In a world where people can have hundreds of friends online while simultaneously connecting to a global web of communities, cultures and experiences, who could ever say that they feel lonely? And yet so many do. Social isolation can take a heavy toll on your mental and physical health. In its extreme level it can even kill you spiritually. So, it’s very important to deal with this problem at an early stage. Here are some suggestions:
Call a friend who makes you smile
Even a quick phone call with a friend can lift your spirits. Call a friend while you’re on your way somewhere. A chat for a few minutes can make all the difference in your day. But don’t talk for a long time as it may hamper your regular work.
Recognize the problem
Realize that loneliness is a feeling, not a fact. When you are feeling lonely, it is because something has triggered a memory of that feeling, not because you are in fact, isolated and alone. The brain is designed to pay attention to pain and danger, and that includes painful scary feelings; therefore loneliness gets our attention. But then the brain tries to make sense of the feeling. Why am I feeling this way? Is it because nobody loves me? Because I am a loser? Because they are all mean? Theories about why you are feeling lonely can become confused with facts. Then it becomes a bigger problem, so just realize that you are having this feeling and accept it without over reacting.
Get outdoors and enjoy nature
A walk in the garden makes the day brighter. For an immediate boost of happiness, grab your walking shoes and head outside. The key is to get away from your desk and to take it outdoors. It’s great to get some fresh air, exercise and social interaction. Even five minutes can give you the recharge you need.
Join a group exercise class
When you move, you get to re-create your life and pick up good habits along the way. Exercise will make you feel good. It will also help break up the loneliness that sometimes comes with working alone. It’s nice to have the camaraderie of a class. If you go at the same time every week you can make new friends. And you will literally feel happier immediately afterward.
Connect with people on social media
Technology can be an extremely effective tool for fighting social isolation. One benefit of social media is that it doesn’t matter how far away you live from your friends. Even after moving, running, or photography friends all still live in your phone. Technology can be pretty amazing. Hopping on social media is a great way to reconnect.
Treat yourself throughout the day
Do what you love at the end of each day. Treat yourself well with a hot cup of tea, a reading break by the fire, a minute outside on your balcony, a taste of chocolate or whatever lifts your spirit. Savor the small pleasures. Make your home your sanctuary. Work peacefully during the day. Then, when you finish your work, invite family or friends to join you.
Devise a plan
Make a plan to fight the mental and emotional habits of loneliness. If you realize you are dealing with an emotional habit, you can make a plan to deal with loneliness. Since healthy interaction with friends is good, make some effort to reach out to others, to initiate conversation and face time even when your loneliness and depression are telling you not to. Yes, it works and it is worthwhile, just like exercising is worthwhile even when you are feeling tired or lazy.
Find others like you
Now days there are more tools than ever before to find out where the knitters or hikers are congregating so that you can get together with those who share your interests. This makes it much easier to identify groups with which you will have something in common, a natural basis for beginning a friendship.