There is a lot of shame exists around the topic of loneliness. I myself used to be ashamed to feel lonely in the past, thinking there was something wrong with that. However loneliness can be as natural as a feeling of hunger of thirst.
This is a topic of mental health awareness week that is coming in May - LONELINESS.
Did you know that:
Loneliness is likely to increase your risk of death by 26% (Holt-Lunstad, 2015)
Loneliness and social isolation put individuals at greater risk of cognitive decline and dementia
In total , 45% of adults feel occasionally, sometimes or often lonely in England. This equates to twenty five million people.
Research commissioned by Eden Project initiative The Big Lunch found that disconnected communities could be costing the UK economy £32 billion every year.
Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. (Holt-Lunstad, 2010)
What you can do if you feel lonely?
Pick up the phone and reach out to a family member, a friend, or even a colleague. Arranging face-to-face meetings is even better.
Talk to people you trust about how you feel. Vulnerability strengthens and deepens social connections. You will also have a chance to find out that you are just as human as others are.
Be compassionate to yourself when you feel lonely. Beating yourself up never helped anyone. The loneliness you feel is a part of common humanity.
Join a community and enjoy group activities together. Yoga, all type of exercises, art class, hiking group... you name it. Group activities have been shown to reduce loneliness and social isolation in 80% of studies.
Don't try to push away the feeling of loneliness. Instead create an intention to understand the reason behind it. Meditation and awareness practices can be a great tool to reduce the feeling of loneliness.
Loneliness just makes us more human. Understanding our loneliness can help us to adjust our lives for the better and help others to feel more united.