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6 Ways Your Body Gets Affected When You've Felt Lonely For Long

6 Ways Your Body Gets Affected When You've Felt Lonely For Long

You might not be able to make connections but it is making you weak physically and mentally. You may not be realizing it but it is the truth.

As we all age, our priorities change and so does the status of our relationships with people. Somedays we are surrounded by the people we love but soon we realize that nobody is constant. There are times when we are just lost within ourselves. Not that we hate the company of people but that we no more connect with them like we used to.

Keeping to ourselves does not only affect our emotional well-being but it can also take a toll on our physical health. As humans, we require the interaction of other fellow humans and so choosing to stay away consciously or unconsciously is not good for us. Here are a few ways in which your loneliness can affect you severely both emotionally and physically:

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1. You are in fight or flight mood

Research shows that the brain produces an excess of norepinephrine when you are confined to loneliness. This hormone is a crucial signal for the fight and flight response. However, when you are alone, it makes it harder for the body to shut down even if you want to rest. So if you are not planning to do anything in your alone time, the best thing is to meet a friend or go for a walk in a park. Taking a break from your brain is necessary.

2. You will experience long-term inflammation

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As mentioned earlier, the body produces an excess of norepinephrine when you have no human interaction. This norepinephrine that is produced by the body is capable of elevating the production of white blood cells. This, in turn, shuts the natural defense mechanisms of the body. This means that the hormone cortisol which is responsible for fighting inflammation in your body will become less sensitive, making you vulnerable to chronic inflammation conditions like cancer, sensitivity to viruses, and infection. In order to avoid such health hazards, make sure that you join a workout class or a gym that will help you socialize and exercise at the same time.

3. Increase of stress hormones

Talking your problems out and discussing your life with a friend or someone you trust is very crucial of our mind as well as for our body. The lack of socializing in our lives will contribute to an increase in stress. As social beings, we need to express ourselves once in a while. Bottling up our problems can give immense stress to our body. According to a report by Daily Mail, talking about your problems can give you physical relief. Our body is wired to manage excess cortisol, it may lead to weight gain and fatty tissue deposits, infections, etc according to Mayo Clinic

4. Your body craves dopamine

You have alone and is unable to connect to anyone. However, you are caught up in social pressure. You miss the warmth of a partner and puts yourself into numerous casual relationships. When you lack intimacy with someone, your body misses out on the dopamine. This leads you to rush into less stable connections that may be harmful in the long run. 

5. You will feel colder

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You might be wondering what kind of cold is referred to here. A person who is lonely feels colder physically. According to research done in 2012, even the idea of being excluded by people can lower the temperature of the body. Others found that the memory of it is enough is to give people the chills. The best remedy for such an issue is the physical warmth of people who you can connect with.

6. You can die sooner

While you may have so many immediate health issues related to loneliness. It can have a very serious long term effect on you. According to a study, loneliness has the capability of increasing the risk of death by 26% percent. It should not be a surprise because of the lack of good health can, in fact, affect your lifespan.

Growing old with a healthy body and a happy heart is what everybody eventually realizes they want. So take care of your health and live longer. If you are lonely, use your time in the most productive manner possible. Have a balanced alone and social life so that you enjoy good emotional and physical health. 

References:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/29/457255876/loneliness-may-warp-our-genes-and-our-immune-systems
https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/11/18/1514249112.abstract
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227708726_Cold-blooded_loneliness_Social_exclusion_leads_to_lower_skin_temperatures
http://time.com/3747784/loneliness-mortality/
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1745691614568352?journalCode=ppsa
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2548917/A-problem-shared-really-IS-problem-halved-Study-finds-discussing-problems-people-situation-reduces-stress-levels.html
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cushing-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351310