Your emotions can impact your health and we now know that loneliness in particular puts you at a 29% higher risk of heart attack.
This study was published in the journal Heart and serves as a reminder that our social relationships strongly impact not only our emotional health but our physical health as well.
Lead researcher Nicole Valtorta, a research fellow from the University of York in the UK, studied data from 23 completed studies which looked at around 181,000 healthy individuals.
The findings were that people experiencing loneliness had a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% higher risk of having a stroke.
There are many reasons that being lonely impacts health but statistically those who are lonely tend not to be as physically active as their socially driven peers. They may also be more likely to smoke, see their doctor less often and have higher rates of obesity.
The anxiety of feeling alone also puts stress on the heart. It can also reduce the effectiveness of your immune system making it harder for your body to handle stress.
While it’s hard to have control over whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you can attempt to put more emphasis on building your social relationships. Not only do these strong bonds help our hearts, but other aspects of our physical and mental health as well.