The 10 most common holiday season triggers
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(Kaytee Gillis/ Psychology Today) — Nora sat by the window, watching the snow accumulate on top of the cars and neighborhood rooftops. December was always a difficult month for her, ever since the passing of her sister, three years ago. Without anyone to hold the family together, she had lost contact with the rest of her siblings,  …

Loneliness is as bad for you as smoking, research shows
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(Padraig Moran/ CBC News) — Top health officials say loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking, but one doctor warns that the stigma around feeling lonely still stops people from reaching out for support.

“Just like thirst is a signal you need hydration, loneliness is a signal you need … human connection,”  …

The loneliness epidemic: Nearly 1 in 4 adults feel lonely, new survey finds
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(Taylor Nicioli/ CNN News) — If you feel lonely, you’re actually in good company: Nearly 1 in 4 adults across the world have reported feeling very or fairly lonely, a new Meta-Gallup survey has found.

The new survey, taken across 142 countries, found 24% of people age 15 and older self-reported feeling very or fairly lonely  …

Loneliness Is officially a threat to our health
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(Stephanie Cornwell/ Real Simple) — Americans have reached epidemic levels of loneliness and social isolation. According to the U.S. surgeon general’s recent advisory report, about half of U.S. adults report feeling lonely. And it’s more than a bummer or an unpleasant feeling—this loneliness is causing our physical  …

The link between pet ownership and increased mental health
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(Emma Gritt/ Women’s Health) — Most pet owners will tell you that their furry friend brings limitless joy to their lives – but new research has found that they’ve never been so important for our mental health.

The 2023 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report discovered that 94% of pet owners say that  …

Loneliness can increase risk of heart disease by 27 percent for older women
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(Linda Searing/ The Philadelphia Tribune) — For older women, being lonely and socially isolated can increase the chance of developing heart disease by as much as 27%, according to research published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

The finding adds heart disease to a list of potential health effects of loneliness and

Loneliness and social isolation increase cancer incidence in men
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(Science Direct) — Globally, cancer is the second leading cause of death. Loneliness has been suggested as a risk factor for cancer mortality. However, connections between loneliness, social isolation, and cancer are poorly understood.

In our longitudinal study (mean follow-up: 20.44 years) of 2570 middle-aged men,  …

Can virtual reality help seniors? Study hopes to find out
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(Terry Spencer/ CTV News) — Terry Colli and three other residents of the John Knox Village senior community got a trip via computer to the International Space Station in the kickoff to a Stanford University study on whether virtual reality can improve the emotional well-being of older people.

Donning 1-pound (470-gram) headsets  …