4 Ways Loneliness Affects Your Body

Long-term loneliness can affect more than just your mood. It can become detrimental to your physical health.

It’s difficult to imagine feeling alone in today’s world.

With social media, texting and virtual … everything … getting any quality alone time is more difficult than ever. Yet many people seem to feel less connected with the people and the world around them. For these people, loneliness can become a way of life. (Just remember that it’s never too late to change things up! You’ll find my recommendations for banishing loneliness further down the page!)

Long-term loneliness can affect more than just your mood. It can become detrimental to your physical health. Here are some of the ways that loneliness affects your body.

Sleep deprivation.

When you’re lonely, you might spend a lot more time in bed, but you’re probably not sleeping well. Lonely people tend to experience insomnia and frequent sleep disruptions.

Increased risk of dementia.

You can be surrounded by people but still feel lonely if you’re not making genuine connections. Studies have shown that lonely people are at a higher risk for dementia than those who live alone but have strong personal relationships.


Those suffering from chronic loneliness are more likely to have an overexpression of genes connected to cells that produce an inflammatory response. While short-term inflammation is usually not a major concern, inflammation that sticks around can increase your risk for heart disease and cancer.

Weight gain.

When you’re lonely, you try to fill the void created by the lack of human connection. One of the most common ways people do this is with food. Think of all the movies you’ve seen where the depressed and broken-hearted character binges on ice cream, chocolate, pizza, pasta … whatever comfort foods are in reach! It fills a void, but jeopardizes your health in the process. This is a slippery slope and can lead to serious issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

We all feel lonely at times. That’s perfectly normal. But when it becomes a constant in our lives, it’s important to do what we can to combat it so that it doesn’t affect our physical well-being. If you’re feeling lonely, you have the power to take action and send those feelings packing. It’s all up to you! It might require you to put yourself out there (and outside of your comfort zone), but i know you can do it! Below are my tips for keeping loneliness at a distance. 

Partha’s prescriptions

  • Find your tribe. These are the people who get you. They have your back, and you have theirs. Lean on and support each other. Enjoy these genuine connections. Having a tribe even helps you to live longer! So join a local group, volunteer or find another fun way to grow your tribe!
  • Face your fears! Don’t be afraid to get out there! Enjoy life … enjoy new experiences! You might be surprised by how things start happening for you!
  • Make face-to-face connections. Social media is great, but don’t live there. Make the effort to meet up with family and friends in the flesh. This is when deep connections are made. You’ll keep loneliness at a distance while enjoying life and having fun.
  • Unplug. Instead of connecting to your wi-fi, connect with nature. Get outdoors whenever you can. Walk through a park, watch a sunset, play with your kids in the backyard, take a bike ride. Enjoying nature nourishes your body and soul.

Remember to make healthy living a part of every day!

The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste.

Dr. Nandi

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Partha Nandi

Partha Nandi M.D., F.A.C.P is the creator and host of the medical lifestyle television show, “Ask Dr. Nandi”.

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Kristi DriggersMargoFrancierPRABHAKAR RAJARAPUFran Merkh Recent comment authors
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Kristi Driggers

My situation is a little different. I’m terminally ill with ALS and dementia. Most of my freedoms have been taken away and ‘friends’ don’t understand how important they are to me. I’m not a priority anymore. I’ve been in tremendous physical and mental pain from symptoms. Visits, texts, etc mean everything to me. My body is too tired to get out but the soldier in me is fighting, despite the emotional hurt. This sounds so stupid but the quality of life isn’t there anymore after 6 years of trying to get the support.


I’m lonely, but I miss my family. I miss people whom I used to have in my life. Eating more unhealthy food is “not” a tendency I have. I go to the gym all the time, so I’m not an overweight comfort eater. I don’t really like food. I do feel there are not enough reasons to get dressed up nicely though as I never get asked anywhere or included in anyone’s plans. I just continue to say my prayers and hope for the best!


If I Could find my tribe, I wouldn’t be lonely! Duhhh!!!
I’ve had to move several times mostly due to the economic bust disrupting the friendships I did grow.
This article is just feel good, look good Chatter!



Fran Merkh

Loneliness is a way of life for many people. Many years ago, the Lord took this feeling away from me. What’s weird is my husband says he is lonely but I’ve always been there available. He chooses to be lonely always seeking attention from others. His resistance to me is his way of living. The person he loves the most, he says, he avoids and treats as an enemy in many ways in order to maintain narcism. Intimacy is the answer but he hates that. Kinda sad but it’s about choices and I chose not to be sad. Of course this is all one sided and I’ve considered that over and over again trying not to be biased.


……Also, Partha Nandy provides an in-depth insight to loneliness. There’s some very useful and helpful information. Thank you


I’m very familiar with loneliness, and I agree that it can lead to physical illness, It’s not that easy to overcome, and it depends on the individual as to how they cope with it. I can be in a room full of people and still feel lonely. It’s usually because the one person I miss isn’t there. It’s a big subject and I would be interested in hearing from the Doctor and others about how best to cope with it. I get depressed, feel excluded. I don’t know what they see.

Robina fazal

Nice article❤💐Doc.Nandi…Thanks for Sharing.. yeah to feel loneliness and to be alone for a bit long time…is not good for mental +physical…health.. My responsibilities are mainly to deal home chores..I am the only one to take care of my father and brother.. From a long period…I have to kill my time in best ways even I am alone and free at times at home..So I captivate myself in healthy exercise.. mind soul ease yoga..that make me feel lively…now I hope that there will be a change in my my pappa and brother will have their own arrangement soon to take care of them..and their a real great chance for me to be in be in attend functions..gatherings..and hope tours too..that will make my life real healthy lively happy and full zeal and enthusiasùm ..I can work out on my goals..and desires ..I can manage time for studies..for Social works..but I’ll continue to have my own times for personal life is so imp..loneliness…has good benefits too if you know the Art to use your free and relaxed moments.. in positive.. healthy activities.. life is wht you make out of it..No one is sent in to this world with out any purpose..every one can do the best by focusing on his her goals.. with passions.. love..hard work.. harmony and much you invest in your self the more good results you gain a healthy positive productive life to lead with happiness and purpose..Amen..

Sue Smith