Millions of people are suffering from some form of loneliness but they don’t want to talk about it. Perhaps, they feel embarrassed to share it or they do not have anyone to discuss the problem. Like a disease it has become a common problem between every class, age-group and gender but there are some simple ways to deal with it. This topic has been discussed in an article in ‘Reader’s-Digest.
“Globally, modern urban living has become more and more individualistic and loneliness is a by-product of it”, says the psychologist professor Ashis Nandy. Other studies have shown a strong correlation between loneliness and poor mental health. There is also a very close connection between old age and loneliness, but there is no guarantee that young adults and children are immune. Chennai based psychiatrist Dr. Vijay Nagaswami points-out that loneliness is widespread among youngsters. “Even if surrounded by several people, they can feel lonely if they don’t connect with them intimately.” Madhavi Mhatre, a regional head with Childline India Foundation says “Children also feel lonely especially when they don’t have supporting family members. The very fact that children call a helpline and tell us that many of them have no one to share their problems with. ” Child psychiatrist Shekhar seshadri of Bangalore adds, “Children as young as two years can feel lonely. Even If a toddler’s need for emotional comfort is not fulfilled, he may show it in the form of weeping and crankiness.”
Whether one experiences ‘being alone’ as loneliness is very personal and also very culturally determined. Being a family oriented culture, rather than an individualistic one, Indians may be at high risk of loneliness. Yet it will be wrong to assume that all people feel lonely just because they lead an isolated existence. Shy, insecure and critical people feel lonely more quickly than others.
Although loneliness cannot always be avoided, but you can usually do something about it-
Don’t escape into mindless activities to overcome loneliness.
Enjoy being alone by respecting and loving yourself, therefore, it is important to raise your self-esteem.
Indulge yourself in activities that give you a sense of achievement.
Visit homes for senior citizens and handicapped people to land a helping hand.
Develop your communication skill; don’t be critical and sarcastic while talking.
Avoid people who don’t treat you well even if you are feeling lonely.
Develop new interests that fascinate you.
Choose to be positive. Collect inspirational thoughts, good jokes, poems and literary masterpieces.
Avoid sleeping too much, overeating, watching too much T.V. and daydreaming.
Write down your thoughts and describe what is affecting you.
Keep a pet to give you company.
Stay in touch with your neighbours, colleagues and relatives.