We live in a very social world where we have the ability to talk to almost anyone from around the world at the push of a button. But that doesn’t mean that our social requirements are being met. Studies have shown that millennials are more socially isolated, but feeling less lonely than older adults. This may seem like that makes everything okay but being isolated and feeling lonely are two different things and both are bad for our health.
Loneliness Vs. Social Isolation
Someone could be surrounded by people and feel lonely, while someone who is absolutely alone could not feel lonely at all. Loneliness is more about the quality of social interactions and quenching a desire for social contact. It is a feeling that takes time to overcome, but with the right relationships, it can be dealt with.
Social isolation, however, is the number of social contacts you have. This is an issue that can quickly be fixed by increasing the number of people you see on a day to day basis. Both loneliness and social isolation play a crucial role in your physical and mental health.
Social Isolation And Your Health
Being socially isolated can lead to loneliness. Though you may have a small group of incredible people who gift you with a rewarding relationship, but if you don’t have enough human interaction you can still develop a feeling of loneliness. Social isolation can also lead you to become apathetic and make your self-esteem decline. Research shows that social isolation can impair more than just your mental health, but it is also a damage to your physical health as well.
People who are socially isolated have a 50% higher mortality rate than those who have a healthy social life. Many people who report social isolation also have sleep disturbances and inflammation. People who are lacking in their social life are also more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a stroke compared to those who have a good social circle. But why is this happening? Why are people feeling isolated? And what can we do to fix it?
Why Are People Socially Isolated?
It is extremely common for the elderly to become socially isolated, which is a sad statistic. They may have developed diseases and conditions that make it harder to go out and socialize, many seniors have lost their ability to drive having to depend on others for transportation. There are many reasons our seniors are becoming socially isolated, so don’t forget to visit your elderly family members as often as you can!
1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in America have experienced some form of physical abuse in their relationship. When someone is in an abusive relationship, their partner can increase the power over their partner by isolating them. Their partner can choose which friends they hang out with, who they talk to, and even prevent them from leaving the house. If your social isolation is a result of an “overprotective” partner, you may need to evaluate your situation.
Depression can cause you to not care about anything in the world, including what is best for your health. Some people may find that they can’t get out of bed because they don’t have the motivation to move. Others may find themselves buried in junk food to try to feel something that reminds them what it is like to be alive. Being consumed by these emotions can cause you to become socially isolated, having no motivation to seek out relationships or human interaction.
If being around people makes you anxious, why would you go and do it? People who have social anxiety can find themselves becoming isolated because they are trying to avoid their triggers. I get it; social anxiety is consuming. Maybe a past experience has kept you indoors so you never have to relive that moment again, but isolating yourself is just going to make matters worse. You can overcome social anxiety through therapy, and studies show that CBD has helped people who suffer from social anxiety as well.
Physical Disabilities Or Illness
If someone is confined to their bed and relies only on those who can visit to gain social interaction, they may find themselves socially isolated. Sometimes someone who has a physical disability may not go out and socialize as much because we are still a bit behind on places that are handicap accessible. They may also be exhausted of lugging their equipment around everywhere they go, making them less motivated to go out and be with friends. Some people who have disabilities can’t work, which is a huge part of our daily social interactions.
Major Life Transitions
If someone just got into a car accident totaling their car making them unable to drive, they may find themselves being socially isolated. When a loved one dies, the grief can cause the individual to hide out in their home. Moving into a new city cuts down your social circle, making you have to start from square one again which can be difficult to do if you are working or running a family.
Everything costs something, right? This includes going out and being with your friends. The younger ages, everyone wants to go to bars, concerts, and sports games. People want to travel and take trips that can cost a pretty penny. Even just going to the movies where you sit in a dark room watching a big screen with a few other people can cost an arm and a leg. People who are struggling financially may find that they have less interaction with people around them because they are too busy trying to survive.
If you work extreme hours, you may be getting contact with people at work, but at home, the exhaustion can cause you to recede into your couch. Not having any time to spend with the relationships you have built can cause you to feel socially isolated. If you work from home, this takes a massive chunk of time out of your day where you don’t have face-to-face contact.
What Can You Do About Social Isolation?
The best way to help you stop being so isolated is doing the work to get out and see people. It isn’t just about the quality of the relationship, seeing one person a day that you love and adore can still not be enough. But going out into the world and being around people is what you need to do. This is easier said than done considering all of the reasons that people are socially isolated, but here are some ideas to get your brain thinking.
Are you broke as a joke and have to decline every invitation out? Encourage your friends and family to do volunteer work with you. You get to meet new people who are all focused on bettering the world, and you get to spend time with the people you care about. The cherry on top is that you get to do something for your community and feel awesome about it.
Join A Group Or Club
One cool thing about book clubs is that many of them either take turns going to each other’s houses or meet in a public place to discuss literature. This can take some of the burdens off of people who have a difficult time getting out of the house, bringing the party to them! Finding people who have the same interests in you can help you develop those meaningful friendships and help you see people more regularly.
Ask For Help
If you find that you don’t go out often because of your wheelchair or because you don’t have a car, ask one of your friends to help you out. Take the burden off of yourself for once, and you can return the favor one day. Good friends don’t mind helping and they want to see you happy.
Reach Out To An Old Friend
Has a recent event caused you to avoid people? Sometimes something can happen in our lives that make us cut the chord to meaningful friendships. Reaching out to people that you care about but have lost touch with can help you start to get back out and enjoy people again. They most likely will want to go for a coffee or get lunch which can help you surround yourself with other people even if you choose not to interact with them.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
If you have social anxiety, agoraphobia, depression, or any type of mental illness that is causing you to become isolated, get that taken care of. Go and talk to a therapist, explain to them how you are feeling. They can help you train your mind to think in a more positive light and give fantastic advice that can benefit you. You can also take medication to help with the anxiety. Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown to help with several health issues that cause people to isolate themselves.
Issues That Can Cause Social Isolation That CBD May Be Able To Help Treat
- Social Anxiety
- General Anxiety
- Anger Issues
- Tourette Syndrome
While CBD hemp oil may be able to help with many underlying causes of social isolation, it isn’t going to fix everything for you. You still have to take the initiative to get yourself surrounded by people, and the help of a therapist can be extremely beneficial. If you are ready to get back out there, stop by our shop and check out the wide variety of hemp oil products we have that may be able to help you. Be sure to let your doctor know you’d like to take CBD oil so they can help monitor you and make sure that it is the best possible treatment option for you.
Have you ever suffered from social isolation? How did you overcome it? We would love to hear your story in the comment section below!