(WXYZ) – Loneliness and social isolation are now being linked to heart disease and stroke according to researchers in London. 23 studies were analyzed that involved over 180,000 adults who were monitored between 3 and 21 years. Researchers found feeling lonely increased your chance of a heart attack by 29% and a stroke by 32%.
Loneliness and isolation were found to affect a person’s behavioral and lifestyle factors. So they are more likely NOT to be physically active, NOT go see their doctor, and are less likely to eat well and have a higher rate of obesity. It can affect their immune system and they may have higher rates of anxiety and depression.
The study doesn’t prove a cause and effect relationship. But this indicates loneliness and social isolation in our society needs to be taken seriously. So here are my prescriptions for ways to deal with loneliness.
Partha’s RX on Dealing with Loneliness
1. Don’t Blame Yourself
Acknowledge your loneliness but remind yourself that others feel lonely too.
2. Practice Compassion Towards Yourself
Treat yourself just as you would anyone else. You deserve this caring response.
3. Find Ways to Connect
Reach out to those around you or try joining social community groups. Even walking around your neighborhood and smiling at people can lift your mood.
4. Check in on Neighbors and Relatives
This is something everyone can do and you might just make a huge difference in someone’s quality of life.
Learn more ways loneliness can affect your health along with other ways to fight it by clicking here.
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