Loneliness is more prevalent today due to the pressures of modern day living. One can be surrounded by people but still feel alone and, with the increase of high-rise apartments, and remote working people rarely speak to others on a regular basis.
Others can feel excluded from society for a number of reasons, real or perceived. It can affect any age group, from children to the elderly.
Loneliness can have a massive impact on mental and physical health wellbeing, and mental illness already accounts for 20% of total disease in the UK.
Health and wellbeing can be measured by a duel continuum:
The happier people are, the healthier they are. Higher levels of wellbeing in society reduces the level of mental and physical illness.
Pursuit of goals
• Resilience and assets
Adapt and recover
Good physical health links to good mental healthcare.
• Participation and inclusion
Connection to others – community groups increase life expectancy.
The Mental Wellbeing Assessment promotes five ways to increase wellbeing:
Give → Connect → Be active → Take notice → Keep learning
People may forget what others say and do, but not how it makes them feel.
Volunteering is a proven way to combat stigma and the feeling of isolation It offers, choice, reciprocity, recognition and diversity. Volunteering helps to change lives for the better and improve feelings of wellbeing.
Top benefits of volunteering:
- Satisfaction and enjoyment
- Achievement and expertise
- Meeting people and making friends.
Being active improves psychological wellbeing for all age groups. It enhances self-esteem, capability, alleviates stress and detracts from negativity. Remember, walking is one of the simplest and most effective forms of exercise that anyone can do.
People will only change if they want to, but small changes can be ‘doable’.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Blog post by Kathleen Turnbull: BA Hons BAWLA AoR FHT CNHC REPs