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Just Say Hello

A quick hello, a warm smile, a friendly wave. These simple gestures can spark meaningful human interaction, which has been proven to have a stunningly positive effect on your health and happiness. That’s why O, The Oprah Magazine has partnered with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Skype to get the world talking again, face-to-face.

We live in an era when we are more connected than ever. The average person’s social media followers can total hundreds, if not thousands, yet many of us still feel disconnected. According to estimates by University of Chicago psychology professor John T. Cacioppo, PhD, at any given time, one in five people—or roughly 60 million Americans—are lonely. It’s easy to skim through the highlight reels of our friends’ lives, but no amount of likes or comments can make up for true face-to-face communication.

In “Just Say Hello,” an article in the March 2014 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine Dr. Gupta reveals that the positive effects of social connection are much more beneficial than we might think. Studies have shown that people with stronger social relationships sleep better, have sharper memories, and are less stressed. But perhaps the most profound finding was that people who have strong ties to family, friends, and coworkers have a 50 percent greater chance of outliving those with fewer social connections. In short, human interaction is just as important as diet and exercise to our overall well-being.

O, The Oprah Magazine—along with Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Gupta, Gayle King, Skype, and more than a dozen of your favorite celebrities—has a message for you: Just say hello. It’s easy. It’s free. And it can change someone’s life. We hope you’ll listen, share with a friend, and become a part of our movement to encourage everyone to reach out and reconnect.

Join us in saying hello to one person you don’t know each day—or reconnect with someone you’ve fallen out of touch with. Then, tell us what happened by sending us a Skype video message or posting to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Vine with the hashtag #justsayhello.

We look forward to hearing your stories!

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