Loneliness has become a major problem in modern society. We live in an interconnected world where we can talk to people anywhere in the world instantaneously. We have social media that connects us with friends and family, yet more and more people are finding that they are suffering increasingly from loneliness.
What does loneliness look like?
Loneliness is a sad emotion that someone can feel if they are isolated or feel a sense that they have a lack of friends or family members. Loneliness can make people feel anxious and can lead to depression.
What does loneliness do to a person?
Loneliness can lead to depression and thus is a risk factor in suicide. Loneliness can lead to alcoholism. In children, loneliness can cause antisocial and self-destructive behaviour. In people loneliness often has a negative impact on memory and learning, and a disruption of sleep patterns. Loneliness can also cause anxiety in people.
Why is loneliness hazardous to your health?
Loneliness can lead to the following problems.
• Depression and suicide
• Cardiovascular disease and stroke
• Increased stress levels
• Decreased memory and learning
• Antisocial behaviour
• Poor decision-making
• Alcoholism and drug abuse
• The progression of Alzheimer's disease
• Altered brain function
Whom does loneliness affect?
Anyone can experience loneliness. It’s not unique to any group of people. Loneliness can happen through no fault of our own. Friends can move away; family members can pass away. It can be hard to make new friends, especially when other things like work get in the way. It can be hard to admit that we might be feeling lonely.
Loneliness is not the same as social isolation. People can be isolated (alone) yet not feel lonely. People can be surrounded by other people, yet still, feel lonely.
What is the difference between loneliness and social isolation?
Social isolation is having little or no contact with society. Some people voluntarily chose to become socially isolated for short periods of time in order to recuperate or to give them space to think about things. Bill Gates famously does a think week twice a year where he goes away and socially isolates himself from others to read and think about the future.
People can feel lonely even if they are surrounded by a lot of other people. Loneliness can occur even to people in marriages, relationships, families and successful jobs. How can we help people that suffer from loneliness?
One of the reasons we set up the Science Center as a project wasn't just to teach people about critical thinking and foster a passion for Science. It was also to create a place that people can meet and build connections with other people through a shared connection of learning about how the world around them works. You can learn more about the Science Center by following the link. It's also one of the reasons why we have one meet every four weeks that focuses on board games as playing games has shown huge benefit for creating bonds between people
Why board games?
Board games are a great way to break the ice with people that you might not know well. It also helps improve thinking skills and executive functions in people. Many board games play an important part in stress reduction and releasing endorphins which help make you feel good about yourself. Board games can also bring laughter which helps decrease stress, they also bring people together and strengthen relationships. Board games help pull people out of the digital world and away from screens to be in the here and now. Playing board games has been shown to help lower blood pressure, while also enhancing creativity and self-confidence. Board games are an important way to improve your overall wellbeing, while also being fun and good for you.
How are board games good for you?
Play is an essential part of being human at any point in life. Adults need to play as much as children do. It strengthens the bonds between us. It helps us relax or excites us. It stimulates our imaginations and helps keep us sane.
How are board games educational?
Board games can teach adults and children new skills. Whether it is the names of locations on a world map, the use of numbers in snakes and ladders to planning ahead in a strategy game.
How can I help? You can help by becoming a Member or donating to support our Science Center below: