Humans tend to do better when they’re plugged into a healthy community than when they’re isolated.
Isolation and loneliness are just in general bad for you.
There are actually quite a few health risks associated with loneliness.
The thing about loneliness and isolation is that they’re difficult to measure on an objective level.
However, researchers have discovered that there are a number of concerns that can definitely put your health and wellness at risk if you become too isolated—and/or if you don’t get yourself plugged into a thriving, nurturing community of people who care about you.
Let’s take a look at a few of the statistics.
Definition Of Terms
Here’s how the CDC defines loneliness and isolation:
“Loneliness is the feeling of being alone, regardless of the amount of social contact. Social isolation is a lack of social connections. Social isolation can lead to loneliness in some people, while others can feel lonely without being socially isolated.”
Now let’s talk about the associated risks.
1. The Risk Of Premature Death
One really shocking statistic showed that social isolation tends to significantly increase a person’s risk of premature death.
Statistics have even shown that this risk can rival those of obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity.
That’s a lot!
2. Social Isolation Is Associated With A Higher Dementia Risk
Did you know that socially isolated people are about 50% more likely to be at risk for dementia?
When you take a step back and look at this statistic, it’s actually quite shocking.
It’s quite possible that many people underestimate the importance of community.
After all, humans are absolutely social collective creatures.
We’ve always been that way.
We evolved that way.
And that behavior is still important to us, even in this modern day.
3. Isolation Increases Your Risk For Disease
Did you know that having poor social relationships, being lonely, and being socially isolated are associated with a 29% increased risk for heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke?
As it turns out, it’s not just your mental health that suffers when you don’t have a thriving community around you.
When you’re isolated and lonely, you literally have a higher risk of developing things like heart disease!
4. Loneliness Is Associated With Mental Illness
People who are lonely and isolated tend to suffer from higher rates of depression and anxiety.
What’s even worse is that people in these types of situations are also at a higher risk for suicide.
This really just goes to show that it’s incredibly important to build community, and to explore connectedness with other people.
Hopefully, these statistics have helped to shine a light on the risks associated with loneliness and isolation.
And hopefully, you will see this information as a sign that it’s definitely essential to cultivate a community around you.
So get out there, make some friends, improve your relationships, and start socializing.
Nobody wants to be lonely. And as it turns out, loneliness is actually dangerous.
So do what you can to bring other positive people into your life.
It matters—not just for mental health, but also for physical health and wellness.