Being anti-social is bad for one’s health, according to a new study. Conducted by Brigham Young University’s department of Psychology, researchers looked at literature from multiple sources on the effect anti-social behavior had on mortality. The results don’t look good.
The title of the study was, “Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality.” It was published in Psychological Science in March of 2015. When people didn’t have social or community ties, they were likely to have compromised their physical and psychological resilience.
According to the study, both perceived and actual loneliness negatively impacted a person’s health. Social isolation, whether real or imagined, were found to increase the potential of a person’s mortality. When looking at social isolation, loneliness and living along people were found to have a 29%, 26% and 32% increase in likelihood of mortality respectively.
It is important then for people to be social in order to live a full life. However, some attribute their social aversion to anxiety disorders. If that’s the case, there may be good news. Another study found that completing acts of kindness can reduce social anxiety.
The study was conducted by researchers at Simon Fraser University in Canada. It involved a four week study of 115 students with high levels of social anxiety. They were divided into three groups. One group was told to complete acts of kindness like doing a roommate’s dishes, getting involved with charities or helping a neighbor. Another group was told to interact in social situations, while the third was only told to record their daily activity.
The group that completed acts of kindness had the greatest reduction in their desire to avoid social situations. The researchers concluded that completing good deeds is one way to help treat people with social anxiety. The study was published in the journal Motivation and Emotion.
One way suggested, which I avidly support, is working with charitable organizations. There are several causes you can help support and be involved in which will help you build a sense of community, and could reduce social anxiety. Learn about some of the many incredible causes I’m working with that you could get involved with to help your overall health.
Be good to each other,
Julian Omidi is a philanthropist who has founded many charitable organizations that work to make the world a better place.