Despite social networks and more people moving into populated cities, we are facing a loneliness epidemic with health-related consequences…

“Social isolation is more related to premature mortality than smoking, obesity or alcohol abuse,” says psychotherapist Dr Mazda Adli, from Flieder Clinic Berlin.

He says that we feel lonely when we are surrounded by people, but don’t feel connected to anyone.

Dr Adli, a stress researcher who focuses on loneliness in big cities, says that it’s an assumption that loneliness affects elderly people, but anyone can suffer. In fact, he says that the peak of loneliness is around the age of 30.

In the featured video interview with Good Shape, he explains the possible causes of loneliness and what we can do to help ourselves.

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The danger of loneliness

Reconnect with old friends and make new ones

He says that the best antidote for loneliness is to find a peer group that share similar values or backgrounds. One practical way to start doing this is to go through your address book every so often and see if there is an old friend that you could reconnect with.

We feel lonely when we are surrounded by people, but don’t feel connected to anyone

He says that it’s not about the number of social contacts you have – for some people one good friend is enough while others prefer more. He says that it’s more about the quality of the contact you have with friends and family, rather than the number of social contacts you have.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.