Friday, June 13, 2014

The Dangers of Loneliness!

“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.” Dorothy Day

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.”  Hebrews 10:24-25a


Now that I’ve started this blog and have really started thinking about community, I find that I am almost bombarded with more and more evidence that community is vitally important – to stable neighborhoods, nations and even to our own personal health!

On June 9, there was an article on (in the Science section) entitled, “Loneliness is as Deadly as Smoking”.  Wow – that’s provocative!  But look at the statistics cited in the article (with links to the original studies):

  • Studies of elderly people and social isolation concluded that those without adequate social interaction were twice as likely to die prematurely.
  • That increased mortality risk is comparable to the increased risk of premature death related to smoking!  And it is TWICE as dangerous as premature death linked to obesity.
  • Further, social isolation impairs immune function and increases inflammation – these factors can lead to increased risk of arthritis, type II diabetes and heart disease. 

Recent surveys indicate that loneliness has doubled in the last 30 years:  in the 1980s, 20 percent of adults said they were lonely.  Today that number is 40 percent (as calculated in two independent surveys)!

The article had even more alarming statistics (like how loneliness affects sleep), but I think you get the point.  It is imperative that we make time in our busy schedules to truly connect with one another.  If you have a place where you have good friendships and true connections – consider yourself fortunate!  If you don’t, and want a place to start, join us!  As I mentioned, we do a lot of things in community.  We have several ongoing community outreach projects, like collecting baby quilts for Young Lives and collecting gently used craft supplies for the Herndon Senior Center.  We have FREE Learn at Lunch demos every Tuesday from 12 – 2.  We have FREE card make-and-take projects every Thursday from 10 – 8.  We have Theme Nights on the last Wednesday night of the month. 
This summer, we’ve been adding other get-togethers to our list of activities as I continue to explore what it means to be community.  So far, we’ve had two sessions of Guided Meditations that have been wonderfully refreshing!  We’ve also had two sessions of the Affirmation’s Box workshop.  

Here’s what’s coming up soon on the horizon:

Let me know if you have questions about any of these.  I would love to hear from you!

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