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Samaritans offer advice to help loneliness

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Insightful research based on 300,000 people found that living a longer life requires more than dietary considerations, routine exercise, amoxicillin k and good genes. Based off an Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing, having “strong social ties” increased longevity by 50 percent across a decade. The 10-year clinical analysis found such a finding applied regardless of a person’s age, sex, or health status.

Moreover, the data revealed that having close friends can have a better health impact than only being close to your family.

The review revealed that having close family ties had very little impact on longevity.

Meanwhile, people with the most friends tended to outlive those with the fewest by 22 percent.

Having few friends was similar to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and more dangerous than obesity, the Business Insider reported.

The Campaign to End Loneliness stated the “facts” when it comes to this health hazard.

“Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day,” the charity warned.

“Worse for you than obesity”, loneliness can increase your risk of death by 26 percent.

Loneliness and social isolation are associated with an increased risk of:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Cognitive decline
  • Dementia.

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The Marmalade Trust delved into the topic of loneliness, stating: “We’re biologically wired for social contact, and loneliness is our signal that we need more.”

The organisation elaborated: “Loneliness is a perceived mismatch between the quality or quantity of social connections that a person has and what they would like to have.”

People can feel lonely in a relationship or while spending time with friends or family.

This is especially true if you do not feel understood or cared for by the people around you.

There are five different types of loneliness:

  1. Emotional loneliness
  2. Social loneliness
  3. Transient loneliness
  4. Situational loneliness
  5. Chronic loneliness.

Six factors are sad to increase the likelihood of feeling lonely, such as:

  • Moving away from home
  • Starting university or a new job
  • Becoming a new parent
  • A relationship break-up
  • Suffering a bereavement
  • Retirement.

In order to combat loneliness, first acknowledge the feeling.

Secondly, identify what you need and then, thirdly, take appropriate action.

Expanding on the three-pronged approach, the Marmalade Trust assured that “loneliness is a very normal human emotion”.

Akin to feeling hungry or thirsty, a feeling of loneliness points out a human need for connection.

It is healthy for you to acknowledge and state your needs.

Once you have identified a feeling of loneliness within yourself, the Marmalade Trust recommends you to “reach out and tell someone” – and then take action.

For more support call the Marmalade Trust on 07566 244788.

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