The sensation of loneliness or isolation is not a pleasant one. Depending on the circumstances that may provoke it, feeling as though we are alone without resources to connect with can be suffocating. We feel overwhelmed, unsure of where to go or who to reach out to, and often times we unfortunately tend to withdraw ourselves further because of a feeling of hopelessness.
Loneliness and its presence in our lives has arguably intensified since COVID-19 began. Being forced to avoid others and public places has certainly contributed to a feeling of isolation, and while required to slow the spread of the coronavirus, these measures haven’t made things any easier in a mental health context.
But, according to an article from The Good News Network, becoming wise in something can be an effective way to combat feelings of loneliness.
“In a recent cross-cultural study, researchers in California and Italy teamed up and found that there was a significant correlation between wisdom and not being lonely.
“‘People with higher scores on a measure of wisdom were less lonely and vice versa,’ said Dilip Jeste, MD, senior associate dean for the Center of Healthy Aging and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
“Moreover, the study examined middle-aged and older adults in both an urban environment, San Diego, California, and a rural one, in Cilento, Italy.
“’Loneliness was consistently associated with poor general health, worse quality of sleep and less happiness, whereas the reverse was generally true for wisdom,’ said Dr. Jeste, the lead investigator of the team, which involved the University of Rome La Sapienza.
“Wisdom has several components, such as empathy, compassion, self-reflection and emotional regulation. Researchers found that empathy and compassion had the strongest inverse correlation with loneliness. People who were more compassionate were less lonely,” the article says.
Who would have thought that something like wisdom could fight off feelings of loneliness?