INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Feeling lonely these days? Well, you might want to pick up a book.
Researchers from the University of California San Diego suggest wisdom can protect against loneliness, especially in adults over the age of 50.
The cross-sectional study used a questionnaire to measure wisdom. The higher the participant’s score, the less lonely they felt. And vice versa. Lower scores were also linked to poorer general health, worse quality of sleep and feelings of overall unhappiness. But the reverse was true for those who scored higher on the scale.
Wisdom is a culmination of many factors including self-reflection, emotional regulation and compassion.
“If we can increase wisdom [in this population], loneliness is likely to go down,” study author Dr. David Brenner said in a news release. This, he says, will also help improve overall life-satisfaction and well-being.
This story has been updated to correct the name of the university.
News 8’s medical reporter, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Gillis, D.Ed., is a classically trained medical physiologist and biobehavioral research scientist. She has been a health, medical and science reporter for over 5 years. Her work has been featured in national media outlets. You can follow her on Instagram @reportergillis and Facebook @DrMaryGillis.