In our hyper-connected world with smart phones, tweets, texts, posts and photos, it’s surprising that people often feel more lonely than ever.
Using research from BYU psychology and neuroscience professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad, the TODAY Show is launching a #TogetherToday campaign to help combat social isolation and forge meaningful, real-life connections.
Some researchers say that America is in the grips of a loneliness epidemic. The effects go beyond emotional distress and can lead to serious health problems.
“Feeling lonely can heighten the sense of perception of environment as threatening. These physiological or biological responses that are preparing us for a threat are much like a stress response and this can put us at increased risk for a variety of physical illnesses,” says Holt-Lunstad.
She has studied the physical risks of loneliness and says social disconnection can be deadlier than smoking 15 cigarettes a day.