A 2020 global study from Nextdoor, Brigham Young University, the University of Manchester, and Swinburne University of Technology found that knowing as few as six neighbors can reduce the likelihood of feeling lonely. The study examined how meaningful connections and small acts of kindness impact feelings of loneliness, quality of life, and well-being. Participants performed small acts of kindness in their communities over a four-week period.
These helpful (COVID-19 safe) actions included:
• Emotional support (23%), such as cheering up or listening to a neighbor.
• Tangible support (17%) like mowing a neighbor’s lawn, bringing groceries, or running errands.
• Informational support (17%), such as providing advice or helpful information about potential job opportunities, doctors in the area, where to shop, etc.
• Companionship support (23%), such as regularly calling a neighbor or chatting over a fence.
• Belonging support (12%), such as contributing to a larger neighborhood effort like a neighborhood cleanup, volunteer drive, or sharing talents/skills with others.
While 1 in 10 participants said they experienced feelings of loneliness at the start of the study, the number was reduced to 1 in 20 after the study was completed. This indicates that small acts of kindness not only help your neighbors but can also help the person performing the actions feel less lonely!
…Small acts of kindness not only help your neighbors but can also help the person performing the actions feel less lonely.