The prevalence of loneliness - Deepstash

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The world's happiest people have a beautifully simple way to tackle loneliness

The prevalence of loneliness

Loneliness is becoming an "epidemic" and is associated with illnesses like heart disease, dementia, depression, anxiety, and longevity.

  • One study revealed that 22% of Americans, 23% of Brits, and 9% of Japanese adults said they felt lonely all the time.
  • 40% of people aged 16 - 24 said they were often lonely, according to the BBC.

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The world's happiest people have a beautifully simple way to tackle loneliness

The world's happiest people have a beautifully simple way to tackle loneliness

https://qz.com/1591563/the-danish-have-designed-a-simple-way-to-cope-with-loneliness/

qz.com

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Key Ideas

Becoming less lonely

Ventilen, or “friend to one” in Danish, is an organization that helps 15-to-25-year-olds get together twice a week with two or three volunteers. Together, the people in the group play games, make meals, go to the cinema, and build human connections.

Coming together

Back in 1999, a support group called Bright Point was formed to fill the need of friends. But when people came together, no one talked. It was only after games were introduced as a catalyst that friendships started forming. Later, making meals and exercising was added successfully.

The program is not without challenges. Many lonely people may feel intimidated and won't attend. But designating a space for gathering and activities is a good step toward tackling loneliness. 

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Health Risks Associated With Loneliness

Loneliness has a wide range of negative effects on both physical and mental health, including:

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  • Cardiovascular disease and stroke
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Don’t blame social media

Among the theories on why there is more loneliness today is more time online and less time in front of people. 

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Young and lonely

Generation Z (ages 18-22) had the highest loneliness scores, followed by the millennials (ages 23-37). The Greatest Generation (adults ages 72 and older) were the least lonely. 

Lonely people are less able to pick up on positive social stimuli, like others’ attention and commitment signals, so they withdraw prematurely – in many cases before they’re actually socially isolated.

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