The world focuses on teaching the Three Basic Needs; Food, Clothing, and Shelter, but possibly our most paramount need is human connection. Except for some extreme cases, there isn’t a spotlight focused on our need for social interaction. It is vital, and just like the other basic needs, the lack of meaningful connections with others can eventually lead to several health problems.
The pain of loneliness is more than just a feeling.
Spending some time alone is imperative for our mental state. But if you are too socially isolated, it will impact your overall health. Feeling lonely can take a toll on your mental health, but physical symptoms of loneliness can also occur. And because of how intertwined the mind and body are, it’s no surprise that suffering from loneliness can damage your body as well. Loneliness can trigger many emotions, such as anxiety, fear, sadness, and the list continues.
The feelings we experience are felt throughout our bodies as our emotions work in conjunction with our nervous systems.
In addition to our emotions, loneliness can also affect our memory. Studies have shown that forgetfulness and confusion are linked to depression and, in turn, loneliness. It also increases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Because of memory problems, it becomes difficult to focus on school, work, and general daily activities. It can also affect one’s ability to think clearly.
Loneliness can also lead to increased pain and muscle tension, as well as affect one’s appetite.And whether the food intake is increased or decreased, it will disturb your body’s digestive system and could even make you get sick or cause more issues. Loneliness can also affect your sleeping habits as you tend to either oversleep or not sleep as much as you should. This lack of sleep reduces the energy level in the body, and oversleeping shortens the time available to do the things you love.
Loneliness also affects the cardiovascular system and could lead to a higher risk of heart diseases, stroke, and even cancer.
Dealing with loneliness on its own is a difficult task. Having to deal with the physical pain caused by it makes it even more challenging. Firstly, you need to understand all the ways loneliness impacts our health. Many people try to improve their health by exercising or going on a diet and tend to ignore the importance of their mental health. Social connection is as important as eating right and working out. So, it would help if you worked towards building stronger connections with people.
If you have ever thought, “I am lonely,” invest in yourself. Increase your connectedness with others. So send that text to that friend you haven’t spoken to in ages, go out for coffee with your neighbor. Make a GeboCall. Connect with people. You never have to feel lonely. If you think there isn’t someone you can trust to communicate within your life, you can trust our GeboCall Advocates. They are trained professionals whose focus is only on connecting with you. Make the call.
Wishing you The Gift of bravery,