Mainstream medicine’s answer to every health problem is to prescribe a pill or sign you up for surgery.
But a new study has revealed a heartbreakingly simple way you can slash your risk for dementia. And you can do it without ever setting foot in a pharmacy or operating room.
Spend more quality time with a friend.
As odd as it sounds, it really IS that simple. Because as I’ve explained before, feeling lonely is downright dangerous for your health.
You see humans are social creatures. To stay healthy, we NEED to keep in contact with other folks.
Which is why living alone, and feeling isolated, can make you far more likely to become obese and develop heart problems.
In fact, researchers at Brigham Young University completed a meta-analysis which found social isolation raises your risk for dying early by nearly 30 percent.
Dementia risk soars when you’re feeling lonely
But now a new study has confirmed solitude messes with our minds too.
In fact, feeling lonely could send your risk for dementia soaring by a stunning 40 percent.
The study, published in the Journals of Gerontology, crunched data from over 12,000 volunteers who participated in the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study.
The scientists asked folks about their loneliness and social isolation at the start of the study. And then had them complete a set of cognitive tests. Then every two years after that… for up to 10 years… the participants took another set of tests.
The people who reported feeling lonely had a significantly higher risk of developing dementia by the end of the study.
Millions of Americans suffer from loneliness
But that wasn’t the only thing these folks had in common. They were ALSO far more likely to suffer from…
They were less likely to be physically active. And more likely to smoke as well.
But when the researchers adjusted for all those factors feeling lonely still stuck out like a sore thumb. The folks who felt isolated were still far more likely to develop impaired memory and reasoning.
And of course, as we age loneliness becomes much more common. Our children grow up and move away. We may lose a spouse and friends. Or perhaps we just fall out of touch with family.
It’s even possible to slog through your days feeling lonely even when you’re not physically alone if you aren’t making a connection. In fact, according to AARP over 42 million Americans over 45 are battling these feelings RIGHT NOW.
Drug-free solutions drive down dementia risk
Now mainstream medicine will tell you the solution to conquering feeling lonely is a pill. That’s why one in six Americans is on some type of psych med.
But research shows these habit-forming drugs are often ineffective. And besides, they make very little sense as the first step for folks who are feeling isolated.
Instead, start with trying to develop some meaningful relationships with people who share your interests or values. And that begins with connecting with other folks again.
One great way to do that is to find a local church to join. Attending church services and participating in parish activities will give you an instant connection to a bunch of other like-minded folks.
Church not your thing? How about finding a nearby book club to join? Or check local colleges or senior centers for classes or workshops that sound interesting. There are nearly surefire cores for feeling lonely.
And volunteering… whether your tutoring kids, knitting scarves, or walking dogs at an animal shelter… is an excellent way to meet other people who care about the same things you do.
The cure for feeling lonely is good company
And be sure to let your existing friends and family know if you’re feeling lonely.
It can be hard to admit. But chances are some of the folks you already care about are feeling the same way. And letting them know they’re not alone in their feelings could be the key to reconnecting.
Don’t let feeling lonely destroy your health and your mind. Or worse, send you to an early grave.
Reach out, connect, and start curing your loneliness today.