MAR 23, 2016 10:45 AM PDT
How to Fight Loneliness and Boost Your Health
WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
3 6 1001

What's just as bad as obesity, smoking, and hypertension? Surprisingly, it's the common feeling of loneliness. Psychologists and therapists have long known about the links between loneliness and increased risks for anxiety, depression, suicide, and antisocial behaviors. However, loneliness can actually influence other health problems, such as immune responses and risks for other diseases.

In studying the effects of loneliness, researchers found that the foreboding absence of social connections increases the risks of early deaths by 45 percent and ups the risks for dementia by 64 percent. On the contrary, people who report a support network of friends are healthier, benefiting from shorter recovery time and less illnesses.

Importantly, loneliness and happiness are not determined by the numbers of social connections. This means making friends for the sake of numbers is not a sustainable long-term solution; rather, making subjective connections to other people is a more worthwhile antidote to loneliness. Watch the video to learn how you can enhance and generate that positive sense of social connection!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
MAY 06, 2018
Videos
MAY 06, 2018
How Viruses Can Treat Cancer
Viruses' that are genetically modified can be used to treat cancer. This modification removes two key genes in the viruses' genome. The first gene removed
MAY 17, 2018
Videos
MAY 17, 2018
How Musical Instruments Boost Brain Function
Music and the brain are often part of the same scientific research projects. How music is processed in the brain and how we learn to recognize and replicat
MAY 20, 2018
Videos
MAY 20, 2018
Why Are Peppers Spicy?
Peppers are plants and those that are spicy use their spiciness as a defense mechanism against predation. In fact, scientists thought that pepper plants ev
JUN 04, 2018
Videos
JUN 04, 2018
What is the South Atlantic Anomaly?
As satellites orbit the Earth, they must be careful to shut down while passing through particular areas. One of such areas is the South Atlantic Anomaly, w
JUN 06, 2018
Neuroscience
JUN 06, 2018
Brain Surgery Without A Scalpel
When you think of brain surgery, in addition to being incredibly intricate and delicate, scalpels and clamps and an OR come to mind. As it happens, there i
JUN 20, 2018
Neuroscience
JUN 20, 2018
Is There Really an IKEA Effect?
You know those pieces of furniture that come in a flat pack with 900 screws and 20 pages of instructions? While many find themselves frustrated by the DIY
Loading Comments...