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Loneliness: A Health Hazard

Jun 21st, 2012

lonelinessA Study was recently conducted in which it was determined that Isolating oneself is dangerous to your health . The findings suggest that those who live alone are more likely to develop heart diseases and stroke, as compared to those who live with family or friends.

People who are lonely have a higher risk for early death than those who are more social and surrounded with friends and family. The highest risk was among the middle-aged . Those aged 45-65 are at a higher risk by 24%; and only 12% for those aged 66 to 80. Surprisingly, for seniors aged 80 and older, there is no information that links their health with loneliness.

Being lonely does not only mean living alone. You may have many social events, friends & family  and yet still feel lonely. In fact, many of the respondents are married and do not live alone. This suggests that there are other factors which cause depression.

Loneliness can lead to heart disease, sleeping disorder, and stress that can lead to further deterioration of ones health.

The study also revealed that fifty-nine percent of men and women who feel isolated have difficulty with everyday tasks like dressing and bathing.

‘Previous research has shown a very consistent relationship between a lack of so-called social support and poor health, but measures such as social support haven’t always been consistently defined,” says Emily M. Bucholz, M.P.H., a current medical student at  Yale University and doctoral candidate.

Authors of the study were not able to establish as to how one could effectively address their loneliness. But we’ve gathered some tips on how you could cope with loneliness. See which one could work for you:

  • Be with people as often as you can
  • Be with your family
  • Join a community/group which shares your interest
  • Get a dog or a pet
  • Go for a change of scenery
  • Exercise. Be physically active
  • Volunteer/Become involved in your community
  • Enroll in a class. You will not only learn something new but you’ll meet new friends as well.
  • Engage in a hobby
  • Reflect on the purpose of your life
  • Play upbeat music

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