S’s (Stress, Sleep, Sweat, Sweets and Sex) easy to remember and implement.

I vacillated between the use of of Sex or Socialization for the fifth S. By choosing Sex for this S, I knew that it might be a bit controversial; yet for all my life (and I’m sure in yours as well), I have heard or read that “sex sells.” The word “sex” gets most everyone’s attention, thus I chose it as my fifth S. Sex implies intimacy and it also implies socialization and interacting with others as connections make our lives more fulfilling.

What is the opposite of sex and socialization? Loneliness.

Loneliness is now considered a major health hazard. This makes it essential and important to include this concept in the Power of 5 Ultimate Formula.

On a related thought about socialization, I wish to reveal a secret about myself: I am an introvert (more specifically a Social Introvert). I find myself in some situations where it is difficult to socialize.

You might be thinking, “How can a physician who has chosen a field in which interaction is an essential part of the job be an introvert?”

I can answer for myself by saying that interacting with individuals or small groups is easy, comfortable and very rewarding. I find that I do it well, and it meets my needs for socialization, especially as it pertains to discussing the Power of 5 Formula concepts. In addition, I have followed my own recommendation of intentionally putting myself in situations where socialization and interacting with others is unavoidable. These activities, while uncomfortable at times, encourage me to stretch and expand myself, by experiencing a bit of discomfort, going out on those skinny branches and flexing my socialization muscles.

Here are four specific examples of the specifically selected activities I incorporated in my professional and personal life to enhance and grow more in the area of socialization:

1) Public speaking and interacting with my audience before and after presentations
2) Volunteering and serving on community boards
3) Joining Tai Chi where socialization and interacting with others is not only encouraged but expected
4) Asking lots of questions of others to stimulate and engage in conversation

So, that is my story. What’s yours? How do you address Sex and Socialization in your life?

It is important, especially as we age, to make concerted efforts to incorporate this fifth aspect (sex) of the Power of 5 Formula into our lives, to promote connections and fulfillment.

To a Long and Happy Life,

David Bernstein, MD

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