Loneliness is something most of us have experienced in our lives. The feeling of isolation, longing for the desire of a warm touch, a cup of tea with a friend or a friendly voice on the other end of the line.
A recent project known as “The Loneliness project” found that loneliness has a profound affect, not only on the individual but the economy as a whole.The project focuses on London individuals between the ages of 16 and 32. The preliminary evidence shows that loneliness had an effect of roughly £34.5 billion. This is due to the snowball effect that can occur from the feeling of loneliness, namely, loneliness has been linked to depression – those who are depressed often feel like they are not understood, not cared about etc – and as such it has a snowball effect on the individuals life in that they are less likely to be productive in their working environment or even look for work.
Social media as well as major life events have a profound effect on the feeling of loneliness. Evidence shows that individuals who were experiencing major life events such as moving out of their home, having a child and long working hours – to name a few-, all effect an individuals chances of feeling lonely. Social media is thought to be a major role in the development of the feeling of loneliness and thus isolation. Individuals see the seemingly positive lives their peers lead, compare them to their own thus developing feelings of inadequacy and social inequality.
Some positive ways of overcoming the feelings of loneliness could be:
- Identifying your feelings through journaling.
- Making small weekly goals, such as going out to coffee with a friend.
- Drawing or painting.
- Joining a book club or a movie club.
- Spending time with family.
- Going out for lunch with a coworker or friend.
The journey in overcoming loneliness should not be a journey walked alone. We are here for you.
All counselling services offered by LifeLine are free of charge. You can contact us to make a face-to-face appointment on 033 342 4447 or get counselled via email on www.lifeonline.co.za our crisis centre number is 0861 322 322 (calls are charged at standard telephone rates).
Read more about the report here.