Today’s Solutions: February 08, 2023

If you’re feeling isolated and lonely during this difficult time, you’re not alone. Loneliness and isolation have been associated with high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, and a weakened immune system. This ironic reality means that the measures we are taking to protect our health could in fact be damaging it. So how can we protect our human connection while maintaining six feet of distance?

Studies have shown that the benefits of human connection can come from something as simple as looking at a picture of a loved one or receiving help from a stranger. Calling a friend, video chatting with a relative, or reaffirming your gratitude for those you are isolated with can boost your immune system on a molecular level and give us the connection we crave.

When we feel lonely, our bodies produce norepinephrine and our inflammation systems go into overdrive in anticipation of a threat. Too much of this anxious state can lead to chronic illness. One study found that people who were more socially connected were 50 percent less likely to die over a given period than socially distanced people, even when accounting for factors such as age and overall health. Fortunately, scientists have found that the “buffering effect” creates a sense of ease in people when they simply think about someone they love. 

Another study found that putting people in rooms alone elevated their blood pressure and heart rate, but telling participants that someone was monitoring them and caring for them outside the room mitigated the effects of isolation. 

In conclusion, loneliness is detrimental, but methods for addressing it are plentiful and easy, even while social distancing. Remember to reach out and support those around you. If you’re feeling isolated, call a friend, look at old photos, or think about all the people you know and love who are going through the same experience you are.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Australia is the first nation to acknowledge psychedelics as medicine

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration surprised researchers by approving the psychedelic chemicals found in magic mushrooms and MDMA for use by patients with specific mental health issues, ...

Read More

The top 9 mistakes people make when trying to establish a healthy routine

If you can’t figure out why you struggle to maintain a healthy routine, no worries. We have a story from Groom+Style that lists the ...

Read More

These wind turbine walls let cities harness wind power beautifully

One of the major downfalls of harnessing wind energy is that large-scale wind farms require lots of space, away from urban areas, and wind ...

Read More

Google puts data privacy back into users hands

Due to various political and healthcare data breaches setting off alarm bells, the general public is slowly realizing that their data is at risk ...

Read More