How social distancing could ultimately teach us how to be less lonely

How social distancing could ultimately teach us how to be less lonely

If happiness is finding (or creating) the silver lining to the cloud then there’s happiness in this article…

via the Washington Post by Arthur C Brooks

As recently as late February, practically no one had ever heard of “social distancing,” the awkward term for staying away from others to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. It was introduced by public health officials in the last days of February; by the end of the first week of March, it was trending on social media. By the 12th, it had passed “Taylor Swift” as a Google search term; on the 17th, it had passed “Joe Biden.” (The president will no doubt be relieved that “Donald Trump” is still far ahead.)

As panic about the highly contagious virus spread, and the country shut itself down for who-knows-how-long, social distancing meant no hugs; then no handshakes; then no congregating in large groups; then no close in-person interaction with strangers. For some today, it means no meaningful human contact for an indeterminate period of time — weeks, maybe months? No one can say. This is seen as an essential state of affairs to prevent the most apocalyptic scenario, in which the majority of Americans contract the disease, hospitals are overwhelmed and millions die.

While public health officials are no doubt correct that social distancing is necessary, as a social scientist I would add that it is a necessary evil. Enormous amounts of scholarship have shown that social connectedness is central to well-being and good mental health. Indeed, the father of the field of positive psychology, the University of Pennsylvania’s Martin Seligman, places social closeness at the very center of his model of human happiness. Research shows that this includes regular contact not just with friends and family but also with acquaintances and even strangers…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE

#happiness #positivepsychology #resilience #loneliness