Two facts from recent studies that should give us serious pause for thought:
- people who feel lonely are 50% more likely to die prematurely
- more than 1/3 of Americans and 20% of Brits say they feel lonely
More and more people are feeling sociality isolated and it is – quite literally – killing us. This is the result from a major meta-level analysis looking at the the impacts of isolation on health.
And the findings are not pretty. As a result of: fixation on work and material wealth over socializing; families living further apart; fewer people getting married; ubiquitousness of social media…. people are feeling more and more isolated and it is taking a serious tole on their health.
The good news.. this is fixable. There are so many things we can do in our day-to-day life to feel more in touch with others. Some are really easy… some are more fundamental, but can also have really significant positive impacts.
Some ideas… if you’re feeling lonely
- put down your phone and go out… simply be in areas with others – coffee shops, a bar, the library..
- similarly, get off your computer
- call a friend.. don’t text them or message or email… call them. Or better yet, go for a visit
- write a long letter to a friend or family member
These geta little more involved
- value friendship over all else. Make it a priority in your life to spend time with friends, even if that comes at the costs of less time for work.
- be there for good friends. Go that extra mile the they need you or simply do something nice for a friend.
- if you are elderly and alone, move to an apartment or condo. This is a big deal. While you may feel attachment to your home, retirement apartment and condo living provides social stimulation that far outweigh the emotional attachment you have to your home
Having close friends is something my wife and I talk about it a lot. As I get older I start to realize how important that is to my happiness and well being.
Something to think about