How do I stop being lonely? You asked Google – here’s the answer



Loneliness is a stealthy bastard. It can settle in on your soul without you even noticing, until the texture of the words appear on your tongue one day: “I’m lonely.” It’s a hollow melancholy that wraps itself around your heart and stays there, whispering fear of social rejection in your ear and growing stronger, feeding on your insecurities.

As much as we may like to think it is a symptom of old age – the kind of thing that only happens when everyone you loved is laying supine six feet under – it can touch anyone from any age or demographic. Loneliness does not discriminate; it is so prolific that you could say it is an inevitable quirk of human existence. In loneliness, my friend, you are not alone: a Red Cross study revealed that 9 million people in the UK are always or often lonely.

You are right to want to cure your loneliness, of course. It is not just stifling and frightening and tedious; it is dangerous. According to researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah, US, (who reviewed data from studies that included 3.4 million people), loneliness can increase the risk of death by at least 30%. It is as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and more tightly linked to our mortality than better-known lifestyle risks like obesity and lack of exercise.

Loneliness ravages our immune system, leaves us more vulnerable to cancer, affects our heart health, lowers our pain threshold, raises our blood pressure, tightens our arteries and puts us at greater risk of dementia. It is, as I said, a real bastard.

Read more on The Guardian