An often overlooked topic in health and fitness is connection. We are social animals, and when we don't have a satisfying sense of connection with others our emotional health suffers, and ultimately that impacts our stress levels.
Connection can work in mysterious ways. I once dated a woman from Staten Island. I lived in Brooklyn at the time, and if you're familiar with NYC you know that is not good geography for a relationship. It didn't work out, but she helped me in a way I never could have guessed. Her father's health was declining, and she spent a lot of time caring for him. I described the strained relationship I had with my Dad. She could sense the resentment I carried, and she said to me, "Here's the thing. Your father is going to die in one of two ways - either feeling that he failed you, or feeling that he helped you to have a happy life. How do you want him to die?".
Her words were so powerful that they instantly transformed my perspective. It was easy to make peace with my Dad after that, and it turned out to be very timely as he passed a few years later. I never got a chance to thank Miss Staten Island, but maybe somebody else will benefit from this story, and that's the next best thing.