Why Are We So Lonely?
Why Are We So Lonely?

Beyond the filters, there lies a deep void that most of us have to address

We’re a generation that takes pride in staying cooped up inside, working in silos, and well, not caring too much. And, it’s all fun and games unless the big L strikes.



Earlier this month, the World Health Organisation declared loneliness as ‘a pressing global health threat’. Come to think of it, it really is. While social media and the lives of popular celebrities and influencers might convince you that happiness is to be found in staying busy and relevant online or at work, it’s now fact-backed that the current generation—despite the resources and options—is lonelier than ever. As per a recent report on Telegraph, about 27% of India’s youth and almost 75% of senior citizens are afflicted by solitude.


In terms of its health implications, the condition is reportedly equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. This begs the question: Are we as a generation failing miserably at the upkeep of our mental health? And, most importantly, what can we do about it?


Normalise feeling lonely


“While change is always good, oftentimes, they’re the prime cause of loneliness. When we understand the feelings connected to loneliness we’re able to tackle them better,” suggests Ambika Warrier, an RCI Licensed Rehabilitation counsellor and psychotherapist, founder, Aananda Centre for Counselling, Delhi. Thinking along similar lines, *Mohit Khanna, a Pune-based communications professional suggests keeping an off day every once in a while. “I think I’ve been feeling pretty lonely since a lot of my friends have moved out. Being an introvert, it isn’t easy to make friends,” he says, adding, “As much as I’ve accepted these feelings, I try my best to zap out of those moods by switching off routinely and just sitting down with myself and those feelings until they gradually fade away I’m still learning to accept things for what it is, but normalising such feelings has helped to a great deal.”


Even if you might not feel the need to disconnect, it is important to do so every once in a while to not lose sight of yourself. “Social media can turn into a bubble world of itself and stray you away from reality very often, thus it is important to keep in check with yourself and who you are at the core to not lose out on yourself. I also believe in doing constant detoxes—of people and things I don’t need. Surprisingly, the more clutter-free I am in my mind, the better I feel,” avers Tarini Shah, a digital content creator, adding,While it’s important to keep up with the pace of the world, because if you don’t, then you will be left behind, but sometimes there is beauty in being left behind. In being disconnected. While the word “disconnected” is put in a negative light, it doesn’t have to be.”


Take constant breaks


Image by jcomp on Freepik


If you’re not in the position to take a break from work, make it a point to disconnect from situations that leave you overstimulated. “One of the best ways to evade feelings of loneliness is to re-connect with your inner child,” opines Warrier, adding, “There’s nobody out there who doesn’t require that me-time. Find at least five things you like doing when alone, and pick one thing and keep at it. Take slow but consistent steps to do things you once loved before adulting happened.”


Tell-tale signs that you may need help


Confused about whether it’s just a passing phase or a sign of chronic loneliness that requires medical intervention? We’ve got an expert to tell the difference. “The feelings of loneliness usually come enveloped with symptoms of fear and helplessness. Feeling angry and triggered a lot more than usual is another tell-tale sign of needing help. If this has been the case for two weeks straight, it’s valid enough a worry to reach out to a therapist,” she concludes.

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