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The Health Consequences of Loneliness

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https://www.verywellmind.com/loneliness-causes-effects-and-treatments-2795749

verywellmind.com

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. For example, a lonely child who struggles to make friends at his school has different needs than a lonely old man whose wife has recently died.

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Loneliness Is a State of Mind

Loneliness, according to many experts, is not necessarily about being alone. Instead, if you feel alone and isolated, then that is how loneliness plays into your state of mind....

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Causes

  • Loneliness is strongly connected to genetics. 
  • Situational variables, such as physical isolation, moving to a new location, divorce and the death of someone significant in a ...

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Health Risks Associated With Loneliness

Loneliness has a wide range of negative effects on both physical and

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Close Friends Combat Loneliness

Experts believe that it is not the quantity of social interaction that combats loneliness, but it's the quality.

Having just three or four close fri...

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Loneliness can be overcome

It does require a conscious effort on your part to make a change. 

Making a change, in the long run, can make you happier, healthier, and enable you to impact o...

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Tips to Prevent Loneliness

  • Recognize that loneliness is a sign that something needs to change.
  • Understand the effects that loneliness has on your life, both physically and mentally.
  • Cons...

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Loneliness before quarantine

We crave intimacy. And yet, long before the present pandemic, with its forced isolation and social distancing, humans had begun building their own separate cells. 

Before modern times...

Loneliness is a form of grief

It is an umbrella term we use to cover for all sorts of things most people would rather not name and have no idea how to fix.
Plenty of people like to be alone. But solitude and seclusion are different from loneliness. Loneliness is a state of profound distress.

The evolutionary theory of loneliness

Primates need to belong to an intimate social group in order to survive; this is especially true for humans.
Separation from your group (either finding yourself alone or finding yourself among a group of people who do not know and understand you) triggers a fight-or-flight response.

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A public health problem

Most people consider loneliness a personal problem to be figured out by individuals. 

However, a paper published in the American Journal of Public Health identi...

Don’t blame social media

Among the theories on why there is more loneliness today is more time online and less time in front of people. 

However, levels of in-person interactions, physical and mental wellness and life balance are more likely to predict loneliness than social media usage.

Young and lonely

Generation Z (ages 18-22) had the highest loneliness scores, followed by the millennials (ages 23-37). The Greatest Generation (adults ages 72 and older) were the least lonely. 

Lonely people are less able to pick up on positive social stimuli, like others’ attention and commitment signals, so they withdraw prematurely – in many cases before they’re actually socially isolated.

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The "kindness pandemic"

Viruses aren’t the only things that spread through networks of people. Attitudes and behaviors do too. And we should take advantage of it. 
Spreading happiness and kindness right now is ...

Spreading connection

70% of our happiness comes from your relationships with other people. And the social distancing situation has left some with zero people around them. 
So reach out. Extended time without social contact is bad: Send a text, make that phone/video call, anything you want to let people know you care and are thinking about them.

Spreading help

Ask people if they need anything.  There are people out there in need of a little more than well wishes right now. And when people see others helping, they’re more likely to help. 

Also, if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

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