There’s an epidemic that is going on in our world. It’s one that the majority of people who suffer from it never admit. It’s the cause of many health issues and it often goes untreated. The cures are so simplistic, but they can only be applied when the illness is identified. What’s more, we’ve all suffered and will suffer again from this killer. The killer I am describing is loneliness.
“Studies show that loneliness is associated with higher blood pressure, and heart disease. Loneliness literally breaks your heart”
If that’s not enough, loneliness increases your chance of dying by 26 percent, which is higher than both depression and anxiety. The point I want you to get is that we all suffer from loneliness. It’s a battle that we endure alone, and stay silent about.
We stay silent about it because it affects our ego. Battling loneliness takes courage and strength. We all have these traits deep down inside of us; it’s just that we don’t let them come out and play in the sandpit enough with us.
One way humans attempt to overcome loneliness is by trying to find a sense of connection and identity through addictions like drugs, alcohol and sugar. Numbing the pain of loneliness is not the answer, but you are already smart enough to know that deep down.
How do you know you are lonely?
Loneliness is not about having enough friends; it’s about a feeling of disconnect. When you’re lonely, you feel like nothing is moving you into action and like you have a lack of purpose.
Having a break, and being by yourself, feels lonely rather than invigorating. Spending time being creative by yourself also feels lonely rather than productive.
Here are the 4 ways you can overcome loneliness:
1. Define it
The feeling of loneliness must be acknowledged before it can be overcome. Spending some quiet time and writing down your thoughts is a great way to understand what’s happening in your head. The reality is that what’s happening in your head, is what’s causing your loneliness.
Once you have written down all your thoughts, try and see which thought that you’ve written down makes you feel the most empty. It’s highly likely that it’s this thought that’s causing most of your suffering. Surprisingly, working out what’s making you lonely is not that tough; acknowledging it is where the power is.
2. Try “giving” as a quick-fix
The fastest way to forget about your loneliness, and bring yourself back to an empowering state, is to give your time or money to those who have nothing. By focusing on something other than yourself, you refill your emotional glass with positive thoughts.
Giving to other people feels good. Get around inspiring individuals and give your time. There’s no way you can stay lonely for long if you try this strategy.
3. Redefine your purpose
I remember reading a few years ago that according to life insurance statistics, when a man retires, the chance of him dying increases significantly. What causes this sudden onslaught of disease is a lack of purpose, and the negative feelings that come with not belonging to a higher vision.
At the core of loneliness is this empty disconnect that can be reinvigorated when you redefine what you were put on this planet to do. We’re all lonely at some point or another, but that’s no reason to go into a downward spiral, and deprive the world of your amazing beauty.
Think about what tasks make you happy and connected. If you don’t know, then go out into the world and try lots of things. Go kite surfing, climb a mountain, try public speaking, kiss a guy or girl off a dating app. The bottom line is this: get out of your head, and into action.
Take a journey in life that you’ve never tried. Instead of focusing on how lonely and disconnected you are, spend your time trying new tasks. Feeling like you’re hardly done by will not solve your problem. The cure for loneliness lies inside yourself, and only you can extract it.
“Like a beautifully brewed tea, extracting the flavor and bringing back happiness in your life takes time”
Have patience and believe that you will find a way to be connected once again. Make it your life mission to figure out how to become connected.
Our human brains are so very clever, and if you ask enough intelligent questions, eventually you’ll find what you’re looking for. The answer may be hidden in total darkness, but your brain has the power to shine a flashlight on the very object or event that can reshape your life, and make you live with passion once again.
4. Drop the pain blockers
To overcome loneliness, you have to stop blocking the pain with the following bad habits:
– Watching TV
– Always checking social media notifications
– Eating junk food
Being lonely is hard enough. The last thing you want to do is numb the suffering of loneliness with substances, and events that will make you feel even more disconnected. With every temporary upper, there is a guaranteed downer.
Despite what advertising tells us, we can’t distract ourselves from our problems forever or avoid them. Money will not make our problems or feelings of loneliness go away. What will make your loneliness vanish is reconnecting with yourself in the first instance, and then society in the second instance.
What can you do to help sufferers?
Without sounding all high and mighty, I’ve been lucky enough not to suffer from loneliness for the majority of my life. I’ve used the above strategies to get back on track when the inevitable loneliness and feelings of disconnect come knocking at the door of my mind.
Just because some of us may not be dealing with loneliness, doesn’t mean that this article is a waste of your time. If you’re not dealing with loneliness, then go out and help other people not suffer from this epidemic that is at the root of so many problems in our society.
Find someone who looks lonely, and offer them a friendly chat. Knock on the door of a neighbor that you never see leave their home, and sit down and talk to them. People over sixty suffer the most, and I’m sure you know plenty of people in that age bracket that you could have a conversation with.
A simple conversation may not sound like much, but that’s all it takes to brighten someone’s day. Overcoming pain and bringing back success is not difficult. The solutions to problems are always much less complicated than we believe.
No one deserves to be alone, considering how many billions of people there are on this planet. You may only be one human being out of so many, but that’s no excuse for a life that is not as fulfilled as it could be. Share your gift to bring light to those who have so much darkness.
Know that you may experience some of the same darkness in your life, and rely on the same gift to get you back on your feet again.
Loneliness is a killer. That doesn’t mean we can’t fight this sometimes-invisible war.