We all experience loneliness, but some of us suffer seriously from it. Simply saying “hello” could be a powerful way to address loneliness and extend your life. Keeping connected to family, friends and neighbors and not living in isolation also can be invaluable.
Social isolation, both real and perceived, has been found to shorten people’s lives. It has harmful physical and psychological consequences. Not surprisingly, it’s beneficial for people who are lonely to reconnect with people. The March 2015, Perspectives on Psychological Science contains a series of reports on loneliness.
Interestingly, lonely people often withdraw from social interactions. They also tend to be shy and take a passive role in conversations. According to the research, it’s a way for them to step back and look at the level of threat around them.
Some evidence suggests that more social interaction could be a way to reduce loneliness. So, reach out to the people you love. Talk to the people in your community. Engage with others in whatever ways you can.
Sanjay Gupta and Oprah Winfrey have launched a Just Say Hello campaign to help combat loneliness. Beyond reducing loneliness, having a buddy to talk to could motivate people we love to take better charge of their health and help ensure they comply with their medical regimen.
Here’s more from Just Care: