SPENDING TIME WITH MUM AND DAD MIGHT SAVE THEIR LIVES!
A long and happy life is something we all wish for ourselves, our children and our families and according to a new study, it may be more simple than you think.
According to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, inviting your parents over for dinner, visiting them frequently and allocating time to spend time with them might actually mean they live longer!
The “Loneliness in Older Persons” study, which followed 1,600 participants with an average age of 71, showed that loneliness was a huge factor in rate of deterioration, and subsequent death of participants. Within six years of the study, 23 per cent of lonely participants died, in comparison with only 14 per cent of those who were not lonely.
John Cacioppo, a neuroscientist at the University of Chicago and co-author of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection says, “Feelings of social connection, as well as feelings of disconnection, have enormous influence on our bodies as well as our behaviours. We all decline physically sooner or later, but loneliness can increase the angle of the downward slope. Conversely, healthy connection can help slow that decline.”
As we get older, the number of social connections we have decreases. Children have friends at school, many adults have working relationships yet the regular social interactions elderly people have can be limited, and they often look to younger family for company.
So, why not invite grandma to dinner this week? It may just extend her life!
Combat Your Own Loneliness
Loneliness is not limited to the elderly. Children and adults can both feel lonely at certain stages in their life and sometimes it’s hard to understand or explain why. Here are our top tips for combating loneliness.
1. Identify It. Often feeling lonely is just that, a feeling. So, identifying why you’re feeling lonely is the first step in being able to figure out what you need to do to feel content.
2. Reach Out. Loneliness can go unnoticed by others in your life, so let them know if you need company, even if it’s just someone to watch a movie with.
3. Find Others. Sometimes the problem is that you are actually alone, so get out there, join a club, meet people. There are plenty of people in the same boat as you, so find them!
4. Show Up. When you’re lonely, it’s easy to get into a cycle of not wanting to interact. But if you’re feeling this way it is important that you keep the plans you’ve made and show up, even if you don’t want to.
5. Nurture Others. Teach your children, adopt a pet, volunteer. Focusing on looking after others can really help alleviate loneliness.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: