Full Life Reflections

Striving for happiness, peace, and fulfillment in a chaotic world

I’ve been thinking a lot about the topics I explored in my last essay, as well as the wonderful comments made by readers in response to what I wrote. For that reason, I would like to continue the subject of emotional isolation in today’s post. I’m glad I decided to open this can of worms …

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We all want to feel connected to others. It doesn’t matter whether we are extroverts or introverts; connection is one of the six human needs that we all share. I have written previously on the topic of loneliness, but my primary focus then was on spending too much time alone and feeling physically isolated from …

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What contributes to your level of happiness more strongly, your weight or your love life? A recent article posted on the Daily Mail website revealed some surprising findings from a 24-year study on the topic of happiness. This post outlines key points from the article, as well as my insights related to slimness, relationships, and contentment.

The Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin conducted a study of the ups and downs of the lives of thousands of Germans from 1984 through 2008. One of the findings of this study was that a woman’s weight has a greater effect on her happiness than her love life. Being obese is associated with a higher degree of emotional suffering and dissatisfaction than being single and having a thin body leads to more life satisfaction than being in a committed romantic relationship.

About a month ago, my neighbor of 2.5 years was taken to the hospital in the middle of the afternoon. He never returned… I since learned that he has terminal brain cancer and is living out his final days in a local hospital. I had passed him in the hallway many times, but had only uttered a quick “hello” to him before continuing on my way. I never took the time to get to know him, or vice versa.

I don’t really know any of my neighbors. We pass each other on occasion, sometimes smiling, sometimes nodding, but rarely interrupting our busy schedules to take the time to get to know each other. We all have more important things to do, it seems.

I have close to 200 Facebook friends, but very few people I can honestly call real friends, and even fewer with whom I connect on a deep level. We have more and more ways to connect with others through the advances in technology, but the level of connection that is happening is becoming increasingly superficial. All of the technology in the world can’t change the fact that we are growing more and more socially isolated in our society. Loneliness is becoming the biggest epidemic in our country, even bigger than cancer, AIDS, or heart disease.