Category - Loneliness
Another great TED talk. check it out.
But what do we know about maintaining our psychological health? Well, nothing. What do we teach our children about emotional hygiene? Nothing. How is it that we spend more time taking care of our teeth than we do our minds? Why is it that our physical health is so much more important to us than our psychological health?
We sustain psychological injuries even more often than we do physical ones, injuries like failure or rejection or loneliness. And they can also get worse if we ignore them, and they can impact our lives in dramatic ways. And yet, even though there are scientifically proven techniques we could use to treat these kinds of psychological injuries, we don’t. It doesn’t even occur to us that we should. “Oh, you’re feeling depressed? Just shake it off; it’s all in your head.” Can you imagine saying that to somebody with a broken leg: “Oh, just walk it off; it’s all in your leg.”
Loneliness creates a deep psychological wound, one that distorts our perceptions and scrambles our thinking. It makes us believe that those around us care much less than they actually do. It make us really afraid to reach out, because why set yourself up for rejection and heartache when your heart is already aching more than you can stand? I was in the grips of real loneliness back then, but I was surrounded by people all day, so it never occurred to me. But loneliness is defined purely subjectively. It depends solely on whether you feel emotionally or socially disconnected from those around you. And I did. There is a lot of research on loneliness, and all of it is horrifying. Loneliness won’t just make you miserable; it will kill you. I’m not kidding. Chronic loneliness increases your likelihood of an early death by 14 percent.Fourteen percent! Loneliness causes high blood pressure, high cholesterol. It even suppress the functioning of your immune system, making you vulnerable to all kinds of illnesses and diseases. In fact, scientists have concluded that taken together, chronic loneliness poses as significant a risk for your long-term health and longevity as cigarette smoking. Now, cigarette packs come with warnings saying, “This could kill you.” But loneliness doesn’t. And that’s why it’s so important that we prioritize our psychological health, that we practice emotional hygiene. Because you can’t treat a psychological woundif you don’t even know you’re injured.
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One of the best TED talks I have heard in years. Please take a few minutes to watch this.
So just to take some quick examples: People text or do email during corporate board meetings. They text and shop and go on Facebook during classes, during presentations, actually during all meetings. People talk to me about the important new skill of making eye contact while you’re texting. People explain to me that it’s hard, but that it can be done. Parents text and do email at breakfast and at dinner while their children complain about not having their parents’ full attention. But then these same children deny each other their full attention. This is a recent shot of my daughter and her friends being together while not being together. And we even text at funerals. I study this. We remove ourselves from our grief or from our revery and we go into our phones.
When I ask people “What’s wrong with having a conversation?” People say, “I’ll tell you what’s wrong with having a conversation. It takes place in real time and you can’t control what you’re going to say.” So that’s the bottom line. Texting, email, posting, all of these things let us present the self as we want to be.We get to edit, and that means we get to delete, and that means we get to retouch, the face, the voice, the flesh, the body — not too little, not too much, just right.
How do you get from connection to isolation? You end up isolated if you don’t cultivate the capacity for solitude, the ability to be separate, to gather yourself. Solitude is where you find yourself so that you can reach out to other people and form real attachments. When we don’t have the capacity for solitude, we turn to other people in order to feel less anxious or in order to feel alive. When this happens, we’re not able to appreciate who they are. It’s as though we’re using them as spare parts to support our fragile sense of self. We slip into thinking that always being connected is going to make us feel less alone. But we’re at risk, because actually it’s the opposite that’s true. If we’re not able to be alone, we’re going to be more lonely. And if we don’t teach our children to be alone, they’re only going to know how to be lonely.
There’s plenty of timefor us to reconsider how we use it, how we build it. I’m not suggesting that we turn away from our devices, just that we develop a more self-aware relationship with them, with each other and with ourselves.
What is the connection between Social Networks and Being Lonely?
I share therefore I am. We use technology to define ourselves. by sharing our thoughts and feelings even as we’re having them. Furthermore, we’re faking experiences so we’ll have something to share so we can feel alive. We slip into thinking that always being connected is going to make us feel … less alone. But we are at risk because the opposite is true. If we are not able to be alone we’re only going to know how to be lonely
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There are many areas that people experience loneliness in their lives. One area is leadership.
Whether you are a leaders in business, pastor, principal, manager or a leader in any aspect of life I think loneliness is something that people struggle with. “It is lonely at the top” is a quote I have heard many people say.
I would love to hear any of your thoughts on loneliness in leadership. Thoughts, quotes, books, personal stories etc.
If you missed the reason I am doing this research on Loneliness please check out my blog https://www.brettullman.com/new-research-loneliness/
Thanks for any help,
One of the most common questions we seem to ask each other is “How are you?”
For many years as people asked me that question the one answer in the back of my mind I have always wanted to say is “… I feel lonely”
So let me say it. I feel lonely. I am surrounded by people in my life and I feel desperately lonely.
Lonely you say. You are married, have 2 teenagers, speak to tens of thousands of people a year, coach baseball, involved in church, and so on. You should not feel lonely.
All I know is that I am.
So I have decided that I want to begin a personal journey looking at loneliness. I am hoping in time that this journey becomes my newest talk.
Here is where I would like your help. I don’t think I am alone in this journey (no pun intended) If anyone wants to share some of their struggles with loneliness I would love to hear them. I am also hoping to put out a large survey sometime this summer and begin to look at how many people feel the way that I do.
If you come across any books, blogs, articles, youtube videos, documentaries, quotes or basically anything you think might help me as I delve into this concept of loneliness please send it through to me online or privately.
thanks for any support.