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Feelings of loneliness and social isolation can shorten your lifespan, study finds

A new study warns about the life-altering dangers of loneliness and social isolation

If you ever feel alone or cut off from others, you should know that it might be more than just a fleeting feeling. A recent study, taking a closer look at the impact of loneliness and social isolation, reveals some eye-opening findings. This meta-analysis aims to shed light on the connection between these factors and an increased risk of premature death, urging us to prioritize building meaningful connections.

Can feelings of loneliness lead to a shorter lifespan?

The study, which pooled data from more than 2 million individuals across 90 other studies, reveals a striking connection between loneliness and a 32% increased chance of dying prematurely. There was also a 14% increase in the risk of early death among people who said they felt lonely compared to those who did not. These findings stress the need to address social isolation and loneliness as separate variables that affect our well-being.

A group of friends smiling and looking at a phone

Understanding loneliness and how to overcome it

The research defines loneliness as the negative emotional state experienced when a person's real social interactions fall short of their ideal. On the other side, being socially isolated means not having many friends or acquaintances or even being alone. When left unchecked, these problems can morph into the kind of chronic stress that eventually takes a toll on our health.

Don't allow loneliness to lower your quality of life. Seek out community resources, invest in your friendships, and schedule regular quality-time with loved ones.

Keep in mind that even small gestures, like saying "hello" or participating in events where you meet new people, can help you avoid feelings of loneliness and isolation. If you need ideas for activities to enjoy with your family and friends, we’ve got you covered!

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