Loneliness is often confused with being alone; however, the former has been found to be a cause of death among higher isolated individuals. In the 21st Century with the advent of social media there is a misconception that the more “Friends” we have the better and healthier we are. The opposite is true. It is important to have up to five best friends who you can talk to about problems that you are having and you should see them regularly face to face. In light that people are becoming more isolated and experiencing loneliness, here are a few things you should know about loneliness so that you can fight it.
Loneliness is Contagious
If you know someone who is lonely or if you are lonely, it has been found that people spread it to others who they are directly connected to according to a study that was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2009. This also works in reverse. If a person who is not lonely hangs around people who are lonely that same study found that the non-lonely person will become lonely. Loneliness is a prevalent social disease that is contagious.
Individuals who begin to socially isolate them first start by withdrawing socially from interacting with people. These individuals often are unable to pick up on nonverbal social signals, which makes them socially incompetent that results in them not being able to activate positive social stimuli. After not being able to turn on positive social stimuli, miss nonverbal social cues, and slowly begin to withdraw from interacting from others is when social isolation begins. Individuals who withdraw from social interactions will be less trustful and display hostility towards others. Social withdrawal leads to social isolation.
Breakups are not the only life event that cause an individual to eat a lot of ice cream or insert your favorite food when you’re lonely and possibly depressed. Loneliness can last longer than getting over an ex and it is a common experience that individuals share in modern society. Interestingly though, women are more likely to become hungry and eat more when they are lonely. Loneliness activates a hormone that women have called Postprandial Ghrelin, which is also known as the hunger hormone. An individual can get over an ex and a breakup, but one can’t fight biology and the hunger hormone when one is lonely.
Probability of Death Rises By 26%
Loneliness can kill! A study that researchers at Brigham Young University conducted on loneliness found being lonely increases the risk of death by 26% to 32%. There was no difference between loneliness and social isolation according to the study. In short, if you subject yourself to loneliness or forced into social isolation by society you are have an increased mortality rate.