Tuesday, 31 January 2017

What Your Fear of Loneliness Is Really About

Like a coin has two sides, being lonely also has a flip side. Sometimes it is good to stay alone and spend some time with oneself rather than being always surrounded by friends. Has it never happened that when one is in a room full of people, he feels lonely?

A common definition for loneliness is A state of solitude or being alone. The other definition is Loneliness is not necessarily about being alone. Instead, it is the perception of being alone and isolated that matters most and is a state of mind. Inability to find meaning in one's life, Feeling of negative and unpleasant and A subjective, negative feeling related to the deficient social relations A feeling of disconnectedness or isolation. etc., are the other ways to define loneliness.

But, why do we always want people around us? Why are we scared of staying alone? In fact, being too social is hazardous to health! It is a like a drug to socialize and catch habits that are ‘social habits’ and eventually become a necessity if one wants to gel up with others. Let’s focus on the word ‘gel up’; an individual loses his/her individuality in the process of ‘gelling up’.

Why is loneliness always associated with depression? 

The sole reason for this is that we do not accept ourselves. We need others to appreciate us only then we will approve of ourselves.

However, it has some negative effects too. Some evidence has been growing that when our need for social relationships is not met, we fall apart mentally and even physically. There are effects on the brain and on the body. Some effects work subtly, through the exposure of multiple body systems to excess amounts of stress hormones. Yet the effects are distinct enough to be measured over time, so that unmet social needs take a serious toll on health, eroding our arteries, creating high blood pressure, and even undermining learning and memory.

New York Times, 25th March 2009 quoted loneliness leads to poorer physical and mental health. Similarly, BBC news on January 31st, 2011 pronounced loneliness as a hidden killer of elderly. Loneliness has been defined in different ways.

But, does this mean that we should not stay alone at all? Has it come to this now that we just want to lose ourselves in the social traffic and ‘gel up’ our personality with others so that we don’t feel lonely again?

Written by Ashna Garg
Ashna grew up in a jazzy town (where she felt she can never fit in), did graduation in economics (where she didn’t fit either) and she writes (where she finally started to feel like she fits in)

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