11. Loneliness Can Actually Cause You To Experience The Flu More Often.
Loneliness, stress, depression, and overall poor mental health can make you feel downright lousy, not only emotionally but physically, as well. As stated earlier, loneliness can cause the body to trigger an immune response. This usually presents itself as fevers, headaches, and general achiness all over the body. What else feels like this? The flu. And this can be made worse during the cold months of the flu season. In fact, if you get a flu vaccine, your body becomes less responsive to it, causing you to get sick more often. Yes, being lonely can be so damaging physically that it weakens your immune system and can cause you to get the flu. Furthermore, with that compromised immune system, if you do get the flu or any other sickness, you will likely get even sicker than many other people because your body just is not able to fight it off.
You would think that isolating yourself more would actually minimize your risk of the flu, but studies have shown that the opposite is true. Loneliness can make you more susceptible to the disease by decreasing the effectiveness of your overall immune system. So make more social connections! Just exercise caution in doing so, so that you’re not increasing your risk adversely. Pick up the phone and call someone. If the thought of making a call feels overwhelming, send a text message to see if the other person might be interested in talking. Micro-interactions can also have a calming effect on your mind; micro-interactions are those short conversations you have with the cashier at the grocery store or the security guard at the entrance to a building. Make sure that you are pleasant instead of demanding because a pleasant micro-interaction can boost your mood.