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Psychologist Jos Brosschot in LD on how isolation can cause stress

Chronic stress weakens the immune system, psychologist Jos Brosschot warns in an interview with Leidsch Dagblad newspaper. Social isolation can cause feelings of insecurity and stress. He therefore advises keeping in touch with others.

Brosschot is Professor by Special Appointment of Psycho-Physiological Mechanisms of Stress in Daily Life at Leiden University. In Leidsch Dagblad he explains the negative effects of stress. People with high levels of stress are more likely to have high blood pressure and this can affect the hormone system. These problems can also affect the immune system and thus increase the likelihood of disease.

Jos Brosschot.

Social beings

Brosschot researches how to prevent and relieve stress. Feeling safe appears to play an important role. ‘We can see that people who are lonely for a prolonged period of time often have higher blood pressure and that this affects their regulation of cortisol levels,’ he explains. We are social beings and social isolation can cause feelings of insecurity he adds. This makes it important in these times of social distancing to stay in touch with others, regardless whether this means a chat with the neighbours or digital contact with your family, friends and colleagues. ‘Feelings of belonging help reduce stress levels.’

Read the interview (€ and in Dutch) ‘Minder stress door saamhorigheid?’ in Leidsch Dagblad (3 April 2020)

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