The Health Consequences of Loneliness

Loneliness is a universal human emotion that is both complex and unique to each individual. Because it has no single common cause, the prevention and treatment of this potentially damaging state of mind can vary dramatically.

What causes loneliness?

Contributing factors to loneliness include situational variables, such as physical isolation, moving to a new location, and divorce . The death of someone significant in a person’s life can also lead to feelings of loneliness. Additionally, it can be a symptom of a psychological disorder┬ásuch as depression.

Loneliness can also be attributed to various internal factors such as low self-esteem held by someone. People who lack self-confidence often believe that they are unworthy of the attention or regard of other people and become withdrawn from society. This can lead to isolation and chronic loneliness.

What health risks are associated with loneliness?

Loneliness has a wide range of negative effects on both an individuals physical and menal health, including the following:

  • Cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • Increased stress levels
  • Decreased memory and learning
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Poor decision-making
  • Alcoholism and drug abuse
  • The progression of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Altered brain function
  • Depression and suicide

What does research say about loneliness?

Researchers have found that low levels of loneliness are associated with marriage, higher incomes, and higher educational status. High levels of loneliness are associated with physical health symptoms, living alone, small social networks, and low-quality social relationships.

This makes it clear that people living alone are at higher risk. As we get older and lose friends and loved ones, this risk can increase.

Tips to prevent loneliness

A concious effort is required from someone experiencing loneliness. Making a chnage can result in a happier, healthier and more fufiled life.

Here are some ways to prevent loneliness:

  • Recognise that loneliness is a sign that something needs to change for you.
  • Understand the effects that loneliness has on your life, both physically and mentally.
  • Consider doing community events or another activity that you enjoy. These situations present great opportunities to meet people and cultivate new friendships and social interactions.
  • Focus on developing quality relationships with people who share similar attitudes, interests, and values with you.
  • Expect the best. Lonely people often expect rejection before trying something new, so instead focus on positive thoughts and attitudes in your social relationships.

At Senior Help, we don’t believe anyone should feel lonely. Whether it is one of our companions visiting for a chat, doing a crossword together or getting some exercise. We can help in many more ways to prevent you, or your loved one, feeling lonely.

To find out more how we can help tackle loneliness, request a callback or phone us today to learn more.

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