Loneliness effects more than 55 million adults, that's more than double the number of those who have diabetes.
Nearly 22% of Americans say they often or always feel lonely or socially isolated.
This was all from a 2018 report by Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation. Can you imagine what those numbers must look like now with the rules around limiting social interaction with those around us?
Loneliness is a very complex psychological dilemma. There are three different dimensions of loneliness: intimate (confidante/partner), social (quality friendships) and collective (community with same interests). Each has their own impact and way(s) of improving.
Loneliness can be physically and emotionally damaging. In fact, lacking social relationships reduces your life span as if you were smoking 15 cigarettes per day.
If you are struggling with feeling lonely- you are not alone and there is absolutely no pun intended there. As you already read, millions of adults are struggling, too. But now is your chance to take a step and make a change for your physical, mental and spiritual well being with these six tips:
1. Spend quality time with someone daily
2. Focus on the person(s) you're with- no distractions- put the cell phones away, turn the TV off and connect
3. Embrace solitude- build a strong connection with yourself first, then you will build stronger connections with those around you
4. Help and be helped- giving and receiving strengthen our bonds
5. Understand your own worth and value- you have to create it first, others should just add to it
6. Don't pay 'emotional tax'- be your authentic self so you can walk away from interactions feeling great, not drained
There are different reasons and solutions to everyone's loneliness. Maybe all six tips seem like something you can do, or maybe there are just two or three. That's okay, as long as you work towards improving it. If taking any of these first steps just seem like too much, please reach out to an IOME Trained Supporter for help. You can receive a complimentary session.
Not sure if you're really lonely? Click here to take an assessment to see if it's effecting your daily life.
Don't allow yourself to live in the shadow of loneliness forever. IOME is here to support you!