The Simple Cure for Loneliness | Baya Voce | TEDxSaltLakeCity

The Simple Cure for Loneliness | Baya Voce | TEDxSaltLakeCity


Reviewer: Queenie Lee Loneliness is an emotional state that we have when
we’re feeling disconnected. But our need for connection
is ingrained in our DNA. Loneliness is a signal,
just like fight-or-flight, that something isn’t right. Loneliness is a public health crisis. But one in five Americans
suffer from loneliness, which means if you haven’t
personally suffered from loneliness, it’s almost guaranteed
that somebody you know closely has. It can cause depression, and it can even lead to premature death. But now more than ever,
we’re living alone, we’re spending more time online and less time making
meaningful in-person connections. 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. So today I’m going to offer one solution that will bring us more connection
and can help cure the epidemic. When I was a kid,
I had a really hard time fitting in. I wanted to do whatever I could
to belong and to not feel lonely; all I wanted was to find connection. So my oh-so-wise adolescent self
came up with a solution: I was going to be popular. I carried this thought process
throughout my teens. But the problem was the more I wanted to be popular, the more it fueled my need
for attention and approval. And when I was 20 years old, as fate would have it, auditions for MTV’s reality show
the Real World came into town. Now, for a girl still starving
for approval and attention, this was my ticket. Now, for some of us
when we think about reality TV, we don’t really have
that strong of a reaction: never really watched it, don’t quite get
what all the fuss is about. But for others of us we do have a strong reaction
when we think about reality TV, and we generally fall
into one of two camps. The first camp is, like, you literally could not pay me enough
to go on a reality TV show. In fact, reality TV is everything
that is wrong with our society today. And then the second camp
is, like, “Go on a reality TV show? “Honey, I should have
my own reality TV show. (Laughter) I would be the next Snooki, for sure.” But with a history like mine, I’ll give you one guess
which camp I fell into. And at 21 years old, I moved to Brooklyn as part of “seven strangers
picked to live in a house.” I love this quote by Jim Carrey; he says, “I think everybody
should get rich and famous and do everything
they ever dreamed of, so they can see
that it’s not the answer.” But how many of you
have gone after a goal based off of the feelings
you thought you would feel once you accomplish that goal? The Real World didn’t bring me
connection like I thought it would. In fact, if anything,
I was lonelier than I had ever been during those “15 minutes of fame.” But this lesson propelled me
into the work I do now: studying connection. And whether it’s the events I produce
or the show that I host, or the coaching sessions I have, everything exists to create connection, because here I am now,
my oh-so-wise adult self, searching for what actually
creates connection. And here’s what I found. In order to feel connected we need to feel seen, heard, and valued. You may have heard of Blue Zones. Blue Zones are areas all over the world where researchers have found that people lived
the longest and happiest lives. So everybody does this differently. Communities in, like,
Loma Linda, California; Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; some pray together, while others, they walk together, and others simply spend more time nurturing relationships
with their families. But the one thing
that they all do in common is they prioritize connection. They focus on their relationships. What I found is that these societies
have created something that I call an “anchor of connection.” An anchor is created simply
by spending quality time with people who see, hear and value you. But Baya, how do we create
our own anchors of connection? I’m so glad you asked. (Laughter) The most powerful way
to create an anchor is through ritual. Now, I know when we think about ritual, we generally think about
religion or sacred ceremony. But today I want to redefine ritual as something that’s not
necessarily religious or sacred but instead something
that we’re already doing on a day-to-day basis. The key to making ritual
such a powerful tool for connection is that ritual is repeated action plus intention. When you combine
repeated action and intention, ritual becomes ingrained in you
just like habits do. The best places to find ritual
are with your friends and families, in your intimate relationships,
and within your communities. Now, we’ve been gathering
around fires forever to storytell and connect. For me and my girlfriends, our couches act as the metaphorical fire
that we gather around. Every Monday night we throw on our leggings, we head to one of our houses, we pour ourselves some rosé, we pile onto the couch,
and we just talk. We’ve ritualized Monday nights
as a time where we come to connect and fill our tanks
for the rest of the week. And while plenty of Mondays, we’re coming and we’re talking
about the things that are exciting and going well in our lives; but on lots of Mondays
we come with our tanks empty, whether that’s the small storms
that have built up, just daily wear and tear, or the bigger storms, like going through a divorce
or a miscarriage. But whether we’re grieving
or celebrating, we’ve ritualized Monday nights
as our anchor of connection. After Monday nights
I head over to my partner’s house, and we have a ritual that we’ve been doing
for the past year or so, where before bed, we each say:
the thing I love about you most today is. And then we both say something
really kind about one another. Now, easy enough to do
when we’re feeling in love, not that easy to do when we’re in a fight. In fact, when we first started this,
and we were in a fight, and I would be angry,
it would generally look like this. “Hey babe, do you want to do the thing
I love about you most?” “No.” (Laughter) “Okay. Do you want to just, like, try it?” “Pssss, not right now.
I’m not in the mood.” “Okay. Maybe just, maybe just once.” “OK. The thing
I love about you most today is how your eyes sparkle
when you’re wrong and I’m right.” (Laughter) But what I could have never guessed
this ritual would do is expand my capacity
for kindness and compassion. And now, when we’re in a fight, sometimes I even say the thing
I love about him most, first. It’s this ritual that has carried us
through our storms. So when our fights
could just as easily disconnect us and leave us both feeling lonely, instead, we’ve ritualized
our anchor of connection. You know, it’s interesting,
now that I know what Blue Zones are, whenever I’m traveling, I’m always looking
for Blue Zone qualities. And recently, I took a trip to France
with some of the same girlfriends who I spent Monday nights with. Landing in Paris was amazing and exactly like you think
it was if you’ve never been – the cobblestone streets, the shutters,
the windowsills with the flowers, the bakeries whispering: “Screw you, gluten-free diet;
you’re not welcome here.” (Laughter) In France, meals are rituals. So, dinners for instance,
they start later and last longer, and whether it’s two people or ten people, you sit down and you enjoy the meal
for at least two hours, and usually three. The food takes a long time,
no phones are out. And when the meal is over,
you sit and you talk some more. Day in and day out, the French go back to the table
for their ritualized anchor of connection. Our last stop in France was Nice. We arrived 12 hours
after the Bastille Day attack, where the truck driver
drove through the fireworks celebration, tragically killing 84 people. It would have been so easy
for everybody to retreat, to disconnect, to suffer alone. But instead, what we saw were storefronts and restaurants
opening their doors. And even just 12 hours
after a complete tragedy, people went back to the table. They went back to their ritual. We weren’t in the mood
to go out that night. So we went back to the apartment. We put on our leggings,
we poured ourselves some rosé, we piled onto the couch, and we just talked. We went back to our ritual. Because in the face of a storm, in the face of disaster, in the face of complete tragedy, ritual acts as your anchor of connection. Now, my core desire
to be liked and approved of, it might never go away, just like your core desires
might not either. But what I know now that I didn’t know
when I was 20 years old, praying that the real world
was my answer to loneliness and my ticket to connection, is that connection isn’t created
by the things we go get. Connection is created
by the things we go back to. So my invitation to you today is simple: Don’t do something new. Find something you’re already doing
with your friends and families, or in your intimate relationships,
or within your communities. And do that thing
over and over and over again. Do it with intention. 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; you have your very own
anchor of connection. Thank you. (Applause) (Cheers)

100 comments

  1. HEY! If this isn't helping you, I understand! But stop assuming she thinks too highly of herself or that nothing she says has value. Take what she says and use the positives to help you even though she has obviously lived a different type of life. Don't insult her or assume that what she feels is nothing just because it's nothing like what you feel. I definitely agree that she assumes we HAVE people to help support us, but maybe we have aquaintances that we don't support enough. If we help them by hearing them and valuing them, we could have someone help us.

  2. OK, so to end lonliness you have to be not lonely, amazing!
    Just someone who never was really lonely in their life, thinking she knows something about it

  3. How did this video get this many views??? I still don’t get the solution, r u saying the answer is to go to Paris and lavish???

  4. I have been lonely since birth. I was an only child, suffered from hyperhidrosis of the face, and changed schools many times when I was young, so have NO friends from youth, nor in work did anyone want to go with the sweaty faced guy, however Intelligent. Loneliness is not something you suffer from. I am completely disconnected from everyone. Alone until I die.

    I don't have any friends or family

    This is utter rubbish.

  5. how could someone, who has friends and partner, talk about loneliness ?? loneliness: am I joke to you ?? lol

  6. This talk just makes me feel worse, my dude. Why is this even a TT? My close friends are busy dealing with their own lives, I can't go on a trip by myself and I just lost a SO to work. I haven't had proper human interactions in a while and I'd honestly walk out of the house just to order coffee (just to interact with the barista or someone). This talk should be titled "how to stop seeking attention and be happy with yourself". It offers zero advice on loneliness or how to deal with it

  7. Im lonely same like you,i feel same like you….,so if 1/3 of earth population is lonely…you are not alone..,we can talk,it will help us both:)))

  8. Its been two years in loneliness and i dont care any more, in fact no one cares. Specially if you are a man.

  9. Basically she tells us the beauty of connection based on her experiences and encourages everyone to find someone (friends, family) to have strong connections with, get over with all your bs and whiny attitude and feel lonely when you yourself dont want to find connections at all smh if you still not feel the want to interact after feeling lonely then you are the problem. well maybe you are even feeling worse than loneliness, get a therapist already

  10. Alright this helps A lot I’ll just go make a bunch of friends find a girlfriend and travel around the world man loneliness is easy to overcome

  11. Feeling lonely? Have a pajama party with your closest friends. Gee, thanks. Calling my close friends, why didn't I think of that before.

    Most truly lonely people (and I'm one) don't have the close connections, friends, or loved ones, with whom to do rituals. That's the whole point, we don't have anyone we connect with, that's why we're lonely.

  12. Are you kidding me lmfao. Shes talking about being lonely by talking about hanging out with her girlfriends. I have absolutely no friends, no boyfriend, I do have relatives and grandparents but none of them love me, only when they can brag to people to make them look good, my dad is a cheating mess and lacks empathy, love, affection and in fact used to emotionally abuse us so much. He's so much like a sociopath. We still live together and the reason he isnt abusive anymore is because he comes and goes as he pleases and we dont even ask. My mom is the only one there for me often. But she has a boyfriend, she thinks I dont know, and she often forgets I'm human too. She never says "well done" or "you did a good job" instead she goes "I don't think you're that good" but still I'm grateful because ik my mom loves me. But I can't tell her everything since she is my mom after all. Loneliness is feeling like you're alone in this world. Like when you have no text or call to pop up on the screen. The last time I talked to one of the kids from school was a month ago and that was because she wanted to cover up that she called her boyfriend and lie to her parents that it was me. It was my birthday, she didnt even wish me. This girl is talking about a "fight" as loneliness. The thing with loneliness is you have to pile alone in the couch

  13. Oml so maybe she genuinely wants to help but she's not doing too good. She's kinda just making people feel worse by talking about her partner and friends that most likely those in the comments don't have. I know I don't have them. Then again, I'm just a 13-year-old so I guess there isn't much out there right now.

    To all those lonely people, VIRTUAL HUGS 😊

  14. Seriously? A chick who is pretty just needs to walk out her door. no learning here for people who need it, just self absorbed bragging.

  15. This is just a BS of talk about someone who is loved by many friends and is in a loving relationship! Genuinely lonely people are usually misfits, misunderstood and castaways. I believe there are 3 types of people exist in this world. The type one is naturals who get on with others easily, the second type is the pretentious people who use others and their company and the 3d are the honest but awkward individuals who could be castaways. My solution is to learn to love yourself and enjoy your own company. Do things to please yourself. Find out where the root of the need of acceptance came from and how to be okay to be alone. When I mention alone I do not mean completely alone but surround yourself with few people who gets you and loves you for who you are. And most of all find out how to be successful for there is no better revenge than success and have these selfish people who knowingly reject and bully good people work for you! Don't give them satisfaction to pull you down, instead, rise above and be successful so that you make them lose sleep over your success.

  16. Sorry, but when you meet your group of friends often, and you have a life partner, really? And you travel with friends….How do you even find time to be lonely? You just don't know lonely. Lonely means you spend nearly all, that is all of your time alone.

  17. What is with all the negativity? She explained what her circumstances were and how she's managed to cope with loneliness. She's a dynamic presenter with some great ideas. So, lay off…TedTalks are ideas worth sharing. If you don't have an open mind, why bother?

  18. The title should be "the art of keeping yourself happy and a lasting relationship" not how to cure loneliness

  19. I definitely don't share the experience of all of these people in the comments. I have a large family and many friends. But that doesn't mean loneliness is void. I experience loneliness all the time, especially since I live alone. I think this video was helpful to my case though because it made me realize that I don't have any rituals. All the rituals I did have, have been abandoned by people due to life. This talk helped me realize that and know what I should do to fix it a little bit. It is time to bring the rituals back.

  20. Talk about click bait. Most people who feel loneliness don't have a group of friends to turn to. If they did I doubt they'd be feel lonely. Shame on you Ted Talks for promoting such and video. Potentially making lonely people worse.

  21. Before video comment: Wondering why there's 10K dislikes on a TEDx Talks video, they always seem interesting. And the comments are just….wow r/murderedbywords

    After video comment: Okay, I don't see how this helps :/

  22. This woman actually did answer the cure to Loneliness yet everyone here seems to not actually see. All the people who came here to see this video have experienced or currently are experiencing loneliness. And when they see this girl who actually has not experience loneliness everyone started to comment and agree with each other on what loneliness truly means. In most cases loneliness is when you can’t find others who view things as you do. Feeling out of place, and yes a person can still be surrounded by people but still feel alone because no one sees their point of view in life, or a person secludes them selfs from reality and starts to forget how to socialize and only feels like the only way to approach others is by approval trough apps first. Yet when people with the same goal to fix something that’s missing come together they start to feel less lonely. And in this case the comment sections. This is a great example as of why joining a church, a volunteer group, a sport, things that surround you with other people who you have to work as a team. And definitely learning how to be social with other people. Learning how to be confident and attract others by becoming someone positive. Just think of a positive friend. One always wants to be like them or prefer to be around them because you feel life. And many people have a negative vibe which does take time to change. And it’s possible to change. When you change that everything will change and people will come to you and you will feel less lonely. 🙏 much love to everyone here. And I will be posting videos in the future of what I’ve learn from all these Tedtalks. It’s helped me so much. And hope when you see the positive in everything that life is actually very beautiful.

  23. so hard to sift through these tedx talks. some are actually good but most are fluff

  24. All these Blue zone , live a fulfilling life , longevity… etc . My understanding for living a long good life , the single most important point is to be a good person , righteous .

    All the others believe and need of actions is subjective , and not the determination factor for life expectancy.

    All these other ideas of needing to do or live by certain ways , is mostly ideas and counter effects in its own mind .

  25. Friends?!? What friends!?? I wouldn’t be lonely if I had friends to do things with. The people I do know are too busy at work or with their families. This lady has a very different life and her talk doesn’t address the needs of most people. I’ve got nothing to “anchor” to. Connection is created by the things we go back to? I got nothing.😕

  26. "If your lonely then just be an attractive sociable young female like me and all your problems will be solved!"

  27. Is she aware loneliness is a result of having no friends or money 🤡🤡 Way to make me more suicidal. Some people don't know what it is like to struggle I guess

  28. If you don.t HAVE THE LORD JESUS CRHIS T In you life you gonna be lonely for ever, last thing she is gonna talk about is GOD,men don.t have any solutions humanity don.t have any solutions either,

  29. Wow I never thought of that before! Of course why don't I just start rituals with my friends, family, and significant other so I don't feel lonely anymore! Oh wait…I don't have any of those…

  30. My entire family shunned me for reporting my mom to police for drug use and extreme child abuse and neglect. They haven’t spoken to me for over a year. No calls on my birthday, no invites to family events, nothing.
    My dad moved across the country without telling anyone. The last thing he said to me is he’ll see me in another lifetime.
    My fiancé was cheating on me for over a year while I was in the military and I found out when she was suddenly pregnant with someone else’s child. I was discharged shortly after. She’s now married to that guy.
    I’ve never had a genuine friend who cares about my wellbeing, just people wanting to drink or smoke. When my Mom got locked up and no longer sold drugs, I stopped hearing from them as well.
    I came here hoping to hear something that would help and instead I feel even more isolated and lost. Loneliness is not 10 minutes of sadness, for me it’s been a literal lifetime of living it every day.

  31. She probably thought this was a stand up comedy open mic night.
    Or maybe loneliness meant something else back in 2016.

  32. This is not addressing the problem in the slightest… If you have a family and/or real friends, you're not lonely as isolated. This is bullsh*t, I'm sorry xD I'm still in the middle between laughing at her or being mad at her for being so clueless and naive… Why choose her for this topic btw? 😮

  33. AWESOME!!!!! I Love This Video, You Did An Amazing Job Bringing People
    "Back " Together Again, I Hung On Every Word!!! ⚘
    Marley from Missouri

  34. These comments are so toxic. People are looking for some magic wand that they can wave over their lives and make problems magically disappear. That's never going to happen. What she's saying is that you need to build bonds with other people to keep you rooted. It's not about trips to Europe – it's about spending time with other human beings on a regular basis. For people who don't have the luxury of having a large social network the question then becomes "how can I build that"? I wish I had an answer for that, but I have found some success in becoming part of organizations and groups and things that are bigger than me.

  35. Some great guidence – if you're lonely but not alone. Some people feel lonely becasue they are lonely. Disconnected and don't have the option of piling on the sofa with friends on a Monday night. If I had a group of friends to sit with on a couch every week I wouldn't feel lonely either…

  36. She saw a pond of loneliness and I thought she found the whole ocean. Now she teaches us how to swim in shallow waters.

  37. It would be nice if they remove this video. This DOES NOT give the cure to loneliness. It only makes the people who ARE actually lonely feel worse about themselves, as if they are missing out on this 'special' aspect of life which she has been blessed with. I mean, good for her but I honestly dont think that shes in a position to comment on this topic given that her discussion solely revolves around the pleasures she has in her life and her trips and her relationships. Funny how she mentioned earlier in the video how she grew up craving attention. Seems to me that she still hasnt grown out of it.

  38. From what I know, loneliness is an emotion, not a mental health issue. She’s kind of making me feel like I’m sick or something.

  39. Loneliness IS when you start lying to your colleagues that you've seen some friends during the weekend while you just spent two days alone.
    loneliness is NOT going to the south of France with a bunch of friends

  40. It is less painful for me to be alone and feel alone than to be with those who say they care for me and love me and feel even more alone and depressed 😢

  41. Thank you all the commenters for making me genuinely laugh. I still see hope when I realize people across the world have this similar kind of sense of humor. I don't know what this video taught. All I know is that I really had a good time reading the comments. Never ever lose this sense of humor.

  42. Ik its messed up to say. But i dont think women experience true lonliness. Theres always a guy thats willing to hangout with her yea sometimes for the wrong reason but they will always have someone there for them.

  43. The exaggerated body movement makes this seem like a cheer routine, an attempt at ASL, or an awkward interpretative dance 😬😬😬

  44. Your concept of going back to your friends and family or partner and establishing rituals is a bit flawed in my Opinion. Many of us through no fault of our own don’t have families and tragedies and time have taken away most of our friends, we know what true loneliness is and we have nowhere to turn for building rituals. You are very lucky and blessed to have a living partner
    A treasure trove of girlfriends and family~ many people don’t have those luxuries, so there’s no one to build ritual connections with & I know the loneliness I feel is so deeply devastating It’s hard to find a starting place to begin building a connection💔

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