Loneliness rots the brain

For thousands of years we’ve depended on one another for survival. It’s how we not only avoided being eaten by wild animals, but have since thrived.

Every great advancement has been because of a group of people. Sure, there was usually a person or two who came up with the original idea or a leader who gave the direction and motivation, but it was the group that made it happen.

We need one another. Not just to make things happen, but to keep us happy and healthy. The longest-ever study of happiness, which has lasted 75 years, reveals that the secret to being healthier and happier is good relationships with others.

This doesn’t mean having 1000 “friends” on Facebook. This is real relationships with people you like being around and who you can rely on to be there when you need them. These are the relationships that make you feel warm and fuzzy.

And when we don’t have these relationships, there are negative effects. When we are lonely, it leads to illness, death, and actually eats away at our brains.

We see the effects of not having good relationships in our workplaces too. People no longer take the time or have the ability to get to know one another and build commitment, trust and support. Silos pop up, people start to compete and then everyone moves into self-preservation mode.

Not only does having friends at work keep people with companies and improve engagement, but these relationships lead to more collaboration, creativity and innovation.

At the end of the day, we have to remember we need one another. We’re all in this together.