Adding "me time" into your schedule can be a great way to relax, unwind, and do the things you really want to do. But spending too much time alone could increase your risk for heart disease and stroke, according to the findings from a new comprehensive study. The meta-analysis looked at 23 studies with more than 181,000 participants. Even after adjusting for other health factors, researchers found the people who reported being lonely were 29 percent more likely to develop coronary heart disease and 32 percent more likely to suffer a stroke.

Previous studies have found people who are lonely are less likely to exercise or see the doctor and more likely to smoke and be obese. Additionally, loneliness has been connected to higher rates of anxiety and depression and a weaker immune system. Taken together, these factors make the findings from the meta-analysis less surprising.

But it's one more reason to put yourself out there and make new friends. But, of course, that's much easier said than done, which is why we put together this handy guide. Click the button below to check it out.

(h/t Heart Journal)

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