Welcome to Mindfulness Month, friends! As Spring unfurls itself and Old Man Winter crawls back into his pi,t we finally have the space to take some time to reflect on ourselves. In this age of information, where the distinctions between work and life become increasingly blurred, it’s not unfair to suggest that the hardest thing to truly know is yourself. We strive to alter that perception starting with loneliness.
Today we want to offer a gentle PSA to cope with the loneliness many young professionals might start feeling a few months into a job. If you’ve graduated university in the last couple of years, the unforgiving hustle of the average office might eventually crack your sterling exterior.
Whether you’re commuting into a city or holed up in a sub-par flat, you should remember to keep your friends close. New research shows that by keeping a tight-knit group of friends, you can keep yourself healthy.
Researchers, wiring in the journal Heart, collated data from 23 separate studies and concluded that social isolation, frequent feelings of loneliness and separation anxiety are tied to an increased risk of heart disease and strokes later on in life, reports NY Times.
So how exactly does one measure loneliness? After all, we all know it’s not as simple as just being alone. It’s commonly attested that some people feel the most lonely when they’re surrounded by people. This a common phenomena a lot of people experience when living in New York City, for example.
Loneliness was determined, in these studies, with questionnaires which unfortunately broadens the margin of error but still makes for interesting results.
The studies found that isolation increased the relative risk of these heart conditions by 29% and the risk of stroke by 32% regardless of your gender. But this isn’t an exercise in fear-mongering, it’s just another justification for why you should strive to surround yourself with the people who care about you and vice versa.