Mindfulness has the power to reduce people’s experience of loneliness

Lonely older adults have increased risk of illness and premature death. Various behavioural treatments have attempted to reduce loneliness and its associated health risks, but have had limited success. This study tested whether the 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program (compared with a control group) reduces loneliness and reduces the inflammation often associated with loneliness in older adults. Consistent with study predictions, the MBSR program reduced loneliness, compared to small increases in loneliness in the control group. This work provides an initial indication that MBSR may be a novel treatment approach for reducing loneliness and related inflammation in older adults.

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