So, my friends, it just so happens that one isn’t just the loneliest number; it can also mean some disastrous things for your heath health. When you feel alone, isolated and just disconnected from others, it not only impacts your mental state but your heart health.
Loneliness is a terrible thing to experience on its own, and the findings of a study on how it impacts your health are pretty alarming.
The recent study, which was carried out by scientists from the University of Copenhagen and reported on by the Telegraph, included 13,443 people who had had a heart attack. After taking a look at the health outcomes for each person, the researchers found that men who reported being lonely were twice as likely to die a year after their heart attack compared to men who didn’t report loneliness, and women fared even worse at three times as likely (https://www.msn.com/en-ae/lifestyle/wellbeing/loneliness-is-a-killer-the-health-problems-associated-with-an-isolated-life/ar-AAJWosz?li=BBqrVLO).
Other studies have been carried out on the impact of being alone on your health, and none of them have had good results. Researchers have found that lonely people sleep more poorly, have reduced function and are more likely to have inflammation than people who have a network of family or friends.
While social media may seem like the answer to loneliness, it really isn’t. It’s not been found to be a proper replacement for a community simply because we weren’t made to relate to each other without face-to-face contact. That’s why talking to loved ones over the phone, especially ones who are far away, doesn’t feel the same as seeing them in person.
What you can do
If you feel disconnected from others, you may feel depressed and anxious, and you’re certainly not alone when struggling with loneliness. You can start taking some steps to get yourself back out there and avoid experiencing the negative consequences loneliness can bring, such as:
• Getting a new job or making some life change
• Adopting a furry or reptilian friend
• Joining a volunteer group
• Working out with other people
• Using digital media to connect with people when necessary
• Taking a social media break if it’s making you feel more lonely
• Learning a new skill
It’s never easy to get back into the community, but trust me: you can do it. Start off easy with one of the steps above to get yourself back out there!