Loneliness May Be Killing You Faster Than You Realize

Friends Loneliness

Money might buy you some form of happiness, but it won't be for long, according to recent research by the American Psychological Association (APA). 


It's friends, family, and other valuable social connections that'll give you a fulfilling and lengthy life. Loneliness and social isolation, on the other hand, are being credited for leading you to an early death. 

Female friendships loneliness
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To come to this conclusion, the APA did two meta-analyses. One included 14 studies with over 300,000 participants. The researchers found that having greater social connections cut down one's risk of an early death by half. The second meta-analysis involved 70 studies and looked at 3.4 million participants from all around the world. Social isolation, loneliness, and living alone all had a significant effect that was greater than obesity on premature death. 

"Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental need -- crucial to both well-being and survival," Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, said in an APA press release. 

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It makes sense. Infants in custodial care who don't receive enough human contact aren't able to thrive and often end up dying, and ostracism and solitary confinement have been used as a form of punishment throughout history. (Ancient Greece, anyone?)


A study done by UCLA and the University of Chicago found that loneliness can actually suppress your immune system, and increase stress hormones like cortisol, leading to a greater risk in heart attacks, Metro reported. 

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Plus, with social media and omnipotent cell phones, Americans who interact via a screen are becoming more and more lonely. 

So, who else thinks this is the perfect time to call up that old friend whom you haven't kept in touch with?

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