"No one would choose a friendless existence on condition of having all the other things in the world," Aristotle
New science says being lonely speeds aging. Wise people say the holiday blues are a signal to examine and change ones life. A brief period of loneliness doesn’t appear to cause grave harm but chronic loneliness does. The long-term lonely suffer more diseases at an earlier age, and die younger than those who feel close to others. Middle aged lonely drink more alcohol, eat more fat and exercise less than their more social fellows. The experience of feeling lonely, even when you have family and co-workers around you, impacts stress hormones, immune function and heart health. UCLA has a Loneliness Scale where anyone can test themselves.