Most of us feel lonely from time to time; when we have no one to share our stories with, when someone doesn’t respond to our messages, or when they forget our birthday. But this occasional feeling has become an epidemic in the past decade. About 70-80% of all adults claim that they feel lonely very often. The number bumps up significantly when we talk about older people.
If you are a senior struggling with a chronic feeling of loneliness, this article is for you. By understanding why we feel lonely, we can get ahead of problems and beat this emotion once and for all. Here are 6 tips for you to keep loneliness at bay.
1. Reconnect with Others
The main reason we feel lonely is our biological makeup. Humans are social creatures that have all sorts of needs besides just the physical. Whenever we are excluded from a gathering or not made part of a ‘clan,’ our thousands of years old forager DNA tells us that we are less successful and popular than others. Whenever we feel like others are having fun without us, the ancient feeling of being left out strikes again, resulting in profound loneliness.
It isn’t surprising that the answer to loneliness is reconnection. We must get in touch with people whom we love and who love us. Only by forging a deep relationship with another human being can we get out of the depressing rut that is loneliness.
2. Find Out Why
If you feel like human connections aren’t really helping you, it may be time for some introspection. Sit down with no other task at hand and think deeply about your feelings. When it comes to our emotions, we often react without thinking. So sit back and let your cognition process the stimuli—in other words, observe your feelings before reacting to them instinctively.
3. Join an Online Community
Another way to introspect is by speaking to others; particularly those who may be going through the same thing as you. Get online and join a community for seniors that have trouble dealing with loneliness. By helping each other out, the online community can help you come to terms with your feelings while letting you discover ways that can help.
4. Adopt a Pet
If you have never owned a pet in your life, it’s time to start now because you don’t know what you’re missing out on. Pets, be it felines or canines, have been known to give their owners a new reason to live. Their love, affection, and loyalty to you can replace any feelings of loneliness you may be harboring in your heart.
You may prefer to have a cat rather than a dog since the former is much easier to care for. They are independent animals that need their alone time as well, so you wouldn’t have to worry about giving them constant attention. Canines, on the other hand, shower you with unconditional love; something felines is quite moody about. Dogs can also help as service animals for those with limited abilities.
5. Find a New Hobby
Another step you can take to curb your loneliness is finding the company in a fun activity. You can choose anything from a new musical instrument to a new language—but we suggest getting your hands dirty. Choose something that makes you leave the comfort of your home every day so you feel a change of scene every day. This can be something you do alone; such as gardening; or it could be a group activity such as a board game tournament. Changing up your routine and introducing something fun to it is bound to give your mood a boost.
6. Don’t Give Up!
Hopelessness is a curse, and we must do all we can to avoid it. If all these tips and tricks fail in bringing you out of your misery, try introspecting harder or talking to an old friend. It wouldn’t be amiss to ask for professional help if it feels like you are too sad. Chronic loneliness can make you feel like the world is ending, but you don’t have to fight alone. Consulting with a psychotherapist can help you profoundly over a short period of time, so look for a person you can trust and pour your heart out!
The mind is an organ just like any other, and we have to keep it as healthy as we can to be in good physical condition. Remember; loneliness is a symptom that something is not right, so listen to what your body is trying to tell you! Change what you can and the rest will soon follow. Good luck!