Loneliness is more dangerous for your health than tobacco, alcohol and obesity.So there is nothing worse for a man than being alone.How to avoid feeling lonely?
Or, to put it another way, if you live with a happy, large family surrounded by lots of loyal friends, you can afford to eat more than you need to!
Consistently questioned in health information campaigns, obesity is less dangerous than loneliness and isolation. Who tells the children?
“Social isolation, family breakdown, geographic mobility and the anonymity of the neighborhood deteriorate the physical and emotional health of adults and children alike.”
“There is strong evidence that people who are single or divorced have a higher risk of developing illnesses than people of the same age. These people are also more affected by many diseases such as degenerative diseases, coronary heart disease, mental illness, etc. ”, the researchers had already observed 40 years ago!
Faced with this overwhelming picture, we say to ourselves that we must act urgently.
Because the situation has worsened since then.
5 million people never speak to a human being, be it a neighbor, shopkeeper, friend or family member!
The best investment of your time
Of course, it is not easy or often possible to quickly rebuild a family or make new friends when you are isolated. It takes time, and especially time and energy.
It’s like in love: you have to “cultivate” the relationship. People who work too much and no longer have time to devote to love, spouse or friends are making a big mistake.
We bite our fingers sooner or later, for example during hospitalization.
If you have relatives to accompany you, visit you, bring you personal items, do the administrative procedures, follow up with the doctors and nursing staff, remind you to take your treatments, motivate you to follow the diet and do the exercises that are appropriate. are prescribed to you, you have a much better chance of being cured, faster!
Being surrounded is therefore a capital asset for health, more important than medication.
The 5 channels of social integration
How to avoid feeling lonely?
The solution begins by realizing that there are no 36 ways to know people.
In fact, there are only five possible channels to be socially integrated:
By the family
Through recreation / social activities
Through the neighborhood (neighbors, traders, etc.)
Therefore, you minimize your risk of being alone one day if:
you live with a family, and not alone,
you have friends and regular occasions to see them (invitations, joint vacations, regular joint activities)
you work in a company where you are in contact with colleagues, customers and suppliers;
you have leisure and social activities (sports club, parish, association …)
and that you know your neighbors, the people in your neighborhood, especially the shopkeepers.
If you maintain these 5 channels, you will feel well surrounded. You will be healthier, and also happier: friendships and human contacts are the main factor of happiness in life.
If you miss only one channel, for example you don’t know any of your neighbors, or you don’t have any family, or no friend, chances are that, already, you start to feel a little lonely.
If you are missing more than one of these channels, then it is really important to take action.
Preparing for retirement: the social network more important than money
As long as we work all day in a company, we see people, we are invited to meetings, we are in demand …
It is a relief in the evening, or on weekends, to be calm at home.
But be aware that when retirement arrives, this flow will suddenly stop.
No more appointments in the agenda. No more team meetings. No more colleagues in the morning around the coffee machine … Suddenly, you feel like the traveler remains on the platform as the train continues its journey and disappears over the horizon.
Before, long before retirement, worry about cultivating your social network outside of your job. Think about what you would do, who you might see and hang out with all week apart from your coworkers.
Preparing for retirement is not just about saving money; we must also build up the “social capital”, the friendships and relationships, which will prevent us from being alone, or permanent one-on-one with our spouse, the day we no longer go to work.
Make the effort to invite, and accept invitations
It is important to invite people to your home regularly, and to receive them properly. A neighbor for a coffee, a couple of friends for a dinner, a family of cousins for a weekend… At least once a week.
This requires having planned at home enough to receive a minimum. A few drinks, olives, quality sausages, or other regional delicacies. A guest bedroom or at least a sofa bed in the living room.
It is also important to set aside the time to spend a few days on vacation with other people, and to do so, organize interesting and attractive activities.
Conversely, avoid refusing the solicitations. When an acquaintance invites you to get to know each other better, you can refuse once, twice, for lack of availability. But be careful because this may discourage good intentions.
Rather than responding, “I’m sorry but I’m not free, let’s see each other another time,” respond, “I’m sorry but I’m not free on this day. On the other hand, I am free on such and such a date, does that suit you? “.
We must avoid getting upset too easily, this is the great pitfall of social relations. One of my good friends, who is always very surrounded himself, once told me that his “secret”: “invite, invite, without ever getting discouraged, without getting upset if many (a majority) refuse or don’t even bother to answer ”.
“Most people won’t come. But some will come. And even those who are always busy, who always have something more interesting to do (than answering my invitations), will end up agreeing every now and then. It will be once in twenty or once in thirty, but it will already be better than not seeing each other at all! “
On vacation, send a postcard to everyone who is dear to us, as well as a Christmas or New Year’s card. This is especially important if you haven’t had the opportunity to see the person physically during the holiday. year. This will make the reunion easier, because we will have kept in touch in the meantime.
Maintaining social relationships is in fact a whole way of life. Some people are better at this than others. They do it more naturally.
But we can all force ourselves to do a little more in this area, and we will never regret it.