Yes, loneliness can impact your lifespan.
The truth is, if you haven’t experienced loneliness for yourself, no matter how much you read, talk, or hear about it, you may never fully understand what it’s like. It’s more than just a longing for authentic and meaningful connections with others, loneliness is a state that impacts the overall emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing of a person.
When someone feels significant emotional isolation, their mortality risk is as high as it is in people who smoke – which in either case is much higher than in the average person with few or no bad habits. Furthermore, loneliness greatly increases a person’s susceptibility to various medical conditions such as heart disease or different types of cancer. This makes loneliness not only a social problem, but also a health related one.
According to our friends at the Nursing School Hub, “those who reported being lonely had a 14% greater risk of dying.” Understanding this, and acting on it is the first step we can take to alleviate this widespread problem. For example, therapy can be a great resource for lonely people as it provides them with the skills they need to be more social.
The infographic below offers an excellent breakdown of who is most affected by loneliness and why – the findings may surprise you. And we hope, because sharing is caring, you will share this information with everyone you know.
We have the power to cure loneliness, and information is the first step to doing so.
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