Loneliness can be as bad for you as smoking a pack a day

I did not make that up

Bottom line: It’s an immunity thing.

“Over the last decade,” says psychologist Susan Pinker in The Guardian, “huge population studies have shown that…the feeling of being part of a cohesive group fosters immunity and resilience,” and that, “…feeling untethered is not only uncomfortable, it is bad for your health. Research shows that people who feel socially disconnected are at a greater risk of dying young…”

This is some scary sh*t!

So I did a little digging…

…and found that the National Institutes of Health performed a study that establishes a link between loneliness and poor health, Loneliness in healthy young adults predicts inflammatory responsiveness to a mild immune challenge…  

“It’s not that (we) don’t have friends these days,” says Jessica Stillman in her Inc.com article, Loneliness Is as Bad for You as Smoking (but Hanging Out with Friends Reverses the Effects). “Check your Facebook page. You probably have hundreds. The problem is that we don’t often actually see those friends face-to-face.”

And the Villain is…

Clearly, covid is the culprit here. Thankfully, vaccinations and boosters are now readily available, so those who are not at great risk are able to meet up, if they choose to.

So now, let’s say you’re in a situation where you potentially can meet new friends. Like maybe on a Mah Jongg cruise. Or maybe through your job where you and your co-workers dispense medication. Or, maybe at a Franks & Beans monthly, fun, women’s event. (See what I did there? You knew it was coming.) If you do come to an event, here’s how you can break the ice with your potential new friends at your table:

  1. Introduce yourself! Say, “Hi! My name is Jackie!” It really is as easy as that. And I’d be surprised if your table mates don’t share their names, too, kicking off a conversation and even some laughter.
  2. Ask a question. “Have you been to any other Franks & Beans Events before this one?”
  3. Make a positive comment. “I really like that necklace! Where did you get it?”

4. Ignore your phone! It’s okay to glance at it if a call is coming in, because if it’s important, you need to take it. But please don’t check your emails, texts, Facebook or IG. The people you want to get acquainted with are right there in front of your face! A ping from Messenger is not.

Who knew making friends could save your life? And it’s a lot more fun than kicking the habit. Or even worse, having to give up homemade coconut pineapple cake.

Think about it and make your plan.

Virtual hugs,

Tobi's Signature

PS: Some of the above are “Easter Eggs” for four of my close friends. I hope they enjoy finding them.

PPS: The Franks & Beans Dream Team is coming up with an event where those seeking friends can come together and meet. Are you interested? Email me.

PPPS: Join us for 24/7 fun on Facebook at South Jersey Girls Who Wanna Have Fun. You can live anywhere is the U.S. to join, just be sure to answer the questions.