One of the frustrating things about science is that the path to truth is often littered with contradictions. Drinking wine is good for you. Drinking wine is bad for you. Eggs will kill you. Eggs may save your life. Salt is good, salt is bad… Well, you get the idea.
This is one of the reasons that I love “meta-studies,” in which scientists take the time to look at all of the previous research in a particular area. A single study can be flawed or biased. Looking at multiple data points can give you a complete picture of what is really going on.
A good example of this approach is the work that a team at Brigham Young University did to analyze 70 previous loneliness studies. Their conclusion? Loneliness kills.
Specifically, after looking at 70 studies, completed from 1908 to 2014, the team found that people that were lonely or socially isolated had a 30% higher chance of dying than those who had regular social contact.
In our own Sixty and Me loneliness survey, 75% of the women in our community said that they feel lonely some of the time.
38% of our members said that they felt like they had no-one to talk to.
So, loneliness is a big issue for women our age!
When we feel lonely, we sometimes feel a lack of control. The good news is that there are plenty of things that we can do to fight back against loneliness – and most of these don’t involve “getting out there and meeting more people.”
If you are looking for a place to start in your fight against loneliness, please read the following articles, and explore our section on how to deal with loneliness. I hope that this information helps you to find the happiness that you deserve!
What do you think of the results of this meta-study? What advice would you give to a friend who is feeling a bit lonely right now? Please join the conversation.