A Harvard study has shed new light on the impact of social connection on health, happiness, and life satisfaction.
Check this out: Research has found that loneliness is as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes a day!
And: “Lonely people are 50% more likely to die prematurely than those with healthy social relationships.”
That’s pretty shocking, right?
Loneliness is now considered worse for your health than obesity. It’s been found to increase inflammation and risk of a variety of diseases including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and dementia.
You’ve seen me often write and speak about the connection between your emotional state and your gut health. This research is a prime example of this critical connection.
So, let’s define loneliness and also look at some actions you can take to keep yourself healthy & happy.
As you know, keeping your gut healthy is extremely important. Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive.
It is my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like gut/digestive issues, excess weight, low energy, mood imbalance, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
Loneliness is different than being alone
Being alone doesn’t always mean loneliness. In fact, you can be surrounded by family and friends and feel lonely while others can live and work alone and not feel lonely at all. So it seems that if being alone doesn’t bother you, you aren’t lonely. There’s not a set amount of alone time versus social time that fits everyone.
How do we define it then? According to psychology researchers Julianne Holt-Lunstad and Timothy B. Smith from Brigham Young University, who studied the links of loneliness and social isolation to cardiovascular disease, loneliness as “the discrepancy between one’s desired and actual level of social connection.” In a nutshell, feeling a lack of social connection is considered loneliness and that’s what negatively impacts your health. Social connection on the other hand, benefits your health.
5 ways to improve social connection
- Practice emotional intelligence (the ability to mange your emotions). You can build your emotional intelligence and improve the quality of your social interactions. HeartMath tools are great for this! I practice emotional self-regulation daily and teach it to every client. You can also use active listening, meditation, and journaling to improve this area.
- Connect with people face-to-face or on the phone rather than online more often.
- Find a local group that shares an interest of yours or take up a hobby.
- When you interact with friends and family, notice what’s great about them and compliment them.
As you can see, improving health is a holistic journey and I know this information can make a positive impact in your life.
Please know that if you’re struggling with your weight, digestion/gut, mood, or energy, and you would love to feel like yourself again, I would love to support you.
I’m inviting you to set up a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session with me here. I have 3 spaces for sessions this month so please grab a spot so we can talk about how to help you take your wellness up a notch.
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!