Why Loneliness is the Next Big Public Health Issue

Loneliness is a negative emotion. Everyone encounters it at some point in life. If it is short-lived, the effects are minor. If it is long-term, the effects can be dangerous. Why?

Loneliness Kills

People are lonelier than ever before. Brigham Young University researchers believe loneliness is the next big public-health issue. It ranks at the top with obesity and substance abuse.

According to a study by Perspectives on Psychological Science, loneliness increases risk of death by 26%. Social isolation is even more devastating. It increases risk of death by 29% and 32%!

Many social scientists say today’s technology and housing trends increase loneliness in people. Texting and social media prevent people from building relationships, and more Americans are living alone than ever before.

Building relationships is important! It reduces health risks in the following three ways:

  1. Helps us manage stress
  2. Improves our immune system’s ability to function properly
  3. Gives meaning to our lives

It doesn’t matter how old you are or how many people you may mingle among each day, it happens. It’s a part of life we must learn to cope with. Why does it exist? There are several reasons, and they appear to be worldwide.

  • Loss of a long-term partner or spouse
  • Loss of physical abilities
  • Increased use of technology to communicate
  • Loss of self-esteem or self-confidence
  • Depression

Battle it in yourself

  1. Don’t push people away
  2. Interact with people
  3. Get involved in different social activities. Participate in a book club, play cards, meet with friends.

Help someone you know battle it

  1. Show you care
  • Make time to visit in person
  • Really listen to what they say
  • Ask them to tell you more
  1. Encourage them to talk about what they are interested in
  2. Show them how much you appreciate them
  3. Help them discover and rekindle their interests. Give them ways to interact with others.
  4. Encourage their family members to interact with them
  • Call them
  • Send hand-written notes

Has this article about loneliness been helpful and encouraging to you? If you battle loneliness, call Presto Real Estate Services at (800) 495-1120 or write at info@prestorealestate.com.

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