Loneliness Epidemic – True or false?

It’s been reported that the western world currently has more single households in this time than ever before in history.

This may be because we live in a time that allows for personal choice and more independence. It is no longer regarded as the norm, to leave school/college, get married and set up a family home.

Anything is the norm these days and in my opinion, that’s exactly how it should be.

Many people are now Singletons (modern day term for single) through choice live happily alone and socialize and interact with others when they choose to.

Others may be single parents living with their children alone and that’s the way they like it.

Some may be bereaved or separated and want the isolation to heal and recover.

These people may be living alone but they would not say that they were lonely, merely alone.

Others who are separated or isolated maybe through other aspects rather than their choice may share another viewpoint.

The single parent living alone with their children who longs for a life partner to share their life with, may not feel as comfortable and ‘whole’ living as they currently do alone.

The singleton that is accidentally single may feel like Bridget Jones ‘all by myself’ and be feeling isolated, hopeless and alone.

The bereaved or separated that continually long for their loved one to return, will also paint another picture entirely about living alone.

So what’s the difference? What make’s someone feel lonely?

The only conclusion I can come up with after many hours of research and not being able to find a direct opposite for lonely in any online or offline dictionary or thesaurus, is that the people who are feeling lonely are looking for something outside of themselves to help them feel complete/whole/connected.

This is a strategy that I’m afraid will only lead to short or partial happiness at best.

Looking for another individual to complete us – will not lead to the happy ending, we deserve.

By changing the way that we think about ourselves, by becoming our own best friends, we can then learn how to be more adept in social situations, we can practice speaking on the phone, joining in conversation with others, making decisions, reaching out to join local groups online and/or offline.

We can learn to recognize our negative self-talk and choose to ‘shoosh’ it and think the opposite.

Learning to accept that we are worthy of others attention and deserve connectedness and closeness is the fastest way to eradicate loneliness.

Only when we are comfortable with our own company can we be truly able to embrace others affections.

There are many talking therapies and groups now that are available to improve confidence, build self-esteem, learn better communication skills, etc.

Holistic practices like Emotional Freedom Technique, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Theta Healing & Energy Work can all assist in removing hurts and fears and help to create self-love and self-worth.

It’s a big world out there that is getting smaller everyday with the help of the internet.

If you are feeling isolated, disconnected, and lonely perhaps you could initially take a small step and join an online forum where you can make your comments and add your thoughts whilst using a user name, so anonymous.

Perhaps you could search for old friends via Facebook, Friends Reunited or Twitter and re-kindle your friendship.

Maybe you could volunteer in your local area and visit an elderly person or help them with their shopping, maybe you could help in a charity shop and if serving is too big a leap then you could help sort the items in the back until you gain more confidence.

Find out if there is a local group that you would enjoy attending like a book club, rambling, local history for example that you could go along to and make some friends.

Perhaps you could set up your own small gathering or group with like-minded people if you cannot find one you like.

Maybe you could take up a sport like bowling, darts or dancing that would bring you into contact with others.

If you are feeling down in the dumps, isolated and lonely – please know that there are ways to feel differently and that life can be everything that you want it to be.

Talk to someone about how you are feeling whether that’s a doctor, a family member, the Samaritans or someone like me, in the coaching/therapy industry.

Sometimes a leap of faith is required that there is hope, but I urge you to believe that happiness waits for you and now is the time to go and get it!

If you would like to discuss anything further then please do get in touch…

Loran Northey 07709 564426 info@paramountcoaching.co.uk

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