Could Your Solo Nights In Be Shortening Your Life? Discover the Surprising Health Risk of Being Home Alone!

If you’re someone who eats a healthy diet, exercises regularly, and takes dietary supplements for a long and prosperous life, there’s one more thing you need to add to that list: make sure to get together with friends and family often and avoid social isolation. This is because researchers at Brigham Young University have found that persistent loneliness can be just as harmful to your health and longevity as being severely overweight.

Loneliness as Dangerous as Obesity

According to researcher Julianne Holt-Lunstad, loneliness can be a significant threat to your health, especially if you are under the age of 65. Data shows that while seniors are more often lonely and generally have an increased risk of dying in the next few years, being lonely and socially isolated increases the chances of premature death for younger people as well.

Holt-Lunstad compares the effects of loneliness to that of obesity, which is a serious public health concern. She emphasizes the need to start taking our social relationships more seriously.

Loneliness Epidemic on the Rise

With the highest recorded rate of living alone in the past century and across the globe, researchers like Tim Smith predict a possible loneliness epidemic in the future. To reach their conclusions, the Brigham Young researchers reviewed studies involving more than 3 million people and found that loneliness and social isolation can be as bad for your health as being an alcoholic or smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Smith says that the more positive psychology we have in our world, the better we’re able to function not just emotionally but also physically.

The Secret to Longevity in Okinawa, Japan

An excellent example of the benefits of a strong social network can be seen in the people who live on the island of Okinawa in Japan. They have the highest percentage of centenarians (people who live to be 100) on Earth. Scientists have been trying to discover their secret, and while diet surely plays a role, older people in Okinawa are known to be incredibly social. They continuously visit each other, participate in outdoor activities together, and even engage in the world’s largest tug of war held on the island, an annual event that has taken place since the 1600s.

Similar social behavior can be observed in other “blue zones,” where people live much longer than in other parts of the world. For example, on the island of Icaria in Greece and in Abkhazia, located high in the mountains of Georgia, staying active while in the company of friends and family seems to be the key to living a longer, healthier life.

Incorporating Social Activities for Better Health

To ensure that you don’t fall into the trap of social isolation and loneliness, there are several things you can do:

  1. Make time to visit or have visits from friends and family regularly. Try planning weekly or monthly get-togethers.

  2. Participate in group activities that interest you, such as joining a club, taking on a hobby, or attending community events.

  3. Volunteer for a local non-profit organization or charity. This provides a sense of purpose and allows you to connect with others who share your values.

  4. Make an effort to foster and maintain deeper connections with the people around you. Strong, meaningful relationships are vital for your mental and emotional well-being.

  5. Stay connected with long-distance friends and family through video chats, phone calls, and social media.

  6. Even small interactions with others can help reduce feelings of loneliness, so make an effort to be friendly with neighbors and engage with people in your community.

Remember, having strong social connections is crucial to your overall health and well-being. Adequate self-care goes beyond consuming a healthy diet, exercising, and taking supplements; it also includes building and maintaining relationships that enrich your life and contribute positively to your mental and emotional state. Don’t neglect the importance of your social network when aiming for longevity and a higher quality of life.