Scary stat reveals true isolation of the British public

Scary stat reveals true isolation of the British public

A staggering 40 per cent of Brits have gone at least three days without face-to-face interactions, a new study has revealed.

OnePoll in collaboration with Zumba polled 2,000 British adults to delve into the day-to-day challenges faced with 60 per cent of those between 18 and 24 reporting feelings of loneliness.

They also found that 28 per cent of participants even felt lonely while surrounded by people at social events, with a further quarter of Brits feeling isolated at work.

The study hints at a loneliness epidemic, with a mere 14 per cent of people saying they open up about those feelings. Over half believe there's a stigma around speaking about loneliness.

That said, keeping such emotions suppressed can result in some psychological damage including self-esteem and confidence issues, a rise in anxiety symptoms and even affecting sleep.

Two in five claimed their sleep pattern was impacted when they felt lonely, and 29 per cent felt less attractive.

Psychologist Anjula Mutanda said on behalf of Zumba: "Human beings are by our very nature social beings and psychological research asserts that we need to belong, to relate to each other and feel connected to other people – this is how we survive and thrive.

"Therefore, feeling disconnected or cut-off from quality relationships with others can negatively impact our mental and physical health – something which has been highlighted in the research."

The study went on to share five tips to tackle loneliness head-on:

  1. Develop an awareness of any unhelpful habits that you may have formed whenever you have felt lonely. For example, jot down when you notice a tendency to withdraw from others and isolate yourself - when all you actually want to do is to reach out.
  2. When you sense a downward emotional spiral creeping up, do something different that will help you to shift how you feel, instead of leaning into it. It could be as simple as texting a friend or going for a walk - engaging in one small step could help you to take control and start thinking and feeling more positively.
  3. Disrupt familiar and well-practised negative thoughts you may have developed over time. For example, wanting to join a dance class but preventing yourself from doing so for fear that that other people may judge you negatively. Those pesky negative automatic thoughts (NATS) can really prevent you from reconnecting with things you love.
  4. Engage in new activities as this can help you create a more positive mindset and form new habits. Start small by doing things such as volunteering to do the coffee run at work or actively engaging with colleagues. Or in your free time, why not look for local events that you enjoy, like signing up for a fitness session or joining a film club.
  5. Sometimes, you can feel so stuck or overwhelmed that the thought of trying anything new feels too scary and that’s OK. If you are struggling, then now may be the time to get some professional support to help you get back on track. Make an appointment to talk to your GP who can help you to find the best resources for you.

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