Global information network Nextdoor, in conjunction with Brigham Young University in the United States, University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and Swinburne University of Technology In Australia, has released results from a global scientific study examining how meaningful connections and small acts of kindness impact feelings of loneliness, quality of life, and well-being.
The results of their study quantify the ways that connectedness can have a profound effect on our mental health and looked at ways that neighbours can become more connected, such as offering advice or information to their neighbours and regularly checking up on each other.
The research found that knowing as few as six neighbours reduce the likelihood of feeling lonely and is linked to lower depression, social anxiety, and financial concerns related to COVID-19.
“I’ve spent my career studying the health effects of loneliness, but one of the things that the entire field struggles with is having ways to potentially reduce risk,” says Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, who was part of the study’s team of top health researchers. “The fact that we were able to find changes—particularly with relatively small, simple steps—is pretty remarkable.”