Photo by Jean Gerber on Unsplash
Loneliness is a growing problem in today’s society with devastating impacts. In my practice I see the negative consequences of loneliness and help identify both the causes and solutions. This is not a simple task since loneliness can afflict all types of people, including highly successful people and marrried ones. Loneliness is a significant problem affecting both health and happiness. Studies have shown that loneliness has detrimental effects on health and leads to increased morbidity. For example, depression typically results from chronic loneliness. Our society reinforces self-sufficiency and individuality which puts us at risk for loneliness. So what can you do about your feelings of loneliness? Firstly, join something, whether it’s a class, organization, church, or support group. Secondly, consider getting a pet since this has proved to reduce feelings of loneliness. Thirdly, work on nurturing existing relationships and remember it’s not the quantity, but the quality. Lastly, consider volunteering for a cause that you believe in. Remember that we can change our situation by changing our thoughts, expectations, and behaviors. So take action, reach out, and empower yourself!