How to Overcome Loneliness in Everyday Life

How to Overcome Loneliness in Everyday Life

In today’s modern world, connecting with other people is easy. Whether it’s through texting, social media or the latest dating app, we have no shortage of ways to connect with others in our daily lives. However, despite these avenues of connection, people feel lonelier than ever. One study shared by CBS News, conducted by the Harris Poll in September 2016, concluded approximately two-thirds (72%) of Americans experience loneliness. And for many, this isn’t a once-in-awhile occurrence; one-third said they feel lonely at least once a week.

Loneliness is nothing to take lightly, either. According to WebMD, in terms of negative impact on physical health, loneliness is on par with things such as substance abuse and obesity. Humans are naturally communal beings, so when that’s taken away from us, we can fall into feelings of depression, worthlessness and even hopelessness. If you try to live altruistically, then combating your own loneliness can play a vital role in how you serve others. Here’s how to overcome loneliness in everyday life.

1. Recognize loneliness as a feeling, not a fact.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the emotion of loneliness and immediately think of it as a permanent condition. In fact, loneliness is often a result of a memory which triggers the feeling, rather than actual isolation. Our brains are designed to recognize pain, which includes painful memories; therefore, the moment we experience loneliness it immediately catches our attention. Then, your brain theorizes about why you feel lonely, with reasons such as “nobody loves me” or “I have no friends.” These theories are then confused with facts. Instead, combat loneliness by recognizing it for it is: a temporary feeling to overcome, rather than a state of permanency.

2. Shut down negative self-talk.
More often than not, loneliness is accompanied with increasingly negative self-talk. Our brains often explain any feelings of loneliness with negative reasonings about the self. If you feel this way, something must be wrong with you. You must have done something wrong. This negative self-talk tends to spiral downward even further, which only intensifies the feelings of loneliness even more. If you want to combat loneliness in your everyday life, be very aware of the way you talk to yourself. Turn any negative thoughts into positive ones, and focus on building yourself up whenever possible.

3. Put down your phone.
One simple way to overcome loneliness is by merely putting your phone down. In an interview with USA Today, Jennifer Caudle, family physician and assistant professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, stated: “It’s not that social media and electronics are bad—they are fantastic tools. Sometimes we think we can get by with just our phone and computers, but that’s not all we need. We are humans, we need human interaction.” Phones distract us from being present with others, increase our desire for comparison and can often lead to even stronger feelings of loneliness. Take time away from your phone to focus on what really matters in life and help fight feelings of loneliness.

4. Find others to connect with.
Finally, find new groups to connect with. This might sound simple at first, but is an extremely valuable component in overcoming loneliness. Find groups of like-minded individuals you can connect to and spend time with, then join in with them. Focus your attention on those around you, rather than a constant internal battle. Then, just keep showing up. Keep showing up to events, parties, get togethers, etc. Make an effort to get out there and connect with other people. This part might be terrifying; the fear of rejection can feel overwhelming. But, only by taking the first step can you learn to truly connect with others and overcome loneliness.

Loneliness is a serious condition which affects many of us at some point in our lives. However, by recognizing loneliness as a feeling, not a fact, shutting down negative self-talk, putting down your phone and finding others to connect with, you can overcome loneliness in your everyday life. Try out these steps next time you feel lonely and see how your life can improve.

Our Customers Say it Best

  • MacPractice, Inc
    MacPractice, Inc

    "The support and assistance Continuum provides to our employees, their families, and to our company is invaluable. We are proud to partner with them in providing our staff with such a tremendous resource."
    - Loretta Young, Director of Human Resources, MacPractice, Inc.

  • Hexagon Lincoln
    Hexagon Lincoln

    “Hexagon views Continuum EAP as a key business partner and a valued resource for our employee populace. Continuum provides high-quality — and confidential — educational and counseling services for “Team Hexagon.” The professional staff is always available and willing to help at a moment’s notice.”
    - Matt Becker, Human Resources Manager, Hexagon Lincoln

  • NebraskaLand National Bank
    NebraskaLand National Bank

    “Continuum has been such a great benefit for NebraskaLand National Bank. Once a month we offer employees a “Lunch ‘N Learn” where we feature a Continuum HelpNet webinar and provide lunch. We have received great feedback from employees and attendance continues to increase each month.”
    - Stacey Dawkins, Human Resources, NebraskaLand National Bank

  • Lincoln Electric System
    Lincoln Electric System

    “Continuum remains proactive in offering monthly workshops that address what organizations are currently experiencing in today’s work environment. They are also a great resource when wanting to bring customized training onsite to address topics relevant to the larger employee population. The Continuum staff has been professional, helpful, cooperative and effective.”
    - Anita Schinstock, Learning & Development, Lincoln Electric System

  • Duncan Aviation

    "We look to Continuum as a strategic partner, in helping our employees cope with stress at work and at home, which leads to improved work performance, decreased absenteeism, and greater workforce retention."
    - Leon Holloway, Team Member Services Manager, Duncan Aviation

  • Union Bank and Trust
    Union Bank and Trust

    "Continuum EAP's dedication to providing a vast array of personalized services to our employees and their family members is invaluable. Their response time, individualized attention, and thoroughness to make our employee's personal and professional health and well-being a top priority is superior."
    - Chad Thies, Vice President, Union Bank & Trust

  • Assurity Life Insurance
    Assurity Life Insurance

    "Continuum is part of Assurity's high performance culture. Trust has been created for associates who use their services for personal life issues but also for work issues whether they refer themselves or a supervisor refers them. Continuum's expertise demonstrated by all staff aligns to our mission and values and helps associates understand there are resources available for them and their families. The value the Assurity Team receives from Continuum is a measure of performance and risk management. I have worked with them for over 20 years and would choose them over the other two employee assistance programs that I have worked with."
    - Jan Zoucha, Assurity Life Insurance

  • NE State College System
    NE State College System

    "The Nebraska State College System has been very pleased with the services we've received from Continuum. Continuum's experience and expertise have served our employees and College administrators very well. Continuum is extremely responsive and skilled at coaching, consulting, and providing a variety of employee assistance services. In addition, our employee feedback from training sessions has been very positive."
    - Kristen Petersen, General Counsel & Vice Chancellor, NE State College System

Powered by Firespring.org