Articles on Loneliness

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Third places are most effective when, like Waverley Community Garden in Sydney, they appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. d-olwen-dee/flickr

Many people feel lonely in the city, but perhaps ‘third places’ can help with that

Third places are shared spaces where people can informally socialise. As a potential antidote to the modern scourge of loneliness, it's worth asking what makes the best of these places tick.
Edward Hopper’s ‘Office in a Small City’ (1953). Gandalf's Gallery

A history of loneliness

Although loneliness may seem timeless and universal, the word seems to have originated in the 16th century,
Social isolation is linked to increased blood pressure and depression. Mindmo/

Loneliness is bad for your health

Social isolation is linked to higher blood pressure, lower cognitive abilities and even increased chances of premature death.
People feeling anxious about social interactions can find support and solace on social media. Dean Drobot/

Online social networks can help fight social anxiety

Posting on social media, reaching a group of friends all at once, can make connecting with others less threatening for people who experience social anxiety.
A time of change is upon us. How do you balance risk and reward? REUTERS/Laurent Dubrule

Trust Me, I’m an Expert: Risk

Trust Me, I’m an Expert: Risk. CC BY45.3 MB (download)
This month, we're talking risk. Three experts give their perspective on how long you might live, how to deal with loneliness – and how to step outside your comfort zone.
Social researcher Hugh Mackay and The Conversation’s FactCheck Editor Lucinda Beaman.

Speaking with: social researcher and author Hugh Mackay on 2017, ‘a really disturbing year’

Speaking with: Hugh Mackay on 2017, ‘a really disturbing year’ CC BY-ND81.5 MB (download)
Author and social researcher Hugh Mackay says fragmentation was among the key themes of 2017 – but he has some concrete suggestions on how we can do better in 2018.
Individuals wearing virtual reality headsets often look isolated. But research shows they can experience profound emotions such as awe, which enhance their feelings of social connection and wellbeing. (Shutterstock)

Inspired, magical, connected: How virtual reality can make you well

Research shows that virtual reality experiences can help social disconnection and improve wellness - by inspiring awe.
Studies are showing that loneliness can be deadly, even more so than obesity. (Shutterstock)

Loneliness could kill you

Loneliness shortens our life spans and some studies suggest it's even more lethal than obesity. We are physiologically and psychologically primed for connection, so don't shrug off your loneliness.
Friendship helps protect against loneliness even when oldsters do not have dementia. It can be especially beneficial for those who do. sirtravelalot/

How being friends with someone who has dementia can be good for you both

A recent study finds that friends ought not let friends with dementia be lonely. The surprising part? Why staying friends is good for the friend without dementia as well as for the one who has it.

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