Living alone can be acceptable to many, even satisfying to philosophers such as Henry David Thoreau, but for the rest of us- not so much.
Robert L. Leahy Ph.D., “As John Cacioppo, a researcher in the field of loneliness, points out, loneliness is on the rise — from 11 percent to 20 percent in the 1970s and 1980s to 40 percent to 45 percent in 2010.” So you are not alone in feeling lonely.
Have you had the experience of feeling lonely like there is no one around and no one to talk to, as you sink into a state of sadness or anxiety that you fear you will never get over? Does such a feeling overwhelm you at times?
Loneliness can lead to excessive drinking or binge eating, to suppress those unpleasant feelings. It can lead to depression and rumination, as you dwell on the question, “Why am I alone?”
But having a strategy to deal with loneliness can be an important safeguard against depression, substance abuse, or even making bad choices for partners.” ( Robert L. Leahy Ph.D., Living with Loneliness, Psychology Today)
The Answer is People, People, People.
“The support you get from your social connections can add to your feelings of meaning and purpose in life. These, in turn, add to your resilience. Happy, resilient people tend to be more connected to the people around them. Resilient people know that they can depend on the strength of their family and friends when the going gets tough.” (Web Md, Social Connections – Topic Overview)
According to Web Md, there are many ways you can start building positive relationships:
- Invite a friend who makes you laugh, and go to a funny movie.
- Send an encouraging email or text message to someone who’s going through a hard time.
- Look for a faith community that shares your views. It may also have its own organized social groups.
- Call a food bank or hospital and ask about their volunteer programs.
- You can also connect with people through social media on the Internet.
Mitch Prinstein gives another great benefit of having friends:
First, the bad news
“Recent evidence suggests that being unpopular can be hazardous to our health. In fact, it might even kill us.”
Now, the good news
Popular People Live Longer