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Share a Cup of Coffee, Combat Loneliness

Updated on February 28, 2010

Individuals benefit from reaching out to others, as revealed by recent scientific studies. In the wake of an economic decline, volunteering has been on the rise. While many pull together to help those in need, scientists have discovered that working with a group for a common cause results in positive health benefits. Reaching out with a simple act, like chatting over a cup of coffee, can offer advantages to more people than simply those you intend to help.

The flailing economic has caused more and more individuals to experience loneliness and isolation. Restricted financial flexibility—triggered by the rise of unemployment, the increase of inflation, and the decline of trading volumes—has restricted many individuals' financial flexibility. As a result, many are often unable to enjoy social activities they once did, and many are experiencing depression. Young kids, with parents who are suffering from pinched budgets, might not be able to participate in activities outside of school. Elderly individuals, with limited mobility, might feel the tightening of social options in this increasingly youth-oriented society. Though economic problems can't be resolved easily, isolation and loneliness can be combated with a simple act of reaching out.

In addition to wonderfully enhancing the lives of those in need, volunteering has been proven to help the volunteers themselves. Beyond a few extra feel-good points, positive altruistic behavior leads to boosting hormone levels of oxytocin, which is linked to a stronger immune system. Many scientists refer to this effect as the "helper's high," a feeling that is the exact opposite of depression and lethargy. Reaching out to others also helps broaden the volunteer's social world. When volunteering with an organization, helpers can also develop their own experiences and skill sets, making them better candidate in job searches.

How can you contribute to your community and help combat isolation? This can be as easy as inviting a neighbor over for a cup of coffee. By reaching out to someone that you usually don't engage with, you might be able to offer a listening ear, moral support, and possibly develop a friendship. The easiest way to do this is over a cup of coffee. Classic one-cup brewers, like Keurig brewers which are great choice for busy homes, are also great for entertaining situations like this. When reaching out, let the focus be on listening. Allow the hot cup of coffee offer the comfort.

What's another great way to contribute to society and to combat isolation? If you don't have loads of extra time, you could always donate to a local community center. Community centers often organize great programs that bring together young kids and the elderly, the two groups most susceptible to problems of isolation. While community organizers create the projects that get kids and the elderly active and motivated, community centers often need donations in the forms of supplies and food. Arts and crafts supplies are great for younger groups, while games and musical instruments could provide awesome opportunities for the elderly. Both groups could benefit from snacks, food and hot drinks. A sturdy commercial brewer, like the Keurig OfficePro, is designed to be flexible and efficient for creating tasty, heart-warming drinks for all different personalities.

So whether you can't travel far or you don't have extra time, there are always ways for you to give back to your community. Loneliness and isolation are serious issues that often lead to more severe problems like depression, health issues, and destructive habits. Nipping the problem in the bud—by simply offering a listening ear or by contributing to a warm, inviting community environment—you will be able to help those around you.

By getting connected with people, you will not only help relieve some of the pain caused by the economic turmoil, but you will also contributing to your own wellbeing.

Community Volunteering

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    • globalcoffeegrind profile image

      globalcoffeegrind 7 years ago

      It's crazy that coffee can warm both the tummy and heart, huh?

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 7 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      True, coffee can be a great catalyst for social interaction.