Combating Loneliness

Combating   Loneliness

 

We all feel lonely sometimes but   what about people who feel loneliness a big percentage of the time? Loneliness   is the number one factor for depression outside of mental illness.  1 out of 10 people age 65 and older   say they feel lonely often. Half of older people consider TV to be their main   form of company. Seniors aren’t the only ones who feel lonely. Any change or   transition can cause loneliness. The working mom who decides to become a stay   at home mom; anyone who has moved to a new location, divorce, loss of a loved   one, etc.  Anyone can feel chronic   loneliness but the good news is there are ways to combat loneliness and bring   happiness back into your life.

 

1. Connect better with others by   being an active listener. If we put our attention completely on someone else   we connect in a meaningful way. When we become an active listener, the other   person knows we care and that they are being   heard.

 

2. Pay it forward – do something   for someone else whether it’s a random act of kindness, being a volunteer,   etc. When we do something nice for others we also reap the benefits of a boost   of happiness that can last 24-72 hours.

 

3. Be open and vulnerable- to have   close relationships we need to let people in.

 

4. Reach out to others – call up   your friends and family and make the plans. Set up activities. Be the   planner.

 

5. Avoid feeling sorry for yourself   and be proactive – enjoy your time alone. Do something you love, start the   hobby or class you always wanted to.

 

6. Find solitude in silence by   meditating, prayer, gratitude or sitting in nature. Meditation that is done   for 8 weeks or longer is linked with decreased   loneliness.

 

7. Try something new – step outside   your comfort zone! Add variety into your life. We can get in a rut and feel   depressed. So change it up a little bit even taking a different route to work   can give us a boost of happiness.

 

8. Social media – connect on-line   through social media, skype or chat groups. You can also meet new people   through social media or meetups just to name a few. If your not that   comfortable with computers/social media this could be your chance to learn   something new and take a class!

 

9. Become a pet owner- pets lower   blood pressure, they have a calming effect and makes you feel needed plus they   are so cute and lovable.

 

10. Reach out to existing   relationships and strengthen the bond.

 

11. Loneliness is contagious- it   makes people negative and angry which causes other people to not want to be   around them. So think twice when feeling negative. Also, find positive people   to socialize with. Happy moods are contagious  too!

 

12. Avoid escapes such as sleeping   too much, watching too much TV, etc it can lead to loneliness/isolation and   depression.

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About Finding your happiness

Diane Lang is a Therapist, educator, author and life coach. Diane has two books: Baby steps the path from motherhood to Career and Creating balance & finding happiness. Diane works as a Therapist and also is an adjunct at Montclair State University. This blog will help educate and empower you to live your best life! For more information please visit her website: www.dlcounseling.com
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