#140: Is Loneliness making us unhealthy & shortening our lives? ~Marta Zaraska

2 min read


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Marta Zaraska, coveted science journalist and author, helps explore the profound effect our social relationships have on our health and longevity. 

Marta writes for publications including Scientific American, the Atlantic and Washington Post, with her work being consumed the world over and inspiring TV Programs globally. With an obsessional interest in health and longevity, her works evolution has taken her to social health, purpose and altruism – with her latest book Growing Young. 

It turns out, unsurprisingly, that our bodies have beautifully evolved to motivate strong connection and to establish ourselves within a wholesome tribe. Every emotion of loneliness, ostracism, connection, and trust is driven by hormones and biochemical processes, as our bodies attempt to create maximum opportunity to survive, procreate and thrive. 

This conversation is so timely. With the 20 weeks + of Lockdowns and social isolation, there has been a very obvious toll on the health of our minds, health of out relationships, and health of our physiology. Being socially fulfilled and connected is not optional. It’s a human imperative. 

What’s fascinating is the cause and effect of loneliness on our body, and our bodies loneliness biochemistry on you mind. From immune system defence, how we see the world, self-protection, and our biological age. Every emotion has a purpose – to motivate action that returns us back to health! 

If you want to know about the hard stats on longevity and mortality risk benefits from have a strong social life, you’ll hear it here. We’ll cover how to evaluate the strength of your social health, whilst giving some ballpark metrics on number of friends etc. 

This is not a nice-to-have. Social media will NOT fill the void – the engagement is not real… at a human biological level. Prioritising your social health and purpose is a big deal. Start with this episode, and double click with Marta’s book Growing Young.


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Here’s what we discuss

  1. The Lockdown effect on the human physiology, longevity and social priorities
  2. Marta’a background from trained lawyer to coveted scientific journalist
  3. What’s the deal with Hugging Clinics and Professional Huggers?
  4. The biological purpose of emotions, and how they manifest into feelings
  5. How the emotions of loneliness are biological and serve a strong purpose
  6. The Antiviral and Antimicrobial effects of being in a chronically lonely state
  7. How do people see and interpret the world when they are chronically lonely?
  8. The genetic propensity for some people to be more sensitive, and other more accepting of Loneliness
  9. Immuno-Psychiatry – the deliberate feeling and emotional changes when we are ill
  10. The social-neuro hormones – Oxytocin, Serotonin, Endorphins and Vasopressin
  11. What effects does health social connection have on longevity and mortality risk?
  12. What is common in centenarians that allow them to live 100+ years with minimal disease?
  13. Why do warm drinks and hot showers feel so soothing?
  14. How can you evaluate if you are social enough? Do you have ‘enough’ friends?
  15. Can your close family and/or romantic partner fill all your social needs?
  16. Top social priorities to increase quality and longevity of life


Where to find MARTA ZARASKA & her resources


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