Are you Lonely, even if you don’t live alone?
Rhode Island’s award winning journalist, Herb Weiss, prompted this question in Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly.
While reading the informative articles included in the book, one struck me as particularly relevant for Valentine’s Day. Weiss’ discussion on the #1 being the loneliest number reminded me of some retirees I interviewed while researching for Survive.
Weiss reported on the effects of companionship on our health and cited a study by the UCSF Division of Geriatrics. Researchers found that loneliness does not necessarily correlate with living alone. Forty three percent of surveyed older adults felt lonely, while only 18 percent of them lived alone.
Risks of Loneliness
This statistic is important because the study also found that those who identified themselves as lonely had a 59% greater risk of health decline. Of that 59%, 45% of them had a greater risk of earlier death.
In addition to the risk to one’s health, it’s noteworthy that retired couples who feel lonely are potentially missing the most joyful time of life.
If you have a spouse or life-partner, you have probably experienced many ups and downs. Nonetheless, you’ve stayed together and managed the problems. Now is not the time to let memories of difficulties color today’s relationship. Is it possible for you to let go of the bad times and focus on the happy ones?
An Antidote to Feeling Lonely
The best way to change the sad to glad is to develop an attitude of gratitude. Focusing each day on one thing that makes you grateful for your life-mate, stifles habits of harboring bad feelings. According to the Happy Human, gratitude makes you happier, helps your marriage, makes you look better and helps you make friends. That sounds like pretty good benefits for changing just one habit!
Today is Valentine’s Day. Why not give gratitude a chance? What do you have to lose?
Your thoughts on the effects of gratitude in your life will inspire others! Please share them below.
PS: Due to the positive response to the match offer for Survive’s book and eBook we decided to extend the offer until Friday, February 17, 2017. I hope this will help you show the special people in your life that you care.