You may not know it, but loneliness is hard-wired to kill us. Long ago, sticking with our tribe meant staying happy and safe so it’s no wonder that loneliness and rejection developed into hard-wiring to try to force us back into the group in the event we left, got lost or were ejected.
Today, there’s a loneliness epidemic thanks to enormous separation in our cubes, cars, and culture-- horrifically accelerated by the last decade of “social” technology. Look on any playground, streetscape or living room and we’re all staring down at our hands.
This week’s guest, Psychologist and author Guy Winch says that 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.
In his widely popular TED talk, he makes the point that our culture is highly educated about the importance of brushing, flossing, how to take care of bumps, bruises or when to call 911 if the situation is more serious but that when it comes to our minds, we have no idea how to maintain our mental hygiene or how to even recognize if it’s an emergency. We don’t even think of psychologists as real doctors.
In this episode Dr. Winch doesn’t just point at the problem, he offers valuable solutions so hopefully, if you’re one of the nearly 50% of Americans suffering deep loneliness, his advice will help you escape its horrible and life-threatening grip.