Skip to Navigation

Social isolation is as harmful to people as well-established risk factors for mortality, like smoking and obesity.

Staying socially active, being well connected with family, peers and colleagues, is a major factor in health and survival. The quality of our relationships is, to a large extent, what governs our sense of wellbeing and happiness, but it goes further say researchers: “The quality and quantity of individuals’ social relationships has been linked not only to mental health but also to both morbidity and mortality.”

We are a social species and we rely on others to help us in all aspects of our lives. This includes our identities, sense of purpose, recognition and many of the subtler aspects of our development, as well as the obvious material elements. As our increasingly individualistic lifestyle in the West reduces our dependence on others it can also deprive us of the reciprocal demands and benefits of our relationships

In the UK, according to a 2010 survey by the Mental Health Foundation, 10% of people often feel lonely, a third have a close friend or relative who they think is very lonely, and half think that people are getting lonelier in general. Similarly, across the Atlantic, over the past two decades there has been a three-fold increase in the number of Americans who say they have no close confidants.

Taking care of our relationships may well be the most neglected aspect of our collective lives, whether at work, in the home, or in the community. Yet it is also the easiest to do something about, if we can only be bothered.

See also:

New York Times: A New Risk Factor: Your Social Life, by Tara Parker-Pope

Latest from the blog

Personal Calvary, and Chocolate

There are two types of people in the world, I’ve been told; those that can eat a bar of chocolate one piece at a time, and those who don’t even bother trying. The latter group have no brakes, and ‘sharing’ isn’t in their vocabulary (should that be vocadbury?*). There are two types when it comes […]

Continue reading

How to Adjust to Change

Change

Resisting change is not only a waste of time, it also makes it harder to deal with. Following advice from other people is probably not the right way to go either (you can still read this though).

Change can be difficult, but it needn’t be as big a problem as we often make it.

Continue reading

Brief Therapy for Depression

Most depressions can be cured or substantially alleviated yet we still pretend that they can’t. Hand-wringing and attempts at sympathy don’t help, enlightenment and common understanding will. Treatment guidelines are explicit, brief problem-solving talk-therapy is a proven treatment.
We should be accepting and treating depression as the common ailment it is, not shrouding it in mystery and pretending that we don’t know what to do about it.

Continue reading
FREE DOWNLOAD - Get it now.

How to be more Resilient

Get my super-helpful guide '9 Steps to Resilience' absolutely FREE, when you subscribe to my newsletter.

Understand the steps to resilience and you can develop the ability to cope with problems and setbacks with less stress and more confidence.
close-link
%d bloggers like this: