Cost of Loneliness – Part 1
Loneliness is costly.
The CDC reports that social isolation and loneliness costs the U.S. economy an estimated $406 billion a year. A study by the University of Chicago found that loneliness can be as debilitating as anxiety or depression. High blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and other conditions are linked to it, increasing the risk of premature death. The disabled, those with poor physical and mental health, single parents, and the financially insecure particularly suffer. Research shows that social isolation is as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or drinking six alcoholic beverages a day. God created us to thrive within a community with in-person socialization.
Loneliness costs communities in economic prosperity, crime, and violence. Children and adolescents pay in lower academic outcomes and their social development. Employers bear the cost of reduced productivity and sick leave. Employees have lower output which threatens their income. Friends and relatives pay by taking time off for caregiving. Scams target our lonely elders. Making and maintaining relationships takes work, but it’s beneficial. Don’t wait for someone to call or invite you somewhere. Reach out first. You may discover that others are just as hungry for friendship as you. Even so, Oswald Chambers said, “The dearest friend on earth is a mere shadow compared to Jesus Christ.”
Come make new friends at Crown’s 2023 Reunion. We plan to gather October 12-15 at Ridgecrest Conference Center near beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. For more details and registration, go to crown.org/reunion.