The Health Consequences of Loneliness
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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.
For example, a college freshman might feel lonely despite being surrounded by roommates and other peers.
Loneliness has a wide range of negative effects on both physical and mental health, including:
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 friends is enough to ward off loneliness and reduce the negative health consequences associated with this state of mind.
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 others around you in a positive way.
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Plenty of people like to be alone. But solitude and seclusion are different from loneliness. Loneliness is a state of profound distress.
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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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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.
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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