We all experience being alone at times in our life, but have you ever felt truly, heart wrenching, total loneliness?
If so, you’re a member of a not so exclusive club.
We’ve all felt the sting of being alone. But this, this heavy, deep, black bottom well of loneliness, is a different kettle of fish, from the loneliness we experience after some of the losses life throws at us.
It’s insidious and affects our health and wellbeing and prevents us from living in a amazing, bright, abundant world, filled with wonder and joy.
Sometimes it creeps upon us gradually, little by little, piece by piece and sometimes it hits us like a ton of bricks out of the clear blue sky.
And suddenly we realize…holy moly…this awful feeling is loneliness.
Where did that come from?
Ripples of loneliness are overwhelming our planet, and we’re all at risk.
Married or single. Young or older. Male or female.
Heck around 40% of us living in this country have identified with feeling lonely on a regular basis.
I know it probably doesn’t help much right now, if you’re feeling lonely, to know that you’re not in it by yourself.
But what might help a little is knowing we don’t have to continue to be part of this statistic.
And nor should we.
Because loneliness doesn’t come all by its little lonesome. Oh no. It brings the gifts of physical and emotional ill health and sad to say for some even early death.
And if that isn’t enough…loneliness isn’t necessarily about being alone. Far too many feel lonely smack dab in the middle of family or with friends.
And it hurts. And we become disconnected.
But before you throw your hands up in disgust with how negative this all is, and decide to scram and leave this article. Hold your horses.
I do have some simple ways to counteract this insidiousness that inflicts so many in our world today.
Here’s some simple remedies for protecting yourself and taking the fight to loneliness.
1. Talk to strangers
I know your mum taught you that this wasn’t a good idea when you were little. But if you can be brave enough to take the plunge as a grownup, and chat to someone you meet on the bus or train or waiting in line, you’ll end up feeling happier.
And this helps you be healthier. It will remind you of your love of life which in turn helps you to stick around longer.
Remember whatever makes you feel bad you should ditch and whatever helps you smile, you should keep.
2. Schedule some face to face time
If you knew that face to face time with friends or family increased the production of those fabulous happiness hormones wouldn’t that make it worthwhile? Wouldn’t that get you to make the first move and set something up?
And if those happiness endorphins had a major impact on your physical health, wouldn’t that encourage you to make it a habit?
You really should make it a habit. Especially when I tell you that an uninterrupted feeling of loneliness really can take you out of this world long before you’re ready to go.
Talking and being with someone physically really does help to chase that loneliness dragon away.
But say you can’t organize face to face time right now?
Whatever you do, don’t rely on emails or texts, they just don’t work so well and you could find your relationships withering on the vine. Not really helpful when you’re carrying the burden of loneliness.
4. Reach out
Reach out and touch someone, literally. No virtual hugs here. Good as they might be, we need more powerful medicine to combat the sting of loneliness.
Don’t be afraid to pat someone on the shoulders or arm. They could be part of the 40% in this country who desperately need someone to reach out to them.
So my lovely, don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you’re feeling lonely. Cut yourself some slack and start using your energy, not to focus on what’s not working, but on greater connectedness.
Foster engagement with others. After all, we’re in this together.
You’ll feel tons better, happier and live longer.
Life is always as great as we make it. So stand tall, be bold, reach out and give that loneliness demon a swift kick up the you know what. And get those good vibes feelings going.
You deserve nothing less.
Encourage one another.