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FEAR, LONELINESS AND CONNECTION
“Life Begins At The End of Your Comfort Zone”
– Neale Donald Walsch
Studies have shown that loneliness can damage our immune system and cause inflammation. So can fear. By being starved of human company we can become more fearful of it; rejecting the thing which could benefit our physical and mental health most.
In an article by the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, entitled “Will Lockdown Make Us Loners?”, they discussed how a study was carried out on the typically sociable Zebra fish by researchers.
Most Zebra fish are sociable but 10% are “loner” fish; a bit like naturally introvert and extrovert humans.
In the study, the typically sociable fish were isolated. After a set amount of time, the fish who’d been isolated had increased sensitivity to their surroundings and increased brain activity in areas related to stress and anxiety.
After this pandemic, enforced isolation and lockdowns, some of us will have to be extra brave to get back out there amongst our fellow humans again.
We will have to exercise our “socialising muscle” little by little. Even just a little outing for a walk and a coffee is a small step in the right direction.
We should be aware that overcoming this fear is necessary for returning to a normal, healthy existence.