So good and so needed! Thanks for always bringing truth with the data to back it up!
5 Ways to End Loneliness
Are you lonely? Apparently more and more of us are these days. I just read this headline:
New Cigna Study Reveals Loneliness at Epidemic Levels in America
Nearly half the population reports feeling alone. They feel socially isolated. Their relationships are not meaningful. Life is not working.
What is going on?!
Walls: Whereas a few generations ago most of us lived in community, now we live behind walls and locked doors. We live in fear of what other humans may do if they get too close.
Attachment: Psychologists tell us we were made to connect or attach to others. We learn to attach in childhood. Fail to attach with your mom and it can result in “a deep-seated rage, far beyond normal anger…rage suppressed in the psyche.”
Social media: It’s made things worse – social media creates the illusion of friendship without the attachment we need as friends.
Separation: Is an important way of exercising autonomy and ensuring boundaries. But separation without connection leads to alienation and loneliness.
Men: Women are better at connection than men. Men excel at the “art of separation.” They are lonelier and more prone to suicide as they age.
Seasons: We may attach to our moms as kids, but fail to attach to friends as adults. Or we may go through seasons of not connecting for various reasons. A move. Not enough time. Unresolved conflict in relationships.
So, we are lonely and lack strategies for getting out of the isolated place we find ourselves. What do we do? A few thoughts:
5 Ways to end loneliness
Be honest about your isolation – life isn’t working like it’s supposed to for a lot of us. Who have you attached to in life? If you’re in a season of loneliness, try this:
1. Get off of social media and call up an old friend. Talk about how you feel.
2. Help someone who has a need. You may not feel like you have anything to say, but everyone has needs – reach out with an offer to help.
3. Sing. As Psychology Today says, “It’s almost impossible to feel lonely when you’re singing.”
4. Join a group. A church or a club or other group where real people meet and connect. Get out of the house.
5. Find a third place – not the office and not your home, but a third place like a coffee shop where you are recognized and greeted.
One of the first things God says about his new creation after making man is, “It’s not good for man to be alone.” John Donne wrote, “No man is an island.” We need connection. Why not move in the direction that would feed your soul?
I like this post. It’s hard to explain the subtle shift of disconnection. I especially like the idea of a third place. This reminder encourages me to walk more openly in the world. For myself as well as others. Thanks.
You’re welcome. I was at a third place myself this evening as the rain poured down on Gainesville. It was full of people and vibrant with laughter and animated conversation.
Your last question in this post is going to haunt me for a while…in a good way. Thank you.
Love the third place! It’s not about the fact that the coffee is $3.00. It’s about being in a place that is open, bright, safe, and where we can connect, laugh, and talk with other people.