A Little Love Goes A Long Way!

The Rabbit Effect: A Holistic Approach to Health and Wellbeing


As a long-term caregiver and associated with many healthcare professionals, I am excited to share a little book I just discovered. This book that has captured my attention and sparked a new perspective on the importance of social connections in our lives. I learned about it, titled, The Rabbit Effect after listening to a wonderful talk by Elder Gary E. Stevenson : Hearts Knit Together. The Rabbit Effect by Dr. Kelli Harding struck a chord with me as it highlights important factors that impact our health and longevity. In my opinion, it’s a must-read for anyone in the role of caregiver or healthcare professional.

The Rabbit Effect: Nurturing Kindness for Health

Dr. Harding’s book begins with a simple experiment involving lab rabbits, which unexpectedly revealed that kindness and nurturing could make a significant difference in preventing heart attacks. This discovery led to groundbreaking research that revealed the profound impact of love, friendship, community, life’s purpose, and our environment on our health. Elder Gary E. Stevenson’s talk titled: Hearts Knit Together elaborates on this part of the book in heartwarming detail.

The Role of Social Connections in Our Health

Dr. Harding’s book digs into the fascinating correlation between our social connections and our health. The author shares compelling stories and scientific studies that demonstrate how having strong social ties can enhance our physical and emotional health, and even increase our lifespan.

Importance of Healthcare Workers Building Relationships With Patients

One of the most significant takeaways from The Rabbit Effect is the impact of building relationships with our patients. Dr. Harding shares the story of Dr. Leonard, a physician who struggled to help his patients until he started investing in building relationships with them. He discovered that spending more time with his patients, listening to their concerns, and providing emotional support led to better health outcomes.

Coping with Stress

The book also highlights the role of social connections in our ability to cope with stress. Those with strong social ties tend to be more resilient in the face of adversity, and they are less likely to experience negative health outcomes due to stress. We learn that our bodies are constantly responding to the environment around us, and our social connections play a key role in shaping that environment. This underscores the importance of surrounding ourselves with positive and supportive people.

A Holistic Approach to Health

What I love most about The Rabbit Effect is the way it shows us that our relationships with others are just as vital as the food we eat, the exercise we get, and the medical care we receive. It reminds us that investing in our social connections is a crucial part of living a healthy and fulfilling life.

The book is full of compelling stories and scientific evidence that demonstrate how chronic loneliness can be as harmful as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, how regular napping can decrease the risk of heart disease, and how having a sense of purpose can ward off illness. Through provocative storytelling and compelling research, Dr. Harding presents a new model for taking charge of our health.

A Call to Action

As healthcare professionals, we must understand the importance of treating the whole person, not just their symptoms or illnesses. The Rabbit Effect reinforces this notion and provides us with a new perspective on promoting health and wellbeing. By recognizing the critical role of social connections, purpose, and environment in one’s overall health, we can deliver more effective care and help our patients lead healthier, happier lives.


In closing, I highly recommend The Rabbit Effect to anyone looking to enhance their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of their patients and gain new insights into the power of social connections. It’s a beautifully written and insightful book that challenges us to rethink our understanding of health and wellness. It is a powerful reminder of the transformative impact of compassion, kindness, and love in the healing process. Let us continue to prioritize the wellbeing of our patients by taking a holistic approach to their care and recognizing the importance of social connections, purpose, and environment in promoting health. Let’s remember to build strong and meaningful connections with those around us, and experience the profound impact that these connections can have on our health and happiness as well as the health, happiness and physical wellbeing of those we interact with and serve.

Thank you for reading, and here’s to building strong, positive and healthy relationships in our lives.


Donald Keith

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