Read time: 3 minutes
Did you know that more trusting societies are wealthier and healthier?
It’s true. A prime example is the Netherlands. It currently holds an estimated 70% in social trust. The Netherlands is also ranked as the 17th largest country based on GDP and maintains a high quality of life based on work-life factors. Coincidence?
David Halpern, chief executive of the Behavioural Insights Team, argues it’s not. Instead, he believes that trust plays a more prominent role in the economy and your well-being than we think.
It makes sense when you think about it. Trust is essential when it comes to business and government. Corrupt governments and businesses are untrustworthy, resulting in a lack of profit or productivity. No one wants to partner with someone they don’t trust.
Furthermore, trust is crucial when it comes down to improving physical and emotional health. People with denser social networks, both online and offline, indicate higher trust with others. This network, in turn, helps give support or assists in times of need.
Like a domino, the individual impacts the community. From there, the community influences institutions that span local, regional, and national reach. Everyone is connected in some way. One is all, and all is one.
Although, measuring trust is complicated, especially as populations become more diverse. Age. Social Class. Race. These factors emphasize our differences instead of our similarities, further estranging people.
So what should we take away from this information? The takeaway is that trusting others isn’t a weakness. Sometimes it may seem like it, but relying on others can positively affect yourself and your surroundings. Don’t let pessimism engulf you. Instead, trust people. They may surprise you.
Trust that your project partner will get their portion done. Trust that your friend will be able to go out for a meal like they promised. Trust that your family will be there to support you.
Have faith. I know it’s hard. I understand that not everyone’s situation is the same, and people can be folly. In that case, I encourage you to assess your life and trust from there. Sure, differences and doubts are barriers to trust. No doubt. Nevertheless, isn’t a wealthier and healthier life worth the risk?
Note: This article is based on a piece done by Freakonomics Podcast. The original source can be found here: https://freakonomics.com/podcast/social-trust-rebroadcast/.
You’ve certainly experienced loneliness,
right?. But did you know about its long-term effects?
Former surgeon general,
Vivek Murthy, claims that:
struggle with loneliness end up living shorting lives…are at an increased risk
for heart disease, depression, dementia, anxiety, and a host of other
Now that statement makes you stop and think,
“I don’t want that.” Now to clarify, loneliness isn’t inherently wrong; each
one of us needs time alone. It also is not entirely based on how big or small
your social network encompasses. Instead, loneliness becomes an issue when it
turns into something more chronic.
Professor of psychology and neuroscience at
Brigham Young University, Julianne Holt- Lunstad, defines loneliness as: “
"…the discrepancy between our
actual level of social connection and our desired level of connection.”
You see, what’s haunting about loneliness is that it shows no prejudice based on race, class, or gender. Anyone can feel lonely, even if it seems like they would be the last person to experience it.
The idea of loneliness can heavily impact not
just a person’s physical health but mental health too. Support systems feel
like they’re breaking down. All you feel is isolation. Self-preservation takes
The point of learning about the effects of
loneliness shouldn’t make you dismayed. Instead, it should inform you to
protect yourself against chronic loneliness better and assist others when they
could feel lonely. Loneliness indicates that we should be connecting with
others to live in a community.
Think about what community means or looks
like to you:
- What does community look like to me?
- What are some communities that I could be a
part of based on shared interests?
Try to identify what friends you connect with
- Which friends do you connect with the most?
- Should I start making a weekly or monthly
time to hang out more with this friend?
Or you could start making new connections at
the park, an event, at school. Anywhere. On the flip side, give people grace
when they might be feeling lonely. Their distance and bad behavior may be
symptoms of a more significant issue they are internalizing. Better yet, ask
them if they need help with anything. You could brighten their day.
If you or someone else you know ever starts
feeling loneliness in the worst way, breathe. Realize that often it’s a
temporary phase that can be resolved by leaning on old connections or creating
new ones. Of course, dealing with loneliness is a personal process. Take your
There is no shame in feeling lonely. However,
we should remember to do our best to avoid the type of loneliness that affects
physical and mental health because there is so much more life to live.
Connect, Communicate, and
Collaborate. That is the 3C way!
Thanks for reading,
Note: This article is a summary and review of a piece done by Freakonomics Podcast. The source can be found here: https://freakonomics.com/podcast/loneliness/.
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