In these modern times, most people are more connected with each other than ever before, especially with texting, email, phone calls, and video calls. Still, almost half of all Americans report feeling lonely nearly all of the time. What is loneliness? It is a subjective feeling about not feeling connected to people and being sad about that lack of connection. Loneliness can negatively affect almost all areas of your life.
Need help? Here are seven effective ways to combat loneliness:
1. Force yourself to be more sociable
When you're feeling lonely, chances are you don't feel like going outside of your house. Feelings of loneliness tend to lead people to isolate more. But, to break the vicious cycle, plan activities, such as attending a workout class with a coworker or a cooking class with a friend. Connecting with people through shared interests helps reduce feelings of isolation.
2. Schedule alone time with your significant other
People in marriages and romantic relationships aren't immune to feeling lonely. If you feel like you are growing apart from your partner, you should schedule solo time each week to check in and truly connect.
3. Find activities you enjoy doing on your own
Are you afraid to be alone because you think you'll feel lonely? If you can find activities that you enjoy doing solo, that can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
4. Reconnect with someone important to you
Spending time surrounded by people you don't know can increase feelings of loneliness, and it can lead you to miss deeper relationships. Reach out to a friend or family member you haven't spoken to in a while, and reconnect. This can help you to feel more connected and supported.
Volunteering is a great way to connect with other people you have something in common with. Working with others on a mutual project where you share a mission enables you to form new friendships, helping you feel less lonely.
6. Use social media to connect with others
It's easy to scroll through social media and feel less connected and more isolated. But, you can use social media to your advantage to actively reduce your loneliness by actively messaging friends and family on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
7. Consider seeing a therapist
Sometimes keeping busy isn't enough to combat loneliness, and that's where therapy can help. More specifically, cognitive behavioral therapy can help you identify and change thought processes that may be contributing to feelings of loneliness.
Branch out more
The key to reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation is to branch out more and try new things. That means reaching out to friends and family, signing up for fun activities, finding volunteer opportunities, and considering therapy.