“Throw your arms around me”: Explorations of the importance of social connectively to people’s wellbeing
We are social creatures at heart, and connectivity sustains and strengthens us. As the world reconnects after shutdowns and boarder closures, we are reminded how important togetherness and interconnectivity is to being human and maintaining heath. To hug loved ones who we have only seen over zoom in recent years, and to meet in person colleagues who we have only spoken with online is wonderful. The mental health benefits of connectivity are clear, and strong relationships and frequent positive social interaction are strength factors in maintaining good mental health and living well. However, the lack of social connection is emerging as one of the greatest challenges of our age (Smith, 2018). More people are living alone and disconnected from their communities. Social isolation, especially among older people living alone, is a determinant of ill health and early death (WHO, 2022). Living alone can increase mortality risk as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or having an alcohol related disorder (Holt-Lunstad et al., 2015). Social isolation not only has psycho-social impact, but also physical. Loneliness has been linked to high stress causing autoimmune disease as well as an increase in both coronary heart disease and stroke (Valtota et al., 2016). As Rushby-Jones (2020) writes, “loneliness is lethal”.
How to Cite:
Sleep, L. and Ngendakurio, J.B., 2022. “Throw your arms around me”: Explorations of the importance of social connectively to people’s wellbeing. Journal of Social Inclusion, 13(2), pp.1–3.
19 Dec 2022.