I'm so lonely, I can cry …
Hank Williams, Elvis, Bobby Vinton, and even Akon are just a few who have been singing that they are lonely.
The loneliness epidemic grows and affects our resilience and eventually our health. In a large study that has just taken place, more than half of nearly 20,000 people have always or sometimes felt that they are alone. Every fourth of them said they rarely or never feel as if they had close friends or family members who really understand them.
Does not it seem like this could mean a blast of social media? How can it be? Does it prove that these services really do not connect us, but actually develop disconnection between us?
This problem has become so severe, Prime Minister Theresa of Britain has recently appointed the Minister of Loneliness. This was prompted by the extensive report that millions regard television as the main source of society. People feel closer to Anderson Cooper than their family or friends. Studies show that without human contact increases the risk of functional decline as well as the risk of clinical dementia. Even in Asia, it recorded a 50 percent loneliness rate between adults in 1992 to 2008.
How bad is our health? Loneliness is at the same level as smoking and obesity in terms of the impact on the risk of death. Loneliness causes our immune system to function less efficiently, which in the meantime reduces the risk of developing various kinds of illness.
"Lonely adults consume more alcohol and less exercise than those who are not lonely, eating them higher in fats, sleeping them less effective, and reporting more daytime fatigue." Loneliness also interferes with the regulation of cellular processes deep within the body, which predispose us to premature aging. "
Dr. John Cacioppo, Director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago
What does it mean to be lonely? It is a very subjective experience. Loneliness, according to many experts, does not necessarily mean that she is alone. Instead, if you feel alone and isolated, then it is how loneliness plays in your head. It does not matter how many friends you have on social media, how much you like to contribute, or even how many people are around you in one day. More about how you felt socially and emotionally disconnected. The first example is that more than 60 percent of married people are lonely, which proves that it is more than just being around other people.
Loneliness may be contagious. In a ten-year study, researchers have explored how loneliness spreads in social networks. The results showed that people close to someone experiencing loneliness were 52% more likely to become lonely.
To be clear, we all have this feeling. It is normal. It is when it takes weeks, months, years when there are negative effects on health.
For the Q-Life (University Growth Resilience) and GRIT (Employee Resilience Project) projects I have rated social agility and intelligence as well as family unity. I have always felt an important part of maintaining human resilience. Many understand the role of physical activity, nutrition, awareness and purposeful play in our lives, but do not give weight to the loneliness it deserves or needs. If you are looking to build your durable battery, you have to work on it.
Here are some of the statements that I am referring to, and you should consider:
- I'm good at getting in touch with new people
- I have easily established a new friendship
- It's easy for me to make other people laugh
- I'm talking to other people
- I have some close friends / family members who really care about me
- I have a couple of close friends / family members who help me
- I am quickly alerted if some family members get into the crisis
- I am willing to discuss personal affairs with friends / family members
- There are strong bonds between my friends
If you respond to disagreement or disagreement with many of them, maybe it's time to look for some help. Find out what support networks you have in your community to increase your resilience, social skills, or family unity. I have worked with many amazing psychologists who can help.
Here are just a few tips to combat feelings of loneliness:
- You only see this as a sign that you need to change. It's just the state in which you are. It's not you.
- Develop relationships with people who share common values, interests and attitudes.
- Expect the best. Keep your optimism.
- As always, just small steps. Spend a little longer in a meaningful conversation, go to the café with a friend.
- Meet people in real life!
- Smile more.
- And of course, seek professional help if you feel you need it.
Remember, it's not just about being around people. It's quality, not quantity. Think about people you call in the middle of the night to help you. Stop with these people more often. Think about people who feel elevated when you say goodbye; spend more time with these people.
Darren Steeves is the owner VenduraWellness.com, a company dedicated to improving organizational health by step.