A report links a reduction in social connection with a decline in wellbeing. But isolation, loneliness and solitude are different things
Humans are social animals and the ways we connect – not only intellectually, but emotionally and sensorially – is crucial to physical and emotional “health”. Rituals such as eating together are fundamental in forming social relationships and emotional bonds. And this social connectedness is key to understanding loneliness.
Sainsbury’s Living Well index has identified a reduction in eating with others as a significant index of a decline in wellbeing, especially among baby boomers. It suggests this is linked to the breakdown of relationships in later life; middle-aged people score highly in loneliness measures as a rule, too, particularly when they have experienced divorce and social isolation.
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