Wayfinder 65 / Understanding Loneliness

"Fires can't be made with dead embers, nor can enthusiasm be stirred by spiritless men. Enthusiasm in our daily work lightens effort and turns even labor into pleasant tasks." — James A. Baldwin

The truth about anxiety – without it we wouldn’t have hope
Why do so many people these days seem so stressed out and anxious? It’s a common question, among mental health professionals and laypeople alike, but there’s a case to be made that it’s exactly upside down. How come there’s anyone who isn’t paralysed by anxiety, every hour of every day? After all, anxiety thrives in conditions of uncertainty – and nowadays the world is full of potential threats we don’t fully understand and can’t control.

Stop Saying Books Are Dead
Actually, according to this article more than three-quarters of Americans are “readers” and the “number of independent bookstores is on the rise.” Though Paul and I sometimes disagree on our choice of reading genre (I tend toward lighter storytelling, he to more inquisitive philosophy), books consume much of our indoor-time. Reading any type of book challenges, educates, fosters creativity and just plain makes more interesting people. — Susan

Of course, we know that everyone doesn’t read, and we didn’t need a poll to tell us. But we do need to better understand who reads and why and how to encourage them to read more and more joyfully. We need to figure out who has been left out of the conversation around books and welcome them into the fold with open arms… Storytelling is fundamental to human beings. It is how we explore and make sense of this world and understand one another. Because books absorb us and harness our imagination, they are an essential medium for storytelling - as well as a satisfying one.

Understanding the Loneliness Epidemic
The numbers are growing, more individuals are suffering from loneliness. The reasons for the growing loneliness issue are very similar to those for the increased rates of depression. And, that which helps protect us from loneliness are the same as that which protects us from depression: sleep, connection, exercise, and a more balanced life.

Much like the opioid crisis, loneliness is an epidemic. According to results from Cigna’s U.S. Loneliness Index, a survey of more than 20,000 American adults ages 18 and older, nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone or left out. One in four Americans rarely or never feel as though there are people who understand them. Two in five Americans sometimes or always feel that their relationships are not meaningful and that they are isolated from others. And one in five people report they rarely or never feel close to people or feel like there are people they can talk to.

A paper published in the American Journal of Public Health identified high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, disability, cognitive decline, and depression among the conditions affected by loneliness.

Both working too much and not enough increase loneliness scores. Working more means you don’t have time for meaningful relationships and working too little puts you at risk for isolation.

“People who are less lonely are more likely to have regular, meaningful, in-person interactions; are in good overall physical and mental health; have achieved balance in daily activities; and are employed and have good relationships with their coworkers.”

Get a Workout and a Vacation at the Same Time
Certainly with a little research and planning we can put together our own, more authentic, adventures for much less. However, no harm in checking these out for some ideas. ;) — Paul

For fitness enthusiasts who also love traveling to far-flung locales, a new breed of travel company wants to take you anywhere you want to go — and give you a great workout when you arrive.

Your Gut Microbiome and Anxiety: What's the Connection?
A disrupted gut microbiome can cause anxiety, as well as a variety of cognitive and mood disorders.

The Psychology of Belief – Reasonable Doubt
Belief is a powerful and necessary thing, governing our societies, our day-to-day and inner lives, our thoughts, hopes, plans, and relationships.