“Our time has been called the “age of loneliness.” It’s estimated that one in five Americans suffers from persistent loneliness, and while we’re more connected than ever before, social media may actually be exacerbating the problem. ”
This was an astounding but believable statistic. I think I recognized the lack of depth in my relationships through social media but was not able to really connect it with loneliness.
Loneliness is a feeling.
“discrepancies between ideal and perceived interpersonal relationships produce and maintain feelings of loneliness.” from “Loneliness” by John T. Cacioppo & Louise C. Hawkley “
Several articles have described loneliness as a warning signal that you have traveled too far away from the herd. You are in danger of being lost or attacked by a predator.
When have you felt loneliness in your life? Are you experiencing it now?
What are you doing to alleviate that feeling or are you stuck and cannot see a way out?
What can you do today to shift your energy from loneliness to connectedness?
Although it may seem counter intuitive………………………
Step 1: Go into a state of self-reflection that will help you identify the situation factors that have led to feelings of loneliness.
Once I began to identify all of the factors contributing to my personal loneliness;
- I work from home as a solopreneur;
- live alone 5 out of 7 days a week;
- do not have close, extended family relationships, and
- I have a strong desire to be with other people!
I actually started to feel better, validated, relieved that I wasn’t going crazy or sinking into depression.
What are the situation factors contributing to a feeling of loneliness in your life?
Step 2: During your time of reflection: allow your mind to receive ideas about how you can contribute in a new, meaningful way.
- What are your unique talents and strengths?
- Exactly what are you able to contribute that no one else can in the same way.
- Open yourself up to opportunities to give and serve.
- Be ready to receive from others in unexpected ways.
Step 3: Commit to engaging in one new activity outside your home each day.
- Eat dinner out at a grocery cafe, no uncomfortable waiting to order and be served and the food is better than fast food!
- Work at a group work space, library or coffee shop.
- Attend a cultural event. Classical concerts and museums are perfect for going somewhere by yourself.
- If you are really brave……….sit at a coffee shop without looking at your phone, reading a book or having anything in front of you other than the coffee……….see what happens!
Connect with me if you need help with these first steps!