A recent study suggests that loneliness and isolation increases our risk of mortality along the same lines as many other more well-known risk factors. In fact, evidence
indicates the lack of social relationships to be a greater risk than that from obesity. Consider your own network of family and friends—do you have an ample amount of friends and support? Do you have a a family member, friend, or acquaintance who could use some support? Think of how you can reach out to them and make the world a little better. What if you find yourself to be more isolated? Start meeting people with common interests through a local gym, place of worship, or by volunteering and see if you can develop connections that way.
Brent Bauer, MD, is a consultant in the Division of General Internal Medicine, Medical Director for Rejuvenate, and Medical Director for the WELL Living Lab.