Loneliness has crept into our lives, disconnecting us from friends and family, and making us increasingly melancholic and frustrated. In this Ted talk, dating and relationship coach Baya Voce — formerly a reality TV contestant — speaks of simple habits that we can all inculcate in our lives, to be closer to the ones we really care about.
“Our need for connection is ingrained in our DNA,” Voce begins her talk. “Loneliness is a signal, just like fight-or-flight, that something isn’t right. Loneliness is a public health crisis,” she says, adding that even if you haven’t personally suffered from it, chances are someone you know has, and that it is common. “It can cause depression and it can even lead to premature death. But now more than ever, we are living alone. We are spending more time online and less time making meaningful in-person connections,” Voce says.
“So, when emotional storms hit, things like losing a job, or going through a divorce, or a death, instead of leaning in towards our communities, we’ve learned to suffer alone,” she continues.
Voce goes on to offer one simple solution: finding a ritual that you can religiously practice and enjoy with your near and dear ones. It could be an annual trip, a weekly get-together, a night-time routine, or a dinner practice. Anything that entails keeping your phones away and disconnecting from the virtual world, so as to connect personally with people who actually matter.
“In the face of a storm, in the face of disaster, in the face of complete tragedy, a ritual acts as your anchor of connection… Connection isn’t created by the things we go get, connection is created by the things we go back to… So, find something you are already doing with your friends and families, or in your intimate relationships, or within your communities, and do that thing over and over again. Do it during the good times and do it during the mundane. So when the inevitable emotional storms hit, you have your ritual to go back to,” Voce says in conclusion.