Feeling Loneliness

Effects Of Loneliness And How To Combat It

Spending time alone is fantastic, especially if you are pursuing your interests.

Spending leisure solo while strolling in the park on Saturdays can be beautiful, but there is flip-side to all this loneliness.

Being isolated sometimes is necessary, but prolonged loneliness can cause severe health consequences.

Feeling lonely can affect the overall quality of your life. Yes, it can have a severe effect on your mental and physical health.

Loneliness can affect emotions-anger, sadness, fear, anxiety, and more.

It is no surprise that feeling loneliness is something that we experience in our thoughts and something that we feel within our bodies.

According to experts, spending your life outside of others is good for our mental state, but if you isolate yourself totally, it can be a significant toll on your health.

Therefore, quality time together with your friends or family can create a long-lasting benefit.

What is loneliness?

People define loneliness in several different ways. Bluntly, loneliness is just a state of being alone or solitude.

But according to experts, isolation can be defined as a state of mind. A person is said to feeling lonely when isolated for more than a week.

Loneliness makes people feel unwanted. Realistically, people who feel lonely crave to have social contact, but their efforts are futile.

It becomes pretty tricky for lonely people to connect with other people.

Types of loneliness

No-animal loneliness

This type of isolation is experienced by people who have deep cravings for animals, particularly pets.

These people are often obsessed with animals that no human relationship can replace them.

New location loneliness

It occurs to people who have moved to new situations where they know no one. They feel alone.

No-lover loneliness

Some people feel lonely because they don’t have their significant other, even if they get surrounded by a crowd of people.

Quite-presence loneliness

People also feel lonely because they miss having other people’s quiet presence.

They may be having an ongoing social relationship and plenty of friends to socialize with, but they miss having people to have fun with-say a roommate.

Untrustworthy-friends loneliness

Friends are essential to have on our sides. But it reaches a time some people start doubting whether their friends are of benefit to them. Once they discover such values are missing, they begin feeling lonely.

Symptoms of loneliness

Weaker Immune System

The more vulnerable immune system means you are susceptible to falling sick now and then. People who feel alone find themselves getting sick more often.

According to Dr.Mayer, there is a secure link between loneliness and the immune system. He says that vaccinations become less useful to lonely individuals.

Loneliness causes inflammations, which rise norepinephrine within the body, then weakens the immune system.

Headache

Loneliness can cause problems. According to research, about a third of loneliness people experience severe headaches.

Also, because pain tolerance gets reduced as a result of depression, loneliness is, therefore, likely to increase some things like migraines and headaches.

Change of Appetite

If you are suffering from loneliness, you are likely to experience appetite changes in many different ways.

The eating habits change, and to some extent, you may lose the taste for food. There are many types of hunger, and soul hunger, in this case, is responsible for interpreting what food our body desires.

Reduced Libido

Feeling lonely can decrease your desire for sex. It can lower down your interest in love, romance, and sex. People who feel abandoned don’t want to involve themselves with other people romantically.

Digestive Problems

Loneliness triggers stress, anxiety, and depression, which affect your digestive system.

When you experience loneliness, the body gets impacted, and as a result, the body functions (digestive system in this case) gets halted.

You are likely to experience stomach problems. In some cases, you can even experience gastrointestinal distress.

Brain Fog

Like said earlier, loneliness triggers emotions resulting in memory malfunction.

Loneliness causes depression, which can impact your memory. Research proves that loneliness is likely to cause confusion and forgetfulness.

Memory issues are challenging because they can change your work, schooling, and many other tasks directly. Memory problems can also affect decision making and a person’s ability to choose between right and wrong.

Muscle Tension

Loneliness can cause increased muscle tension. Yes, because of the depression and distress that results from isolation.

According to research, a person who is suffering from loneliness finds him (her) self with muscle pains.

Muscle tension can lead to weak knees, feet/ leg cramps, leg fatigue, back pains, especially in the lower region, and more.

Sleeping Issues

Everyone loves sleeping. The quality of your sleep can directly impact on the overall quality of your life.

Loneliness can wreck restful sleep. Loneliness can affect your sleeping habits in many different ways.

It may cause oversleeping or preventing you from achieving your sleep nirvana. Researchers say that loneliness can cause insomnia.

Again, isolation can keep you in and out of bed, therefore, limiting you exciting opportunities to enjoy the slumber.

Admittedly, inadequate sleep can lead to adverse health issues. It reduces the energy we need to engage ourselves with friends. Therefore, it is wise to look for significant ways to reduce your levels of anxiety, stress, and depression and connect with your buddies more often.

What are the health risks that may be associated with loneliness?

There are a plethora of health risks that may result from loneliness. They include;

Loneliness can increase risks of early deaths

Yes, it may sound like cliché, but loneliness increases the chances of premature mortality-deaths that happen before the average death age of a person.

According to research, loneliness and other social isolation affect one’s mortality.

Individuals who spend quality time together with their families and friends are likely to have 50% increased survival.

Individuals with loneliness are at a 30% risk of premature death. Also, individuals suffering from loneliness are at chances of being affected by air pollution, obesity, and physical inactivity.

Loneliness can affect your interaction behaviors

People with loneliness are likely to perceive interactions with others as more threatening. It becomes pretty hard for them to keep social situations entertaining.

Although it may seem something strange, loneliness people find it tough to cope with social connections. They feel threatened and fearful.

They are filled with a bulk dose of doubt and frequently feel scared connecting with someone.

Loneliness can lead to cardiovascular health problem

According to research, people who are suffering from loneliness are at higher risk of being affected by stroke and heart diseases.

Coronary heart problem is an example of issues linked with isolation. Research has proven that of the 32% of people with loneliness, 29% become associated with cardiovascular heart issues.

Loneliness can increase stress levels

Social connection improves chemical processes within the body and brain. Isolation can increase your stress level and making it difficult to cope with it.

Stress is more damaging to your health than a disease. Research findings prove that people who are socially connected are at low risk of vulnerabilities that result from stress.

The study also found that people who feel lonely perceive high levels of anxiety even when they are left to relax

Loneliness can lead to Alzheimer

The study conducted with experts shows that people with loneliness have higher levels of amyloid.

Amyloid is a protein that many scientists believe that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

It is a theory that linked between brain cells and amyloid components. Alzheimer’s disease can lead to a severe cognitive decline.

Loneliness can lead to flu symptoms

Being lonely can make you inhibit cold and flu-like symptoms. Isolation doesn’t make you bitter, but being alone, you are prone to severe cold symptoms.

About 39% of people suffering from loneliness report cold symptoms.

In addition to research conducted in 2018, loneliness people are susceptible to viral infections.

Loneliness can lead to more strange unhealthy behaviors

For most of us, having a social connection with friends or families can lead to positive yet healthier decision making.

Togetherness can make you engage in healthier behaviors-well eating habits, better exercises, quality sleep, and many more.

The research found that relationships can impact behavior positively or negatively. For instance, research proves that early marriages get linked to unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and the use of drugs.

Loneliness can cause inflammation to your body

Lonely people’s genes are different when compared to an average person, and the genes that are associated with inflammation become active in people suffering from loneliness.

Our body is essential and finds solitude as a threat to them.

Our body organization, therefore, sees loneliness as something less than a grizzly bear, and inflammation acts as a defense mechanism to fight and protect us from acute infections, injuries, and many more.

Loneliness can lead to depression and eventually suicide

People who are suffering from loneliness are prone to suicidal thoughts.

Loneliness also can disrupt how your mind functions and control various cellular processes within the body.

It can cause depression and premature aging.

Causes of loneliness

Loneliness is a condition that is often characterized by isolation. There are a plethora of reasons why someone may experience loneliness.

Some of the factors may include divorce, change of location, physical separation, and many more. Death of your beloved one can also lead to loneliness.

A person can also suffer isolation by psychological disorders (depression, for instance).

Research also found that internal factors can cause loneliness. A person with low self-esteem is likely to feel lonely because they believe that they are unworthy.

They lack self-confidence, and this can lead to social distancing and chronic loneliness.

Facts about loneliness

Can you develop isolation from a friend?

Yes, you can contract loneliness from a friend. According to research, loneliness is a contagious condition.

If you stay connected with a lonely person often, 52% of you are likely to catch loneliness. How?

Scientists believe that when you are alone, you possess strange yet awkward behaviors to those who stay connected with you.

These people, in turn, begin to adapt the condition to others, and the act goes on and on. They end up isolating themselves.

Having more Facebook friends than real ones can increase loneliness

While Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can provide a platform where people interact with their friends, but social networking to say isn’t a total remedy for loneliness.

When you are suffering from loneliness, you are likely to spend couples of minutes posting on social media than doing something else constructive.

Having a hundred thousand followers on twitter or Instagram won’t help you combat loneliness. Instead, they can worsen the problem.

Love people-do not love stuff

Research published in the journal of consumer shows that people love inanimate things because they feel lonely.

Yes, it is an obsession and you can witness many loneliness people who call their new computer ‘baby.’

These people lack social connection; that is perhaps why they start plunging into their things.

As you may understand, possession is unhealthy for a livelihood relationship.

Expressing love on pieces of stuff can impact your happiness. You instead spend that money on vacation.

Loneliness is toxic

When it comes to a possible problem that can sabotage your health, loneliness is the worst by far.

Loneliness kills. It poses a great danger to human health than malaria, and its effects are quite adverse.

Mental effects, anxiety, stress, and depression are combinations of consequences that may result from loneliness.

The toxicity level of isolation is quite stunning.

This individual phenomenon can undermine people’s daily routines while affecting their behavior.

Loneliness can affect anyone

It doesn’t matter whether you are a teenager, an adult, or a married couple; loneliness can affect anyone-people from all walks of life.

Loneliness has become a significant public health concern in the world.

How to overcome loneliness

Loneliness is preventable. However, it requires dedication and conscious efforts to fight it.

You should be ready to make changes because changes are the ultimate way to curb loneliness.

These are the changes that you need to make the right decisions, make yourself happier, and changes that can make you interact with friends positively.

Here are actionable tips to prevent and overcome loneliness;

Self-compassionate

Building yourself compassionate will help fight loneliness.

Self-compassionate can improve life-satisfaction, mood, and state of well-being.

Try to extend compassion not only to yourself but also to others. Self-compassion fosters social connection and discourages self-criticism.

It can enhance your self-esteem and provide you with a vital breakthrough to tackle your emotional issues.

• Empathize

According to research conducted in 2016 by Rance, if engulfed by loneliness, try empathy and tea.

For every loner, understanding empathy is the best therapy. All you need is empathy and social connection.

The study also showed that deep compassion on relationships could lead to loneliness.

• Sleep enough

Sleeping is good. The quality of this rejuvenating time can directly impact on the overall quality of your health.

Enough sleep means you will wake up tomorrow for work again.

Research shows that inadequate sleep can contribute to loneliness.

So, balance your rest. It may seem a complicated process, but the results are worth the praise.

• Doing Exercises

Sturdy proves that people who undergo rigorous exercises are likely to feel less lonely when compared to others. Practices are good for body health.

• Family/friends interactions

Experts say that quantity social interaction cannot help you overcome loneliness, quality does.

Interacting with three or four friends is quite enough to combat loneliness. Spare your time having meaningful interaction with your spouse and children.

It doesn’t get much better unless you prioritize time for social connection.

However, if you do not have a family, seek advice from experts.

They will help you understand what is causing your loneliness and find out essential ways to overcome it.

Yes, therapy helps. It unlocks your mind to see the change that you need. It makes it possible for you to find happiness amidst this difficulty.

• Avoid comparisons

Most people fall into the trap of comparing their lives with others-something quite unfavorable.

Comparing yourself with others yields negative results that can harm you. Similarities bring more harm than benefit.

Learn to accept your life. Yes, because your life is your journey and does not compare it with anybody.

• Prioritize time for yourself

Do not overwork. Sometimes, it is good to carve time for yourself. Prolonged working and bulky activities can lead to loneliness.

Find time for yourself while maintaining a meaningful social connection. If you have too much of your work, never hurry to try to catch up.

Relax, have time for yourself, and develop a social relationship.

• Do something that you enjoy

Be either community service or social interactions; doing something that you love will help you overcome loneliness.

These services offer you exciting opportunities to meet with people and create a new friendship.

Learn the possible effects of loneliness on your health

Understanding what consequences loneliness can cause to your health is vital-both mental and physical.

Keep your thoughts and attitude positive and maintain meaningful yet quality social relationships with people with similar interests.

Loneliness: Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

What does isolation do a person?

Loneliness is a condition that is characterized by many adverse effects, both mentally and physically.

Some of the results may include anxiety, high levels of stress, cardiovascular diseases, suicidal thoughts, depression, and many more.

Can someone die from loneliness?

Yes, you can die from loneliness. Experts say that people suffering from loneliness are four to five times susceptible to premature deaths.

The study also shows that loneliness is 15 times more lethal than cigarette smoking. Plus, its harmful effects, loneliness is deadly.

Who can suffer from loneliness?

Anybody can suffer loneliness. But loneliness is commonly experienced with younger people below the age of 25.

Experts, to some extent, refers loneliness epidemic because it deals with at least everyone once in a lifetime.

How can you know if you are suffering from loneliness?

You can be lonely, but research proves that a lack of social connection isn’t only a symptom of loneliness.

Being alone doesn’t necessarily mean that you are suffering from loneliness.

Several symptoms prove someone is feeling lonely. Lack of enough sleep, feeling depressed, and anxiety are clear signs of loneliness.

Final thought

The happiness of your life depends on how well you socially connect with others.

Your joy is upon the quality of relationships you are, the quality of your thoughts, and your attitude.

Happiness doesn’t come on your way; you search it on your way.

Fighting loneliness is never dull. There are steps in progress.

While you can treat yourself with compassion, there is a lot to do.

To overcome loneliness, ensure you do something meaningful in your life.

Spend time with your family, meet new people, create friendships, and socialize.

You should be ready to maintain better relationships. Who wants to feel lonely?

You can be suffering from loneliness without even realizing it. Thankfully, you have read the causes, symptoms, and ways to overcome it.