Four Top Tips For A Healthy Heart Part 3: Human Contact
Week three of National Heart Month is about human contact and the impact that social isolation can have on our heart health. Loneliness is a huge problem, and the numbers are rising. The University of York has linked social isolation and loneliness to an increased risk of heart attack (29%), and stroke (32%).
Human Contact & Making Connections
It’s an essential part of being human: having the ability to connect with each other. We are tribal creatures. During the pandemic, many of us got used to spending long periods of time alone and going without seeing the familiar faces of our loved ones. According to a survey taken in November 2020 (nine months into COVID-19 restrictions), 24% of people reported feeling lonely during the two weeks prior. Long-term loneliness can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and depression, which causes people to feel even more isolated.
Reaching Out & Spending time
Our mental wellbeing can have a huge effect on our heart health. So, what can we do to combat loneliness?
This week, I want to encourage you to reach out to another human being. It could be a friend, a colleague, a family member, or someone you haven’t seen for a long time. You can even start with spending some time interacting with a pet if you’d prefer. Reach out to someone and make contact. Attend a book club, pencil in a virtual coffee, or maybe invite someone to go for a walk. You could even go for a walk in nature and practice some breathwork, to adopt two of the previous tips we’ve had as part of heart health month.
Quality Over Quantity
Studies show that people who socialise more are happier, healthier, and live longer compared to those who are less connected. It’s not about having a partner or lots of friends; it’s the quality of your relationships that matters. So, get in touch with someone – anyone – that has had a positive impact on your life. You never know, the person that you reach out to may need it even more than you.
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