Being alone without social engagement with family and/or friends can be more unhealthy than being obese is a conclusion made by a study from the UK. Read the details at LONELINESS STUDY
The study examined the physical impact on people rather than mental or emotional impact. It found that loneliness has concrete negative effects on health. Loneliness causes the body to produce more fibrinogen, a fatty protein, which elevates blood pressure and increases fatty deposits in the arteries. In short, this hardening or narrowing of the arteries diminishes one’s health severely.
Living on your own
If you are living on your own and have no or very little social contact with other people, you should undertake some serious review as to how you might be able to change your social interactivity.
First, assess your social interaction with others in a realistic way. You do not have to be with people every day. However, if you are not engaging with anyone for weeks on end, your socialization with others needs re-assessment. You are putting your health at serious risk.
Increasing your social activity
There are numerous ways to increase your social activity. Consider how you might incorporate some of them into your lifestyle in an easy and positive way.
- Community centre activities
Your community likely has recreation centres, libraries, and community centres with numerous opportunities for you to engage with others. Check with your local centres as to what is available and what appeals to you. You could even combine an exercise class with your goal of increasing your social interactivity.
- Engage in some sort of social activity locally
You may have opportunities for social interaction nearby if you do a little research. Libraries offer many activities for social engagement, book clubs, movie nights, coffee meetings, and much more. Find something that interests you and join the group.If you say, “Nothing interests me,” you may have a problem. Joining something, you may find your interest really grows as you engage with other people. You need to take the first step, any step and in no time you may become more positively engaged.
- Tim Horton’s at the very least
At the very least, get dressed and go to a coffee shop nearby. Do this once or twice a week. Eventually, someone will see you as a regular and nod your way. Say something to them, nod back, be welcoming, smile and greet them. You never know, you may be helping someone else with their loneliness challenges.
- Take a course, any course
Take a course if your budget permits it, any course. A computer course, an art course, a book review club, a movie club. If you are a shy person by nature, the course will give you structure by which you can talk to others and others will talk with you. The engagement will be productive and positive for you but remember, the idea is not to become a computer geek or a Pablo Picasso. It is just to be with people and increase your social interactivity.
- Attend a spiritual service
Perhaps a church or other place of worship has some appeal. Consider attending a service somewhere, the denomination may not be as important as simply attending. You may hear some beautiful singing by a choir. Or you might even join the congregation as they sing songs of worship. The comradery and spiritual community may help alleviate your feelings of loneliness and depression.
You may not think it can be so, but loneliness can kill you. Being on your own, alone, always is not healthy. This is a studied fact. If you are in that situation where you are alone all the time, examine your life and find where you might make changes to it to engage you more with other people. You never know who might benefit from this effort. You? Others? Or both.