Odds are that you will feel lonely at some point in your life. Statistics vary widely on what percentage of the population regularly or frequently feels lonely, but it appears the number is between 25-45% of Americans.
The health effects are serious as well. Being lonely over long periods of time is the same as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Those who are chronically lonely have the same mortality rate as those who are obese.
Even if you aren't dealing with loneliness, chances are you know someone who is. And their well-being (both mentally and physically) can have an impact on you. As you grow older, you will likely lose more family and friends, and therefore may find yourself isolated. I don’t say this to cause fear, but to convince those of you who want to turn away from the importance of this issue. As life expectancy increases, it's logical to conclude that the possibility of having fewer friends and family will come into play.
Loneliness is also an issue for youth. There are many possible reasons for this (which I will explore in future posts) but for those of you who are young and reading this, or who have children in their teens or early twenties, it's something to be aware of.
What this comes down to is that even if you aren't feeling lonely, there's a good chance you will at some point in your life. Or someone you care about and love probably is dealing with loneliness. And if after all those numbers you’re still the type of person who says, “I only care about the bottom line,” then know that this is a health problem that costs us significant amounts of money due to premature deaths and unhappy workers who aren't as productive.
This blog is an exploration of the subjects of belonging and loneliness. I also look at mental health issues. I seek to provide content to my readers that is informative and helpful. If you don't want to miss anything, sign up for my email list.