Unhappiness and Loneliness Speed Up Aging More than Smoking
It sounds extreme when you hear that unhappiness speeds up aging. But when you look at it closely, it makes sense. As you get older, your overall disposition in life continues to impact your health and wellness. Many people think that once they accumulate wealth or succeed in their dream job, they are set for life. However, this is not always the case. Your happiness has a say in how long you are going to live.
Sometimes, you tend to forget that what you are feeling inside can manifest physically. When you are tired or stressed, your body is changing—undereye circles, skin hyperpigmentation, or worse, aging. Sad to say, there is enough evidence to support the idea that unhappiness, indeed, speeds up aging.
As you age, “molecular damage accumulates and contributes to the development of aging-related frailty and serious diseases. These molecular processes are more intense in some people than in others, resulting in a condition commonly referred to as accelerated aging”.
For many years, you have been told that the best way to slow aging or to age gracefully is to look after yourself. You must exercise, get enough sleep, or eat a nutritious meal. It is also recommended by doctors to have regular checkups for monitoring. But working on psychological factors like being happy and surrounded by people is equally important. Many therapists near me would likely recommend these to their patients.
A research article from Deep Longevity found out that “psychological factors substantially contribute to biological aging.” Researchers added that “feeling unhappy or being lonely, adds up to 1.65 years to one’s biological age, and the aggregate effect exceeds the effects of biological sex, living area, marital status, and smoking status.”
The research study introduced a new aging clock that gauged the severity of aging and found that it is often “affected by genetics, life choices, and the environment.” Through this aging clock, experts can now catch the problem early on. You will know what mainly causes your problem before it gets worse and becomes untreatable.
Based on the data gathered by the researchers, accelerated aging was detected in people who experienced stroke, liver and lung diseases, and smokers, and the most interesting group is people who are unhappy or lonely.
Counselors and therapists near me would agree that mental and psychosocial states are some of the strongest indicators of a person’s health and quality of life, but they are usually overlooked and deemed insignificant. Many people think that if a person has mental health issues, they can be managed and resolved easily.
The study was not done to worry people even more about their mental state, but it was done to provide awareness and early intervention. This is also to call out organizations and companies to ensure that their employees receive the right treatment whenever they are struggling with unhappiness and loneliness.
Loneliness and Unhappiness Become Global Issues
A lot of people today feel so much loneliness and sadness, especially, during the height of the pandemic. There is a constant fear and worry about everything—job, finances, family, health, and oneself. It looks like people have trouble finding ways to feel happy and satisfied.
A study revealed that 2 in 5 Americans “sometimes or always feel isolated from others and that their relationships are not meaningful. Additionally, 27% (that’s 1 in 4 Americans) rarely or never feel as though there are people that really understand and connect with them”. The same study found that the loneliest generation is Gen Z; these are the ones born between 1997 and early 2000.
Loneliness and unhappiness are more harmful to your overall health than smoking and obesity. Not finding happiness and living in loneliness can worsen the conditions of those with depression, anxiety, stroke, and heart disease. They even increase premature death by up to 50%.
There are so many factors that can directly affect your mental health. Social media is one, yet no one wants to admit that they are badly affected by it. People continue to live their lives despite feeling down and lonely. You choose to survive each day, regardless of how you feel.
Mindshift Psychological Services is here to help. We provide mental health management to ensure that you are living the life that you always wanted. We help you navigate possible ways to enrich yourself so you can create a happy life and a healthy relationship with others. Contact our counselors and therapists near me to schedule an appointment.
To learn more about us, visit our website. You may also contact us at (714) 584-9700.