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Most people consider loneliness a personal problem to be figured out by individuals.
However, a paper published in the American Journal of Public Health identified high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, disability, cognitive decline, and depression among the conditions affected by loneliness. What we have is a public health problem.
No emerging technology or drug exists on the horizon to cure loneliness.
Among the theories on why there is more loneliness today is more time online and less time in front of people.
However, levels of in-person interactions, physical and mental wellness and life balance are more likely to predict loneliness than social media usage.
Generation Z (ages 18-22) had the highest loneliness scores, followed by the millennials (ages 23-37). The Greatest Generation (adults ages 72 and older) were the least lonely.Lonely people are less able to pick up on positive social stimuli, like others’ attention and commitment signals, so they withdraw prematurely – in many cases before they’re actually socially isolated.
People who are less lonely are more likely to have regular, meaningful, in-person interactions. They are in good overall physical and mental health, have achieved balance in daily activities, and have good relationships with their coworkers.
Regular sleep, good quality family time and the right amount of exercise lowered loneliness scores.
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Loneliness, according to many experts, is not necessarily about being alone. Instead, if you feel alone and isolated, then that is how loneliness plays into your state of mind....
Loneliness has a wide range of negative effects on both physical and mental health, including:
Major changes can create a sense of loneliness, even if they're positive. You might be leaving a job or starting a new job, ending a relationship or embarking on a new relationship, getting married, getting divorced, [or] starting a family.
When struggling with the adjustment period, it can help to acknowledge the feeling and also acknowledge that it's likely temporary.
There's very specific loneliness that can creep in when you're responsible for the care of another person — be it an elderly parent, a sick sibling, a disabled partner, etc.
So even though it's a big job, it's important to not forget about yourself. Find a supportive friend to talk to without judgment, or attend a support group.
We crave intimacy. And yet, long before the present pandemic, with its forced isolation and social distancing, humans had begun building their own separate cells.
Before modern times...
It is an umbrella term we use to cover for all sorts of things most people would rather not name and have no idea how to fix.
Plenty of people like to be alone. But solitude and seclusion are different from loneliness. Loneliness is a state of profound distress.
Primates need to belong to an intimate social group in order to survive; this is especially true for humans.
Separation from your group (either finding yourself alone or finding yourself among a group of people who do not know and understand you) triggers a fight-or-flight response.