Whether you just moved to a new town or started a new job, feelings of solitude can be a concern. Avoiding social interaction will not only leave you feeling alone but can have negative impacts on your health. This article will reveal some of the negative effects of it that will make you want to get out and interact a little more.
The Effects of Social Isolation
Generally, those who do not have social support can suffer more from health issues. For the elderly, this can be a major health concern as individuals who are older will most likely rely on other more often.
Social isolation can be damaging to the cardiovascular system. Depression and loneliness have been known to increase the risk of hardening arteries which can result in heart attack or stroke. Severe blot clots can occur because the hardening of the arteries can increase the production of certain hormones that alter platelets which can result in aneurysms as well. When there is a reduced flow of blood to the brain from these hardened arteries, this can make the loneliness and depression even worse. The hardened arteries can also increase blood pressure which can result in an enlarged heart, heart failure, or coronary artery disease.
Less lifetime expectancy. Being social isolated can result in an earlier death, especially with older adults. The levels of fibrinogen increase when we feel loneliness and this can cause cardiac arrest or stroke due to the excess of blood clotting proteins.
You increase your risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease, dementia, and schizophrenia. You are almost twice as likely to suffer from Alzheimer disease if you are less socially active than someone who is more social.
Individuals who socially isolate themselves often suffer from low self-esteem or social anxiety.
Social isolation can increase your risk of OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Increased risk of immune diseases. The effects of social isolation on the immune system can range from lupus to rheumatoid arthritis and chronic stress.
More likely to become ill or sick with the flu or common colds.
Those who suffer from social isolation tend to have less energy and suffer from fatigue. The less one interacts with others the more tired they will begin to feel.
Those who avoid social situation may have a harder time recovering from injury. It can take someone much longer to recover from an illness or injury than those who are more socially active.
Social isolation can alter the activity in the genes that are supposed to control inflammation. This can lead to an increase in the risk of suffering from heart disease, cancer, or other viral infections.
Those who are socially isolated tend to practice unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking or illegal drug use. Often times, this is done to compensate for their lack of socialization.
Obesity is also common among those who are socially isolated. Without the need for personal connections with others, individuals may neglect their diet and make poor food choices on a regular basis.
Social isolation can result in a decline in physical fitness. Since those who suffer from social isolation will avoid going out often this will often lead to a decrease in physical fitness. Limit physical activity can lead to a number of health issues.
What Can You Do to Avoid the Effects of Social Isolation?
There is nothing wrong with you
You might feel as if there is something wrong with you when you are not interacting regularly with others. You are not alone in your feelings. Everyone at some point or even currently is suffering from feeling lonely.
Keep yourself busy
One of the best ways you can reduce your social isolation is to simply keep yourself busy. Try to volunteer for a cause that you are interested in as this will help you develop feelings of worth and that you are needed.
Build your confidence
Lacking confidence can result in even more social isolation. Try to boost your self-esteem by finding your good qualities. Start with one good trait that you know others admire about you and then find another. This exercise when done regularly can help you feel better about yourself.
Try something new
Finding a new hobby can be a great way to reduce the effects of social isolation. Getting out of the house and meeting some new people can help reduce depression and stress. Not only will you actually meet new people, taking a class or participating in a community sport will help you forget about your feelings for a brief moment.
Get to know yourself
Spending time alone can be beneficial if you take the time to really focus on yourself. Learn to enjoy your own company instead of relying on having to be around someone to feel fulfilled. Typically, when you feel alone, you can make bad decision such as choosing to get involved with the wrong group of friends or other recreation activities that can be harmful. When you learn to enjoy your own company, you build a confidence that will reduce the risk of making these types of decisions.