Loneliness is an unhealthy epidemic
When Hank Williams sang, “I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry,” he was speaking to almost one-third of Americans who say they feel lonely, at least several times a week.
Seniors especially experience loneliness, but according to experts, the physical effects are as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Clearly there’s more to being lonely than simply being alone.
Some people feel lonely even in a crowded room, because they are not making a connection with anyone. Without those connections, without meeting other people and being separated from the rest of the world leads to lower levels of dopamine in the brain. Without that feel-good chemical there are brain changes that can cause a host of health problems, both mental and physical.
Loneliness and isolation can drastically change your emotional state of mind, In the worst cases, it causes bullied teens whose brains haven’t fully developed to finally lash out by bringing a weapon to class to get even with their enemies. Since Columbine, it has happened more and more.
The dangers of loneliness
Because dopamine levels are low, people who are lonely also feel low, which can lead to serious health problems, including:
- Depression, which can lead to suicide if left untreated.
- Higher stress levels, which causes blood glucose levels to rise, triggering a host of physical problems.
- Cardiovascular disease, the result of blood glucose lining the blood vessels to the heart.
- Weight gain, the result of steady glucose levels causing food cravings.
- Antisocial behavior if loneliness keeps you isolated and uncertain about how to behave in social situations.
- Premature aging, caused by changes in the body’s cellular structure.
- Alcohol and drug abuse to ease feelings of depression.
Clearly, loneliness is something that can’t be ignored.
IF you’re feeling lonely, boosting dopamine levels can help ease symptoms.
In order to do so, exercise on a regular basis, use oregano essential oil in a diffuser and add healthy, dopamine-boosting foods to your diet such as apples, kale, beets, bananas, strawberries and blueberries.
Try to fight the lonely state of mind
When people feel lonely, they have a much more difficult time reaching out to others to make connections. It can damage self-confidence and feelings of self-worth, which triggers chronic loneliness.
- The only way to fight it is to take action.
- Join Soul Cycle or a yoga class
- join a club or offer to volunteer at a place you love. Check this link to find your favorite activity group– meetup
- Being part of the world rather than someone on the outside looking in is the only way to ease the pain.
- Visit family:
- Meet with friends
- Love yourself!