Loneliness

Dear World

What is Loneliness and more to the point WHY do we have Loneliness if there are over 7.7(1) billion of us?

How do we end up with feeling alone and lonely?

What is the dictionary telling us about Loneliness?

Dictionary Definitions

English Oxford Living Dictionaries

Sadness because one has no friends or company

The fact of being without companions; solitariness (2)

Collins English Dictionary

Loneliness is the unhappiness that is felt by someone because they do not have any friends or do not have anyone to talk to. (3)

So what is this spelling out to us if we join the dots?

We are without friendships or the company of other people and that causes sadness.

The meaning of  Solitary is saying we are existing alone (4)

We feel unhappy because we do not have anyone to talk to

The above is what we are told Loneliness is

Is there more here to consider about Loneliness?

Should we be asking a very pertinent question –

Do we feel lonely because something is missing in our life?

 Could it be that simple?

Global 

Loneliness is a Serious Public Health Problem

“Young people are increasingly feeling disconnected…”
Alex Smith – founder, the Cares Family
Charity dedicated to curbing loneliness (5)

Doctors and policymakers in the rich world are increasingly worried about Loneliness

Campaigns to reduce Loneliness have been launched in
Britain | Denmark | Australia

Loneliness – an Epidemic in our Interconnected Age

Social isolation is similar to physical indicators like Obesity in being a risk factor for disease and early deaths.

By some accounts it plagues young people even more than the elderly (6)

Japan
Government surveyed hikikomori “people who shut themselves in their homes”

USA
2017 – Vivek Murthy former Surgeon General called Loneliness an epidemic, likening its impact on health to Obesity or Smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

UK
2018 – Theresa May, Prime Minister appointed a minister for Loneliness

Researchers define Loneliness as perceived social isolation – a feeling of not having the social contacts one would like. (4)

USA | UK | Japan

Young adults and over 85s have highest shares of lonely people of all adult ages

Among elderly, Loneliness tends to have a specific cause, such as widowhood

Young people – gap in expectations between relationships they have and those they want.

Groups most likely to be lonely – people with disabilities | migrants

Europe | USA

2017 – study of Polish immigrants in Netherlands found higher rates of Loneliness

Lyon, France | Deventer, Netherlands | Cleveland, Ohio
Nursing homes and local authorities offering students cheap or free rent in exchange for helping out with housework. (5)

China

2010 – Trade union survey concluded “the defining aspect of the migrant experience” is Loneliness.

Regions left behind by migrants often have higher rates of Loneliness

2011 – 78% reported “moderate to severe levels of Loneliness”
often as a result of younger relatives having moved
Study of older people in eastern China

Similar trends found in eastern Europe where younger people have left to find work elsewhere.

Smartphones and Social Media blamed for rise in Loneliness in young people. (5)

What is it about us that always wants to blame something?

It would be a wise to read our blog on Blame and what it is presenting.

Could it be possible that young people use social media because there is a void in their life?

In other words there is an empty space they feel and they find something to fill it, in this case it is social media?

What if the distraction of social media keeps our youth entertained with the outer world at the expense of their inner most?

In other words, the connection they truly long for is not happening because they are choosing a false connection which is social media.

USA

2017 study | age group 19 – 32 | quartile that used Social Media most often | twice as likely to report Loneliness.

It is not clear whether it is heavy social media use leading to Loneliness or vice versa.

Others are sure that technology can reduce Loneliness

Policymakers are experimenting with incentives to encourage old and young to mix

$7 billion – government spends on extra health care costs associated with social isolation for age 65 and older.

22% – 50% population estimated to be socially disconnected

According to new research, limit Social Media use to 30 minutes a day to combat feelings of Depression and Loneliness. (6)

Positive interactions on social media are not making young adults feel more connected, whereas negative experiences increase the likelihood of them reporting loneliness.
Scientists from University of Pittsburgh Center of Research on Media Technology and Health
22 January 2019 – The American Journal of Health Promotion (7)

1,178 Students | 18 – 30 Age Group | Survey about social media use

The findings build on award-winning research conducted in 2017 indicating
more use of social media was associated with increased feelings of loneliness.

“Social media is seemingly about connecting people. So it is surprising and interesting that our investigations reveal social media being linked to Loneliness.
Perceived social isolation, which is synonym for loneliness, is associated with poor health outcomes such as High Blood Pressure | Heart Disease | Depression
Social media is so pervasive, it is critically important that we better understand why this is happening and how we can help people navigate social media without as many negative consequences.”
Brian Primack – M.D., Ph.D., Director of Pitt’s MTH | Dean Pitt’s Honors College (8)

Japan

500,000 people stay at home at least 6 months at a time, making no contact with the outside world.
2016 – Government report (5)

Younger people were in fact lonelier than older people

As technology becomes more human, it may be able to do more and more to substitute for human relationships.

In the meantime, services that offer human contact to the lonely will thrive

Currently there are agencies and apps that allow one to
rent a family | rent a friend | a girlfriend for a singleton | a funeral mourner | companion to watch TV

Social robots have been used for some time – they are becoming more sophisticated.

Pepper, a human-ish robot can follow a person’s gaze and adapt its behaviour in response to humans. (5)

UK

2017
Seaside town began deploying Pepper the humanoid robot in care homes (5)

75% doctors say 1 in 5 people a day – main ailment is Loneliness

55,000 people | BBC poll | 33% “often” or “very often” feel lonely | 40% among those aged 16 – 24

2018
£20 million government committed to anti-loneliness efforts

38% increase in single-table bookings on online reservation service since 2014 (6)

25% increase risk of premature death

People with a high degree of Loneliness – twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s

Deficiencies in social relationships are associated with an increased risk of developing Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke. (9)

Older people – age 65 and over

200,000 not had a conversation with friends or family for a month

360,000 not had a conversation with friends or family for over a week

975,000 often or always feel lonely

1.2 million are persistently or chronically lonely (10)

“I did the dreaded ‘lingering in the car park on a Friday after work’ knowing I would not speak to anyone again until Monday.
39 year old woman shares her experience of Loneliness

“I remember one man, in his 90’s and his voice was really, really croaky because he hadn’t spoken to anyone for more than three months.
He became incredibly tearful talking about how excited he was that he was going to have company…”
Amy Perrin, founder of Marmalade Trust

“Lonely people do not choose to be lonely; they are often lonely as a defensive measure against a world that they perceive to be threatening and hostile…”
Steve Cole – Professor of Medicine, UCLA (11)

Analysis by the Office of National Statistics

1 in 10 children age 10 – 15 often lonely

Free school meals | live in cities | report low satisfaction health | low satisfaction in relationships – friends | family

‘When young people are feeling isolated it could be hurting their mental health or they can even be vulnerable to grooming.
Richard Crelin – Policy Manager, Children’s Society (12)

27% children who received free school meals said they were often lonely

Is this a combination of deprivation and social stigma as this report suggests?

Issues identified as contributing to Loneliness include –

Punishment practices involving isolation and exclusion | approaches to supporting children with disabilities | bullying

“Cyber bullying is a big problem in my school at the moment.
There has been a boy who has just had it all thrown at him.
And he just is alone all the time. Boy aged 12 (12)

Children who were interviewed volunteered their own ideas for tackling the problem, which included making it more acceptable to discuss Loneliness.

Is this wisdom from our children worth taking note of?

Could Talking about this topic of Loneliness be the start?

What if we could start with Honesty in our discussions?

Could it be that Simple?

Depressed | Inactive | Out of Work

Study reveals lives of Lonely Young Adults

2018 | New Research | Kings College London | 2000 Surveyed | Age 18

25% study participants reported feeling lonely some of the time

Lonely young adults are more likely to experience Mental Health problems and more likely to be out of work than their peers.

The study published in Psychological Medicine gives a detailed snapshot of the lives of lonely 18 year olds and shows how Loneliness goes hand-in-hand with a wide range of problems in health and well-being.

Loneliness is strongly linked with premature death in old age – to a similar degree as Smoking or Obesity.

With increasing attention on Loneliness as a major public health issue, the study highlights the importance of early intervention to prevent young adults being trapped in Loneliness as they age.

‘It’s often assumed that Loneliness is an affliction of old age, but it is also very common among younger people.
Unlike many other risk factors, Loneliness does not discriminate: it affects people from all walks of life; men and women, rich and poor.
Dr. Timothy Matthews | Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience | Kings College London (13)

Lonely Young Adults

More than twice as likely to have Mental Health problems
Anxiety | Depression | Self Harmed | attempted Suicide

more likely to be out of work | education | training
less confident about career prospects
less likely to be physically active
more likely to smoke
more likely use technology compulsively

‘It is important that we become comfortable talking about Loneliness as a society.
People are often reluctant to admit that they feel lonely because there is still a stigma attached to it. That in itself can be profoundly isolating.’
Professor Louise Arseneault | Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience | Kings College London (13)

Health Secretary – Matt Hancock has ordered a review of our reliance on prescription drugs. He said he wanted GPs to advise more patients to join walking groups, take part in coffee mornings or do some gardening or volunteering.
Such ‘social prescribing’ has been shown to be effective against
Dementia| Heart disease | Type 2 Diabetes | Depression | Loneliness
Daily Mail page 6 – 8 December 2018 (14)

16 – 24 year old young adults reported feeling lonely more often than those in older age groups
Office of National Statistics, England – 10 April 2018 (15)

37% adults feel lonely as a result of feeling Stressed (16)

WHY does anyone feel lonely as a result of feeling stressed?

It would be worth reading our detailed blog on Stress, which brings awareness and understanding about this modern-day illness.

Friendship Apps – Cure to Modern Day Loneliness

According to research from University of Oxford and Aalto University, Finland – our social circle shrinks soon after our mid-20s.

3 million mobile phone users were analysed in this study, looking at who they contacted and when.

Results stated we make more and more friends until age 25, after which we lose them rapidly. Women losing them at a faster rate than men.

This may explain why most friendship apps target women only

In Britain, Loneliness has reached epidemic proportions, with researchers estimating it affects up to 1 in 4 people.

Feeling lonely is a predictor of both health and Happiness

33% women are more afraid of Loneliness than Cancer

There is a significant irony in the fact that the very technology helping people to meet others via friendship apps might be part of the reason people are feeling isolated in the first place.

“We are feeling lonelier than ever partly because of the shallowness of online ‘friendships’, which can occupy much of our time.
In our newfound tendency to turn everything over to the online world, we forget that people who might become our friends are everywhere.
Nancy Colier – Psychotherapist | Author of The Power of Off (17)

Can friendship apps really help us to not feel alone?

Social Relationships and Health
The Toxic Effects of Perceived Social Isolation

Substantial evidence has accumulated to suggest that social relationships are important for mental and physical well-being across the lifespan.

Researchers traditionally tended to focus on the physical environment when investigating factors influencing health. This focus has broadened in the last few decades to include the possibility that features of one’s social relationships not only impact health behaviours but might also have direct effects on the brain, biology and health.

Humans are born to one of the longest periods of dependency of any species and are dependent on conspecifics (members of the same species) across the lifespan to survive and prosper.

No surprise – humans do not fare well – whether they are confined to solitary living or they simply perceive that they live in relative isolation.

Feelings of Loneliness were found to be associated with increased mortality risk over a 6 year period.

Higher rates of morbidity and mortality in lonely older adults have been reported.

Loneliness has also been found to be a risk factor for
increased vascular resistance | increase in blood pressure | metabolic syndrome | fragmented sleep | increased hypothalamic pituitary adrenocortical activity | increased glucocorticoid insensitivity | diminished immunity | diminished impulse control

Included in the documentation of these associations are longitudinal as well as cross-sectional studies and evidence that the association with Loneliness holds even when controlling for other risk factors such as marital status, frequency of contact with friends and family, Depression and social support.

Like physical pain serves as a signal to draw attention and respond to threats or damage to one’s physical body, the feelings of Loneliness serve as a figural signal to draw attention to and motivate responses to threats or damage to one’s social body.
Cacioppo et al., 2013; Cacioppo & Hawkley, 2009 (18)

Early in our history as a species, we survived and prospered by banding together – in couples, in families, in tribes – to provide mutual protection and assistance.

The aversive feeling of Loneliness serves to prompt us to renew the connections we need to ensure survival and to promote social trust, cohesiveness and collective action.

Hunger, thirst and physical pain, if ignored, ultimately reduce a person’s ability in the wild to find and capture food.

Loneliness, if ignored can have damaging effects that contribute to deleterious mental and physical health.

So what happened?

What is this research conveying to us?

History tells us when we were together and lived in a way where we connected with each other, Loneliness did not exist.

What is missing and is it obvious to us?

Could it be as simple as good old fashion talking and connection with an open-ness and no hidden agenda?

Could that be it?

Studies indicate that there are environmental influences on Loneliness.
Those who leave family and friends behind often feel increased social isolation when they arrive at college even though they are surrounded by large numbers of other young adults.

The researchers investigated whether lonely days invade the night and found that lonely, compared to non-lonely, college students showed more micro-awakenings and less restful sleep.
These results could not be explained in terms of differences in sleep duration, depressive symptomatology or other risk factors but instead reflected the lonely brain remaining relatively vigilant during sleep.
Cacioppo, Hawkley, Berntson et al., 2002 (18)

Why is this?

A lonely college student not able to let go and get a deep sleep

Our forensic blog on Sleep would bring a deeper understanding here for the reader

The effect of Loneliness on daytime dysfunction was independent of sleep duration, indicating that the same amount of sleep was less salubrious (health-giving) when individuals felt relatively socially isolated.
Hawkley, Preacher, et al., 2010 (18)

Social network characteristics are related to Loneliness but people can feel lonely in a marriage, while leading a company or sitting in a central position in a social network.

Research has shown that relational variables such as marital status, group memberships and frequency of contact with friends and family are significant predictors of Loneliness but the association between these objective relational variables and Loneliness have generally been found to be mediated by an individual’s perceptions of relationship quality.
Hawkley et al., 2008; Wheeler, Reis & Nezlek, 1983 (18)

People may have access to considerable support from others but the support may have nothing to do with sharing good times together – it may come at a cost, as in an exchange relationship or it may come from someone other than the person with whom an individual aspires connection.

A bereaved spouse can feel lonely even though family and friends provide emotional, tangible, informational and belonging support.

Accordingly, even after statistically controlling for social support, Loneliness has been found to be a risk factor for a host of mental and physical health problems including –
Depressive symptomatology | impaired cognitive performance | cognitive decline | progression of Alzheimer’s disease | fragmented sleep | morning rise in cortisol | elevated blood pressure | morbidity | mortality

Conclusion

The aversion of loneliness increases people’s awareness of the deficits in their social relationships and motivates the person to attend to and connect with others. The emphasis on self-preservation may be largely non-conscious, however increasing the likelihood that a person who feels lonely will act in a more defensive and self-protective fashion (Cacioppo & Hawkley, 2005, 2009). This in turn can undermine the achievement of the goal to form better connections with others.

Feeling socially isolated activates neurobiological mechanisms that may promote self-preservation in the short-term but take a toll on health and well-being in the long-term.

Among these effects are higher vascular resistance in young adults, larger morning rises in cortisol, a powerful Stress hormone, the consequence of the brain’s preparation for another dangerous day (Adam et al., 2006) increased prepotent responding, which means that behaviours high in the response hierarchy are more likely even though this includes impulsive (including poor health) behaviours (Cacioppo, Ernst et al., 2000; Hawkley, Thisted, & Cacioppo, 2009); altered gene expression, for instance, increasing inflammatory biology to deal with assaults (Cole et al., 2007, 2011) and the decreased salubriousness of sleep, the consequence of the brain’s high alert state (Cacioppo, Hawkley, Berntson et al., 2002; Hawkley, Preacher et al., 2010). Together, these processes can contribute to early morbidity and mortality. (18)

Dear World

We have Loneliness on the rise and yet we have more people on the planet than ever before and supposedly more things to keep us wired up and connected.

Something is not making sense

What if the answer is really Simple

What if we just need to Plug in and Connect – read the blog, apply what is being presented and bingo see what happens

What if when we Plug in and Connect to who we truly are nothing on the outside gives us the same quality, so we get to feel a difference – a vibration that confirms to us what is Truth and what is not

What if we learn to breathe our own breath from that simple connection to our inner most essence and feel what it means to live and not just exist

What if that Commitment alone can end our Loneliness because in Truth we have just connected to something far greater and grander than our tiny minds can tell us

What if that connection can deepen if we make it part of our practical daily life so it becomes a part of our Foundation

What if what we miss more than anything is actually that connection to our deeper self that needs or wants nothing because it has everything when it is plugged in

What if we can end the Loneliness for others by simply making sure we stay committed to plugging in and connecting as often as we can in our day until there comes a time where we know instantly if we are plugged in or out

What if we as individuals created Loneliness in the first place and now we can make a choice to end that simply by making that connection and holding steady with our commitment and consistency

Could it be that Simple?

References

(1) (2019). World Population Projections. Worldometers. Retrieved January 30, 2019 fromhttp://www.worldometers.info/world-population/world-population-projections/

(2) (n.d). English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved January 26, 2019 from
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/loneliness

(3) (n.d). Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved January 26, 2019 from
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/loneliness

(4) (n.d). English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved January 26, 2019 from
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/solitary

(5) (2018, September 1). Loneliness is a Serious Public-Health Problem. The Economist.  Retrieved January 21, 2019 from
https://www.economist.com/international/2018/09/01/loneliness-is-a-serious-public-health-problem

(6) (2018, November 30). Loneliness. Quartz. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from
https://qz.com/emails/quartz-obsession/1479827/?utm_source=email#038;utm_medium=quartz-obsession

(7) (2019, January 22). Negative Experiences on Social Media Tied to Higher Odds of Feeling Lonely. SCIENMAG. Retrieved January 30, 2019 from
https://scienmag.com/negative-experiences-on-social-media-tied-to-higher-odds-of-feeling-lonely/

(8) (2019, January 22). Negative Experiences on Social Media Tied to Higher Odds of Feeling Lonely. EurekAlert! Retrieved January 23, 2019 from
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-01/uop-neo012219.php

(9) (2018, March). Later Life in the United Kingdom April 2018. Age UK. p.10. Retrieved January 26, 2019 from
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/later_life_uk_factsheet.pdf?dtrk=true

(10) (2016, November 5). Loneliness and Isolation. Cheshire Age UK. Retrieved January 26, 2019 from
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/cheshire/about-us/news/articles/2016/loneliness-and-isolation/

(11) Sarner, M. (2018, January 18). Feeling Lonely? Meet the People who Suffered Extreme Isolation – then Found Happiness. The Guardian. Retrieved January 26, 2019 from
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jan/18/feeling-lonely-meet-people-extreme-isolation-found-happiness

(12) Siddique. H. (2018, December 5). One in 10 Children ‘Often Lonely’, According to ONS Figures. The Guardian. Retrieved February 9, 2019 from
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/dec/05/one-in-10-children-often-lonely-according-to-new-ons-figures

(13) (2018, April 24). Depressed, Inactive and Out of Work – Study Reveals Lives of Lonely Young Adults. SCIENMAG. Retrieved January 21, 2019 from
https://scienmag.com/depressed-inactive-and-out-of-work-study-reveals-lives-of-lonely-young-adults/

(14) Borland, S. (2018, December 8). Minister: My Prescription to Kick UK’s Pill Addiction. Daily Mail. p.6

(15) (2018, April 10). Loneliness – What Characteristics and Circumstances are Associated with Feeling Lonely? Office for National Statistics. Retrieved January 27, 2019 from
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/articles/lonelinesswhatcharacteristicsandcircumstancesareassociatedwithfeelinglonely/2018-04-10

(16) (2018). Mental Health Statistics: Stress. Mental Health Foundation. Retrieved January 27, 2019 from
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-stress

(17) Ledger, E. (2018, July). Are Friendship Apps Really the Cure to Modern-Day Loneliness? Stylist. Retrieved January 21, 2019 from
https://www.stylist.co.uk/life/friendship-apps-london-loneliness-technology-women-bumble-bff-this-weeks-issue-428/221154

(18) Cacioppo, J.T., Cacioppo, S. (2014). Social Relationships and Health: The Toxic Effects of Perceived Social Isolation. NCBI. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4021390/

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Comments 8

  1. Thank you Simple Living Global for bringing awareness to another taboo subject. As you mentioned that there are young men in Japan who shut themselves in their homes, it has prompted me to read this BBC News article and watch the video.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/stories-46885707/rent-a-sister-coaxing-japan-s-hikikomori-out-of-their-rooms

    ‘At least half a million young men in Japan are thought to have withdrawn from society, and refuse to leave their bedrooms. They’re known as hikikomori.
    Their families often don’t know what to do, but one organisation is offering “sisters for hire” to help coax these young men out of their isolation.’

    Some of these young men will not leave their homes for decades.

    The video is an eye-opener as it gives us insight from some of the young men’s perspective.

    We learn that at times the young men can become violent and the video gives some reasons behind their withdrawal from life –

    Bullying

    Experiencing a traumatic event

    Depression

    Too much pressure from parents

    Not being able to hold down a job or degree

    Professor and psychologist Tamaiki Saito who has written about hikikomori has said that it is very common and that in Japan there are less than 10,000 homeless but 1 million young men who shut themselves in their home. He says this is a Japanese style of social exclusion.

    It is very interesting to note that loneliness is a global issue and whilst it might present differently in differing countries and cultures, underneath is it possible that the underlying issue is the same?

    Is it possible that what we are missing the most is that connection to our deeper self, as Simple Living Global is questioning here and this is the root cause of Loneliness?

    What if it is truly possible to live in a way that keeps us connected and plugged in to our inner-most self every day?

    What if the power to change all of this is simply in our hands?

  2. Having a conversation with a friend today who admitted that in the past although most would think their life was going well, they actually felt lonely.

    I have heard so many stories and it would be true to say that people in long term relationships also feel lonely and not just those who live alone.

    I reckon I used to feel lonely inside like something was missing and it led me to lead a life full of distractions, which was really about not going there to that place inside me that felt dis-connected.

    The other thing about loneliness is we feel sorry for people and reach out with our sympathy, but what if we need to inspire others by being real role models?
    In other words, plug in and connect and keep deepening that connection with our inner most self and that way we do not feel alone or lonely but rather the opposite.

    I am living proof of how we can end this loneliness when we realise there is a responsibility in every choice we make, in every single day and with that comes a living way that knocks out the victim or needy feelings because we are simply plugged in to the field and who needs anything when they have the universe?

    In other words there is a grander connection we can all have if we choose to, but it does require us to live that R word that most of us don’t really like – RESPONSIBILITY

  3. What a superb blog.

    I had periods in my child hood and adult hood where I felt lonely and isolated. Particularly in my 20s I used partying and formed friendships (some toxic) to replace my loneliness, alongside smoking and alcohol. Did this help me? No. The reality was I was sad, depressed and struggling with life.

    With the help and support of Simple Living Global I realised it was me who was hiding away from the world. What I mean by this, when things or situations got really tough I would withdraw and not engage with people at all. I had moments where I would chose to speak up but the reality was I hid away from life.

    I now know my loneliness was something I created. Even though at the time I would get angry when people did not pay attention to what I had to say. Again the reality was that I was not expressing in full verbally I was using my anger and sadness to express. And then assumed people understood where I was coming from. Which all it did was create confusion and chaos in my life.

    It has taken me 8 years to say I no longer feel lonely or isolated. In fact whatever goes on around me I can live the Real Me to the best of my ability without feeling fearful of what will happen.

    I know I would not have experienced the above if this blog was around at the time.

  4. Thank you for this superb and vitally important blog.

    I used to feel lonely more or less all the time – right from my teenage years all the way through to my late forties.

    And I wouldn’t just feel lonely when I was on my own. I would often feel like an alien from another planet in the company of others – I couldn’t relate to the people around me.

    But this has all changed and, in the last couple of years, there has not been a single moment when I have felt lonely.

    What has caused this huge change in my life? I simply learnt from the author of this blog to do the things that are described in the blog as the ways to eradicate loneliness: plugging in to connect and breathing my own breath.

    What’s more, as I have developed my connection with my Self over time through plugging in and breathing my own breath, I feel that my relationships (and connection with) others has deepened and become more real.

    It’s amazing – once I had finally met myself though plugging into connect, I could begin to really meet others.

  5. What a subject. One that touches so many of us.
    Thank you for shining such bright light on this.

    A taxi driver recently told me he changes his behaviour with his family to avoid loneliness.

    He shared there are all sorts of things he feels are not acceptable, going on in his family. When he says anything about them, his family turn on him.

    He said his greatest fear is to be alone. He loves people and to be around people and he would rather be with them in suffering than to be without anyone.

    So he keeps quiet. Accepts the behaviour he can’t abide. Swallows his feelings. Bites his tongue. Says the right things so as not to rock the boat. All to avoid getting ostracised.

    We talked about this and how doing all that actually makes him feel.

    He said if he is honest, he hates it. He feels a turmoil.

    And we talked about the bigger impact of not speaking up. Not calling out bad behaviour and abuse. Letting people off the hook. Accepting a low standard in family or community or society. If not us who see and feel it, then who?

    And we talked about what loneliness really is and whether being with people physically is the antidote or if the answer is instead simply a connection inside.

    And if it is a connection inside – as I have found to be the case – then that is something you have, no matter what and loneliness just becomes a word or a figment, that holds no sway.

  6. Thank you for this fantastic blog.

    As I mentioned in my earlier comment on this blog, I used to feel lonely all the time but loneliness has been eradicated from my life since Iearning and applying the methods of Connection to the Real Me mentioned in the blog: breathing my own breath and plugging in to connect.

    Looking back, I can see that there had been a correlation in my life between emptiness and loneliness.

    Before learning to plug in and connect, I always felt empty. When feeling empty, loneliness was inevitable because the emptiness I felt was inescapable whether I was on my own or with people. In fact, I could never really connect to people because there is nothing to connect to in an empty vessel.

    However, as I have said, when I learnt from the author of this blog how to breathe my own breath and plug in to connect, following some consistent application of these techniques, emptiness and loneliness left my life completely.

  7. I was talking to a man in his 50s today who lost his wife 10 years ago and most of us know how those who have lost a life partner feel regarding loneliness.

    He said he can cook but the thought of putting an oven on just for him after work does not seem worth it, so he usually has beans on toast or a take away.

    What I could see was how lonely he was feeling and the effort to take care of himself was no longer a priority.

    What is it that happens when we are totally ok if it is for someone else but doing it for ourselves holds little purpose or meaning for so many?

    I suggested he cooks more and leaves the extra dinner in the fridge for another day and he liked that as he lit up and I could see he was inspired.

    Loneliness is not just around when we lose someone and a real life example was a story shared with me yesterday in the community. Husband with lots of businesses to run and the wife is very lonely as she does not feel he connects or even is interested in her.

    Next – kids are lonely, not just adults so what is that telling us today and what on earth is missing in their lives, is the question we should all be discussing at every dinner table.

    This blog is well worth reading and the questions it presents are worthy of consideration so that we can nail this growing serious public health problem.

  8. Globe and Mail – 14 May 2019

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-look-at-all-the-lonely-people-a-lack-of-connection-is-a-public-health/

    While the health care needs of ageing adults have rightly been the focus of preparations for our ageing society, politicians have largely ignored a need of equal importance – social connection.

    One of the key factors associated with longevity is being socially connected, involved and engaged.

    Older adults social networks may change as they age because of mobility issues, declines in health and the death of friends and family – all of which put them at higher risk of loneliness and social isolation.

    According to the US Health and Retirement study more than 40% of older adults are lonely.

    Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging revealed 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men report feeling lonely at least some of the time.

    Evidence shows that chronic loneliness is linked to a multitude of ailments such as depression, suicidal behaviour and memory impairment. Because of this loneliness has been described as a public health crisis that costs us all.

    Redesigning our environments and making them more socially friendly by creating parks and gathering places has been seen as a way governments can take responsibility for this epidemic.

    Is redesigning our environments the answer?

    Are only our governments responsible?

    Is the remedy to get involved in lots of activities or is there another way that we can deal with loneliness that costs nothing at all and empowers each of us to become responsible with the way that we choose to live?

    What if connection to our inner-most – a place deep within, is what is required first and foremost?

    Could this eradicate loneliness?

    Is it possible that we have a well of resources deep within us to deal with this public health crisis?

    What if we read this blog by Simple Living Global on Plug in and Connect?
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/plug-in-and-connect/

    Are the questions that it raises and the wisdom that is posed in this article on Loneliness worth considering?

    Are the answers to Loneliness running through this website if we choose to be honest and take heed of what the author is presenting?

    Is loneliness a man-made epidemic which stems from a dis-connection to who we truly are first?

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