https://www.kendolan-delvecchio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/88/2018/08/massppeal.jpg 334 600 Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio http://www.kendolan-delvecchio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/88/2020/01/Ken-Dolan2-1.png Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio2019-03-05 20:21:432019-06-04 19:14:36How To Fight The Loneliness Epidemic – Mass Appeal
The Loneliness Epidemic*
- We evolved to live in close, collaborative connections with other human beings and when we feel alone we feel endangered/highly stressed.
- Since the 1930s, Americans have been getting less involved with community and more isolated.
- One study showed that, while in earlier decades Americans said on average that they have three confidants, in 2004 the average was zero confidants.
- Translation: Many of us have no close friends.
- Our families are more disconnected too—we don’t eat together, we don’t live near one another, we don’t do activities with our family members as regularly as we used to.
- And, loneliness tends to spiral because as we become more isolated we often also become more suspicious of others.
- Loneliness is a feeling of disconnection. We can feel lonely when in the company of other people.
- Feeling lonely causes our cortisol (the “stress hormone”) to soar—as much as some of the most upsetting things that can happen to us.
- Feeling lonely is as stressful as being punched by a stranger.
- Isolated people get sicker.
- Isolated people have lessened survival periods when living with cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems.
- Loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression and anxiety.
- To end loneliness, we need to feel like we’re sharing – giving and receiving—with at least one other person.
- We need to feel that we’re “in it together” with at least one other person.
- Internet addiction is sometimes the attempted solution to the anxiety and depression associated with loneliness.
- Social media is not the solution—it tends to increase feelings of loneliness.
- Steps toward solutions:
- Limit time online.
- Increase time in face-to-face interaction with friends & family.
- Get involved:
- Volunteer – reach out to help others in need.
- Work on community projects.
- Take classes.
* This information comes mostly from Johan Hari’s Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression—and the Unexpected Solutions.