BLURB: Lonely people are more likely to develop a wide range of health problems such as stress, depression which can be severe enough to lead to suicide
Loneliness is a complex emotion experienced by people from different cultures and age groups and it is known to have a negative impact on our psychological well-being.
From a psychological point of view, loneliness is a state of mind where a person feels empty even when surrounded by people. Sometimes the persons craves contact with others but their psychological state prevents them from doing so.
Loneliness can be caused by several reasons such as physical isolation some thing we all experienced in the past years when Covid-19 cases were high and many countries enforced lock downs.
The other factors included losing a loved one due to divorce or death, or simply moving to a new country. People who are introverts and those with low self esteem may feel unworthy of other people’s company are more likely to experience loneliness.
So why should we worry about loneliness?
According to recent psychological studies, lonely people are more likely to develop a wide range of health problems such as stress, depression which can be severe enough to lead to suicide, alcohol and drug misuse.
Loneliness can also lead to worsening of Alzheimer's, poor decision-making along with physical complications like heart disease and strokes.
In our society we often find elderly people are the most to feel lonely especially those living in big cities where the traditional extended families are being replaced by small ones where both couple are working, their young children attending school so the elderly person is left alone during the morning even when there is a housemaid who would be busy with house work and have minimal interaction with the older person.
Sometimes the elder person will be sitting silently with other family members who are busy interacting in their smart phone or using social media platforms.
This is one of the reason why more elderly people are experiencing anxiety and depression and multiple physical symptoms which can reflect their negative mental state.
So what can we do to reduce loneliness?
If a younger person is feeling lonely then the best way is to make connections with others, not just online but face to face, sometimes joining a cycling group or groups interested in hiking can be a good start, if you are less of the adventurous type then a book club could be a good choice.
Start with people you have more in common with you to help you feel more relaxed and at ease.
For an older person dealing with loneliness would often require expressing your feelings with other family members and suggesting to do things together say during the weekend or making an effort to meet people of your age for a coffee or a walk can help your feel less lonely.