Even if you enjoy your own company and like living along, we’ve all been there: that desperate, all-consuming feeling of loneliness that comes out of nowhere and feels impossible to shake. For some people, loneliness is a regular occurrence; for others, it’s something that only surfaces during tough times.
However, no matter when or how often it occurs, loneliness can take a severe toll on our mental health. Recent studies have shown a strong correlation between loneliness and conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Loneliness has long been known to have adverse effects on mental health, but researchers are only now beginning to understand the connection. According to a study published in the NIHR (National Institute for Health and Care Research), loneliness can increase the risk of developing depression.
So, what do we do when we’re feeling lonely? Here are five strategies that can help combat loneliness:
Reach out to your family.
One of the best things you can do when you’re feeling lonely is to reach out to your family. Talk to them about your feelings and tell them what you need from them. They may not be able to solve all of your loneliness, but simply having someone to talk to can make a big difference.
Spend time with friends.
Spending time with friends is a great way to combat loneliness. If you don’t have any close friends or family members, consider reaching out to others in your community. Spending time with those who care about you can help make you feel more connected and supported.
Get involved in your community.
Another great way to combat loneliness is to get involved in your community. There are likely plenty of activities and events going on near you that would interest you. Participating in these events can help you meet new people and feel more connected to your community.
Join a social group or club.
If you’re not the type of person who enjoys spending time with friends and family, consider joining a social group or club. This can be a great way to meet new people and make connections. And who knows, you may even find some new friends in the process!
Stay connected online.
Staying connected online is another great way to combat loneliness. There are likely plenty of online communities and forums that would interest you. Participating in these communities can help you meet new people and feel more connected to others.
Remember, whether online, in person or over the phone, if you are feeling lonely, make sure that you are staying social and interacting with people as often as you can.