With the risk to your heart similar to years of smoking, isn’t it time we took more action to combat loneliness? We uncover how feeling alone can impact your health and why turning to your neighbours can help you to feel more connected.
Loneliness is an increasing problem with society today. And, it unfortunately, doesn’t get easier with age. Roughly one in five people in the UK feel lonely each day. With around one in ten adults having no close friends to talk to, it’s easy to feel isolated.
Whether you’ve moved to a new area, live alone, or your friends have passed away, feeling alone isn’t uncommon. As we get older, making new friends can seem like an impossible task. Yet, it isn’t as difficult as it may appear.
One way to make new friends and immerse yourself in your local community is to reach out to your neighbours. You’ll appreciate the opportunity to talk about your day, discover any updates in your local area, and create a comfortable safety net when you need it most. A small step outside of your comfort zone could have huge benefits for your health.
What causes loneliness?
Loneliness is a complex emotion that is unique to each individual as a direct response to feeling isolated. There isn’t one singular cause to loneliness, yet there are common factors that can trigger this unpleasantness.
How old you are, whether you live in a city or village and your overall health are contributing aspects that can influence loneliness.
As this low state of mind takes over, it can actually cause your health to get worse. Studies have shown that health problems such as heart disease and strokes can occur as a result of loneliness. With the feeling of isolation having a similar risk as smoking for heart disease, it’s time to act now.
Why can connecting with your neighbour’s help?
Moving home to a new area where you don’t know a lot of people or living alone makes it harder to connect with others during your day. Making new friends can feel next to impossible. It can be a daunting experience to join a new club or to spark a conversation with a stranger at the supermarket. Yet, the opportunity to make new friends could be easier and closer to home than you think.
Reaching out to your neighbours is just what you need. It’s a great chance to make new friends, whether it be speaking about your day or learning about the updates in your local community. And your mind will be grateful you did.
If you’re unsure on how to start the connection, why not take over a baked cake (or bought) or invite them around for a cup of tea one afternoon. They’ll appreciate you making the effort and your kind gesture will be rewarded in no time.
Your neighbours are in walking distance and are probably having the same feelings as you are. And you never know, it could spur a fluttering friendship.
What are the benefits of reaching out to your neighbours?
Connecting with your neighbours is a great first step towards building a happier and healthier life. With blossoming new friendships, you’ll have a great outlet of communication for everything that’s on your mind. And a connected society means you’ll grow a close-knit community and each help to combat loneliness.
How else can you meet new people?
Reaching out to your neighbours isn’t the only way to meet new people in your local area. You can join a sports club, start a new hobby or even sign up to an online project like the Campaign to End Loneliness.
Taking the first step is always the hardest part, but once you do, you’ll love the rewards. So, why not take a leap of faith today? Spark a conversation with your neighbours about their holiday plans, local delicacies or your hobbies. For more ways to connect with new people and give your life a renewed sense of purpose, you can read our article on tips to making your life easier here.