Why Social Isolation is The Biggest Threat To Our Health
As we age, we are at an increased risk for various health issues. Some people struggle with weight loss and worry about their heart health; others try their best to quit smoking and continue exercising. Yet, what many of them forget to consider is how a person’s mental well-being is able to affect their physical health.
Image via: Pexels
When it comes to taking care of your health, it’s not just about losing weight and stomping the cigarette; the biggest health risk to middle-aged men is, in fact, loneliness.
The sad truth about social isolation
In our youth, we cherished our friendships and understood the value of being surrounded by good friends. Happy friendships can do a lot for your health that a session at the gym could only dream about; decreased stress-levels, a stronger and more robust mental health, and a positive outlook on life that keeps us going.
Middle-aged men tend to concentrate on climbing the career ladder, focusing on short-term benefits to their looks and health, such as how to fight boldness with stem cell hair regrowth and getting enough exercise in their over-scheduled routines. They get caught up in the hustle of life.
The demanding career, a family to look after, and a mortgage to pay - who has time for friends these days, right? It’s not right at all and as the loving family member of a middle-aged man or if you fall into this category yourself, the dangers of social isolation are very real.
Risk factors at the same size as obesity
A study performed in 2015 by researchers at Brigham Young University could point to the actual health risks of loneliness. It proved that not only is it very common for white middle-aged men to be lonely, but the long-term risks of it are as bad as those as heavy drinking and obesity.
Regular feelings of loneliness can increase the risk of mortality by as much as twenty-six percent, according to a meta analysis of studies, and experts are calling it an epidemic.
The real dangers may not just lie in the fact that those in middle-age neglect their friendships as much as the problem with stigma. We are fundamentally social creatures, and any suggestions of being lonely leads some to brand themselves as a loser.
This thinking prevents us from doing something about the isolation and the dissolution of the small groups that make up a community; when everyone is lonely on their own, and nobody admits to it, the community crumbles.
That’s why it’s important to talk about it and start a discussion, encourage the men in your life to meet up - and meet up with your friends for a beer more than every third year.
Use social media to your advantage and find people with similar interests as you, invest in your friendships and understand that a rich social life goes beyond your family and those you meet at work. It’s for your health, after all.