Both men and women that were in relationships where they felt like they could really rely on the person had a keener and more intact memory.
Those that were in relationships where they felt like they couldn’t rely on someone had memory problems and overall mental decline. The safer and more connected people feel, the healthier they stay.
Again, it was the interaction and connection in those relationships that contributed to the overall health of the person. Feeling safe, warm, protected, and connected equals good health and longevity.
Alzheimer’s And Loneliness
In support of the Harvard study, it’s important to point out that a recent Alzheimer’s study published in Jama Psychiatry added to the association between loneliness and social isolation with cognitive decline.
Many older adults that have the precursor signs of Alzheimer’s disease also reported loneliness as an ongoing problem in their lives. This potential link is currently being studied more as a possible connection to the disease.
Social isolation among the elderly is widespread, and a topic our modern society is failing to address.
Loneliness And Premature Death
The Huffington Post reported that psychologists at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah found that, “Social isolation and feelings of loneliness increase a person’s chance of premature death by 14 percent.”
The article explains that this is double the percentage of death by obesity. You have more of a chance of dying from the effects of loneliness than you do from being obese.
It’s becoming very clear from all these enlightening studies that building warm, reliable, and quality relationships is the key to a long, happy, and healthy life.
These are sound principles when building a community. The pattern we see across all this research is that loneliness can actually make us sick and eventually kill us!
We can eat well, exercise, drink our Athletic Greens®, and have success in our careers, but if we are lonely, then we may not get the lasting health and happiness we want.
Having A Healthy Community Is Ancient Wisdom
My father used to tell me when I was a child that if I ended up with around three to five good friends, I was doing well in life.
There is an old proverb “Loneliness breaks the human spirit!”
This inherent need for deep human relationships is ancient. In Genesis 2:18, God is quoted as saying, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Our need for community and human relationships is innate and built in us for survival.
It is something that has been taught and passed on for generations; to abandon this wisdom now in light of new technology would be detrimental to our health according scientific research.
What Does Community Mean To You?
What does community mean to you? Are you suffering from loneliness?
Do you have hundreds of online friends but not anyone you feel you can count on in person? Have you thought of ways you can build community into your life?
In the article on loneliness statistics at CBSNews.com, Dr. Jennifer Caudle recommends joining a church, synagogue, or mosque.
You can also take a class or join a club. These are all steps to building relationships and finding meaningful friendships. There is also the opportunity to make plans and reconnect with old friends face-to-face rather than online.
All of these studies on loneliness strike a chord in my own life. As someone who has struggled with loneliness at different times in my life, I feel I’m a bit of an expert on this topic.
I’ve hit rock bottom with my health, and in business, and I’ve felt truly alone. It took a lot of commitment and a willingness to reach out to those close to me, to make a positive change.
For me, it’s crucial to put in the work to keep my close relationships solid. I have to make the effort to spend less time online and more time with people in person. But that effort is worth the reward.
Join The Conversation
We would love to learn more about how you battle loneliness and how you work on your relationships.
Join the conversation with the team at Athletic Greens® about the loneliness epidemic.
Start building your community today. Share with us your thoughts on how we can help each other feel healthy and connected, because nobody should die of loneliness.