Loneliness is a state of mind that causes a range of emotions. This is not to get confused with being alone. There is a difference. Being alone gives you time to do your own thing and recharge for another busy day. However, there are some health risks of loneliness, such as being more prone to heart disease, depressive symptoms and decreased self-care.
Loneliness can have a similar impact on our hearts as smoking can. According to a Harvard Health Blog post, 23 studies that involved 181,000 adults showed that loneliness and/or social isolation were associated with a 29 percent increase of a heart attack and a 32 percent increase of a stroke.
Without the intimacy of being surrounded by loved ones, lonely people are often more prone to depressive symptoms. When the sadness creeps in, it is very tempting to resort to drugs or alcohol to numb the loneliness a bit. If the drink is there, you are much more likely to have it if you do not have anyone questioning whether or not you really need one more drink or if you have someone else you are held accountable to.
That accountability applies to cooking and exercising as well. If you are cooking for someone besides yourself, you tend put in more work than if you are just cooking for yourself. Similarly, if you have someone by your side, the chances of you sitting around on the couch all day every day are much smaller.
Loneliness is a dangerous thing, and its health risks are growing. Be conscious of this. Reconnect with some family or friends if you find yourself feeling lonely. Who knows? Maybe they are feeling it too.