Persistent loneliness can be overcome. Do you have ways to cope with loneliness that work?
We all experience loneliness. While loneliness is a universal phenomenon, it can also detract from your relationships and those you deserve.
Some loneliness is situational. There may be temporary family separation, business travel, school schedules, or other circumstances. Yet, some loneliness is inescapable, like the unbearable sadness, grief, and loneliness we feel after a loved one dies.
“Something needs to be done about persistent loneliness, a loneliness that never seems to leave.“Suzanne Kane
For adults over 65, this is especially true. About 32 percent of seniors say they’re lonely. And 20 percent are always or frequently lonely.
Persistent Loneliness: Factors that Precipitate
Persistent loneliness has a brief but self-evident list of contributing factors. If you are persistently lonely, you may:
- Live alone.
- Experience physical isolation, such as being separated from others by moving to a new location.
- Have no one around due to divorce or death.
- Suffer from an illness.
- Have low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
- Lose social communication with others.
- Have depression because of increasing cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
What Does Being Lonely Mean?
Loneliness isn’t solitude or being alone. It is, however, a state of mind. When you are lonely, you feel empty, alone, and unwanted. Often, the lonely person craves contact with other people, but because of their state of mind, they’re unable to form these connections. Or they find it much more challenging.
Negative Health Consequences of Loneliness
When loneliness lasts for a longtime, it always has negative health consequences. These risks include cardiovascular disease and stroke, increased stress, reduced learning and memory, antisocial behavior, depression, and suicide.
- Persistent loneliness also has other adverse consequences. These include poor decision-making, drug abuse and alcoholism, altered brain function, and Alzheimer’s disease progression.
- Chronically lonely individuals tend to drink more alcohol and get less exercise than those who aren’t. They eat more high-fat foods, sleep less efficiently, and feel more fatigued.
- Loneliness also disrupts cellular process regulation in the body, which promotes premature aging.
Persistent Loneliness Countermeasures: 10 Amazing Quick Ways to Cope
Persistent loneliness is something you can overcome. Encouragingly, there are things you can do. Some can minimize loneliness. At the same time, you continue to work on other ways to get out there and interact with people.
- Recognize persistent loneliness. To make a change, recognize that loneliness is something that you need to change.
- Understand the effects of loneliness. Knowing the effects that persistent loneliness has on your life is the next area to focus on. Understand how loneliness affects you physically and mentally.
- Cultivate resilience to overcome persistent loneliness. You can learn to do this, even though it seems impossible. Strive to bend, not break. Envision la young sapling that leans in a strong wind to withstand the force. Cultivate resilience between individuals and the environment.
- Adopt an optimistic attitude. How can you be joyful when all you feel is loneliness? Again, this is something that you can train yourself to do. Instead of seeing the glass as half empty, look at it as half-full. See things in a more positive light. You will begin to find opportunities. And you’ll be more motivated to get outside your isolation and be with others.
More Amazing Quick Ways to Reduce Persistent Loneliness
- Enrich spirituality. If you believe in God or a Higher Power or have a profound sense of spirituality, get in touch with your spiritual side.
- Set goals and learn how to solve problems. It would be best if you had something to work on. There’s no better way to get at this than to set workable goals. In conjunction with setting goals, learn how to solve the various problems that may stand in the form of going after dreams. Produce alternative approaches, seek guidance, get recommendations, and use other resources that may be available, either one-on-one or through the Internet.
- Develop more relationships. If you lack companions, seek out new ones. There’s always some group you can join or visit. Check out groups in areas that interest you. Look at hobbyist groups, or those devoted to recreation, education, movies, eating out at restaurants, or volunteering.
- Enhance your new relationships. Another critical aspect of overcoming persistent loneliness is enhancing the quality your new friendships. Do things more often with people you find an affinity with and who have shared values.
- Use social media, but sparingly. Social media can help and hurt those suffering from persistent loneliness. On one hand, it can help you connect with others when physically separated. It can also expose you to new relationships online. But social media cannot replace physical connection, one-on-one contact. That’s where you can read and interpret physical gestures, hear tone, and feel the hearty handshake or kiss or greeting.
- To overcome persistent loneliness, expect the best. Train yourself to expect the best. This means you pay it forward by acting proactively and positively. Expect the same in return. Goodness tends to beget goodness. Yet this doesn’t mean that you’re blind to others’ intentions.
In the end, you can overcome persistent loneliness. Try these tips. If you still find that you can’t escape loneliness, consider professional help. There could be some underlying physical factor that’s hindering your progress. A checkup can rule out many conditions or pinpoint an area to address. From there, your doctor can recommend therapy or other action.
Bottom line: Never resign yourself to always being lonely. Make some changes and then spring into action. Get out there and interact with others.