Long Life and Health
Image default
Aging Mental Health

How Loneliness Can Affect Your Life and Longevity

The number of people who feel lonely has increased in America. When present, it has a strong negative effect on health and can shorten the lifespan if continued over long periods. Loneliness opens the door to serious health problems.

Some reports indicate that about one-third of adults over 45 feel lonely. Several factors are given as the common reasons why so many people experience loneliness. They include living alone, losing family members or friends, various illnesses, and hearing loss.

Being lonely can affect mental health and increase the risk of dementia. The biggest problem is that it increases the risk of death from any cause. The risk is considered equal to the risk of death found in smoking – which can shorten your life by about 15 years.

Loneliness: Causes and Health Consequences

Other factors with similar impacts on longevity include a lack of being physically active and obesity. Depression and anxiety are also more likely, and suicide rates are higher.

Social isolation is not much different. People that feel socially isolated experience a similar risk of early death due to disease, dementia, and depression. Their risk of heart disease and stroke is raised to about 30%. The immune system weakens, and inflammation increases – resulting in tissue damage.

When people have heart failure issues, loneliness raises their likelihood of death four times as much. It also dramatically increases their risk of hospitalization and emergency room visits.

What to Do When You Have No Friends and Feel Lonely | Cleverism

Some reasons why more Americans claim they are lonely include marrying later in life, not having any children, divorce, and living alone. Studies have revealed that when people marry, have children, and are socially connected, it significantly improves their quality of life, health, happiness, and longevity.

Unlike some diseases, there are potential solutions for loneliness. Here are some things that you can do to help deal with loneliness.

  1. Offer to help as a volunteer. Life is not meant to be lived alone or aloof. You can be much happier working to help others in a volunteer position. While meeting the needs of others, it will help you to think less about yourself.
  2. Stay home less. Instead of watching TV or other electronic media as a couch potato, get out of the house to meet other people and create new friendships. Take walks, join clubs, get involved in a sport, etc., where you can meet others with similar interests or hobbies.
  3. Exercise. Regular exercise (about 30 minutes a day for five days a week) can help you feel better about yourself. The activity produces endorphins, which enables you to be less depressed and enjoy life in general.
  4. Join a church or religious organization. Churches often offer programs and fellowship that help people feel like they belong. It also enables you to feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself. Some studies have found that church members have a lower risk of death and enjoy life more.
  5. Get Counseling. In some cases, you may need to get counseling. A therapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may help because it can give you the mental tools needed to help you cope with negative thoughts and poor self-worth.

Because the risks involved with being alone or feeling alone can have significant consequences, you need to find significant ways of fighting loneliness. Instead of staying depressed and lonely, start getting involved with one or more of the above activities and change your life’s direction, quality, and longevity.

Related posts

Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?

Long Life And Health

Learn New Skills to Prevent Dementia

Mike Valles

Could We Ever Live Past 130 . . . Or Have We Reached Our Limit?

Long Life And Health