Loneliness—it’s not just an emotion that surfaces from time to time among a sliver of the population. Researchers in the US and UK are now calling it an epidemic that impacts our mental and physical health.
The Mental Health Foundation in the UK shares some startling statistics: isolation can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. And one quarter of individuals in the UK feel disconnected, relying on their phones to reach out to their communities. It brings to mind a dystopian sense of connection tackled in Charlie Brooker’s television anthology series Black Mirror, in a recent episode called “Nosedive,” where the protagonist relies on a social media networking site to gain status and friends and isolates herself from her family.
Three Ways to Feel Connected to Others
If you’re looking to make a deeper connection with those around you, here’s three mindful things you can do right now:
1) Feeling disconnected? Try this loving-kindness practice.
2) Look for everyday moments to connect. Here are 5 ways to connect with kindness.
3) Create your own mindful community. Set up a mindfulness meditation group.