Socializing is important for mind and body and lack of it can have negatively impact mental and physical health, Bustle reports.
Everyone needs some time alone occasionally, and some people are naturally more introverted and shy. There is nothing wrong with either, but too much isolation is harmful.
Social connections are important to happiness, health, and overall feelings of connectivity to society. Lack of these connections can lead to isolation, decreased self-esteem, and shorter lifespan.
The negative effects of loneliness can start to set in within just over one day of not socializing.
Below are 11 ways lack of socialization hurts your mind and body.
- Poor self-esteem
Studies on mice and other animals suggest a psychological bodily response to isolation. Elizabeth Ann Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT said she doesn’t want to give too much weight to this finding “until the human studies are published and vetted,” but that she has seen through her work with clients that “[people] who were continuously isolated day in and day out…developed a poor body image and self-esteem over time.”
Isolation and lack of socialization are commonly linked to depression, especially for people who don’t socialize for more than a day at a time. You do not need to have activities scheduled every single day, but you should make an effort to go to a fitness class, call a friend, or talk to your colleagues throughout the day.
- Loss of Reality
Loss of reality is common for people who commonly binge watch shows or movies, or play video games. The end of these alternate realities can trigger depression and make a person feel like they suffered a loss. One should limit how often they immersive themselves into media to maintain a strong grasp on personal reality.
- Increased Tumor Risk
According to a study from the University of Chicago Medical Center, isolation can actually cause increased tumor risk and abnormal growths. Thus, social alienation could deplete physical health and possibly lead to cancer.
- Body Chills
Another negative physiological response to isolation is body chills. According to a study from the Association for Psychological Science, loneliness can literally cause your body temperature to decrease.
- Decreased Ability to Learn
Lack of socialization can cause our brains to rewire and affect our ability to successfully engage in activities like puzzles and mind games.
- Decreased Sense of Empathy
Alienation’s rewiring of the brain doesn’t just decrease a person’s ability it learn – it also decreases a person’s ability to empathize with others. By not interacting with people, one may have a harder time processing feelings and love.
Loneliness can cause stress and depression, which in turn can cause inflammation throughout the body. With the stress of loneliness and decreased connections, one may experience bloating, digestive issues, and a higher likelihood to get sick.
- Shorter Life Span
Studies show social connections increase our longevity, while a lack of social connections increases our mortality.
- Increased Risk of Dementia
According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, “older women who had large social networks had 26 percent less risk of developing dementia and cognitive impairment,” psychotherapist Rita Milios, LCSW, said.
- Reduced Resilience
We can draw strength from the presence and support of others. Healthy relationships “lead to the development of resilience, coping skills, and higher self-esteem,” Milios said. “In the absence of these crucial connections and the resulting benefits, it’s much easier for isolation to form, which can lead to loneliness.”