Overcome Your Loneliness

Mindful Living Network, Mindful Living, Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Stress Institute, OurMLN.com, MLN, Alter Your Life, Mindful Animals, Animals

Staying in touch with loved ones has been made easy with all of our recent technological advances; however, cases of loneliness seem to be rising. According to Duke University researchers, the number of people who said that they didn’t have someone to discuss important matters with has risen to 25 percent. Studies also show that the average social network for an American has decreased since 1985 from 2.9 people to 2.0 people. These rising isolation cases can have devastating consequences as social relationships impact mental and physical health. In fact, loneliness leads to health complications like high levels of cortisol and overeating. There are several ways to overcome your loneliness you just have to put yourself out there.  It’s the quality of your social connections that counts, not exactly the quantity. So it’s important to discover and maintain healthy, fulfilling relationships.

Here are a few Mindful suggestions to overcome your loneliness and finding new friends:

Learn what triggers your loneliness

To better treat your loneliness take the time to examine what is triggering this emotion for you. Triggers for loneliness vary from the loss of a partner to relocation. Other triggers for loneliness include the following: isolation (due to lack of money or transportation), exclusion from activities, retirement, or caregiving roles. Take time to reflect on your situation and create a plan on how you will bust your loneliness.

Build your courage

Sometimes people isolate themselves because making new friends can be nerve wrecking. To end your loneliness it’s important to take Mindful steps to build up your courage. Be mindful of your thoughts. Stay positive and build your self-esteem by listing all the characteristics that you love about yourself. Don’t forget to acknowledge and accepting your own limitations; no one is perfect and that’s okay. Remember that you aren’t alone in feeling nervous when meeting new people and that the benefits of forming new connections outnumber any fears you may have.

Greet the neighbors

Studies show that one type of relationship that is on the decline in this time of isolation is neighborly connections. Fewer Americans are taking the time to greet and get to know their neighbors. This is unfortunate as neighbors are important for building a strong community and social connections. So, consider giving a welcome kit to new neighbors. Or join a local neighborhood committee to get to meet more of your neighbors.

Reconnect with old friends

Studies also show voluntary associations (relationships that are not based on marriage, biological relations, or work associations) has also decreased in recent years. Revive these “voluntary friendships.” Start regular contact (phone calls, text messages, email, or visits) with your long-lost friends. Frequent and consistent contact can strengthen weak friendships.