Loneliness And Feeling Lonely Worse For The Health Than Believed

In a society where processed food can lead to all sorts of health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, our minds are plagued with worries about what we put in our body. But there is a threat to our health just as serious as the things we eat or drink, according to researchers.

Feeling lonely is worse for the health than most might have imagined. With technology rapidly changing our ability to connect with people all around the world, social isolation seems to be a growing problem.

Why Feeling Lonely is Bad for the Health

Julianne Holt-Lundstad, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, recently presented at the American Psychological Association.
“Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need — crucial to both well-being and survival,” said Holt-Lundstad. “Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment.”

Holt-Lundstad added that, despite all this, an “increasing portion” of the population of the United States is now experiencing regular isolation.

AARP conducted a Loneliness Study where they found that over 42.6 million adults over the age of 45 in the United States alone most likely suffer from chronic loneliness.

According to the U.S. Census, more than 25 percent of Americans live alone. The willingness to marry and have children has decreased in each household. All of these things have come to effect the increased rates of feeling lonely.

Other researchers found that obesity can be worse for the health, increasing our chance of death by 45 percent. Holt-Lunstad’s research shows a person’s risk of premature death is double that of an individual with solid social connections. Either way, having a healthy mind and body are essential for having a longer life, as pointed out by researchers.

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