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“The Loneliness Epidemic:” How Service to Others Can Help Cure The Blues

Posted March 10, 2020

loneliness buena onda

Here’s a statement that you’re probably not used to hearing: The world has become a rather isolated place to live in.

“That doesn’t make sense,” you may argue. “I have a ton of friends following me on social media. I’m constantly texting my family members. I’m always instant messaging with my co-workers. How can I be isolated?”

That’s it. Right there. You answered your own question.

Although technology has made it possible to communicate with people across the world, we’ve become more shut off from society. The days of talking to someone directly are long gone. Now all you have to do is shoot off a quick email or text to talk to someone, even if that person is only a few feet away from you!

Don’t believe us? Take a look around while walking down the street. How many people have their eyes glued to a tiny digital screen, their ears plugged up by earbuds? When was the last time you sat down and talked to your loved ones face to face? To have a real conversation with someone without typing on a tiny keyboard or speaking to a small device?

Feel pretty lonely, don’t you? You’re not alone.

“Humans Need Others to Survive”

A decade ago, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a psychology professor at Brigham Young University, had published research that revealed those with strong social relationships had a 50 percent increased likelihood to survive longer than those with weaker ties. Her research had found that the danger of being disconnected from society is comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is more predictive of early death than the effects of air pollution or physical inactivity.

“Humans need others to survive,” Holt-Lunstad had said. “Regardless of one’s sex, country or culture of origin, or age or economic background, social connection is crucial to human development, health, and survival.”

So, in this increasingly digital world, how can we combat loneliness? Through helping others.

Helping Others Will Help Ourselves

According to recent research from the Mental Health Foundation, helping others can be beneficial for your mental health and well-being. Not only can it help lower your stress levels, but it can create a sense of belonging and reduces the feeling of being isolated from the world which, in turn, conquers the feeling of loneliness.

All it takes is a simple act of kindness. Offering a friend a much-needed loan. Helping someone move into a new apartment. Giving up your seat on the bus. Working at a food bank. Giving a blanket to someone in need.

Imagine what we can accomplish by helping others in our community. Not only can we defeat loneliness, but we can improve someone’s life drastically.

And that’s the mission of Buena Onda. We believe in making Guatemala a better place, and thanks to like-minded individuals, we will succeed in our goals.

Are you willing to cure your loneliness and help others in need? To learn more about our work, our volunteers, and our programs, contact us today or visit on your favorite social media platform.

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