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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 Impact in 2017

January 1-December 31
  • CAPSA is a non-profit domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape recovery center serving Cache County and the Bear Lake area.

  • YCC Family Crisis Center is a domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center provide services 24/7 to victims and their children.

  • Utah Legal Services (ULS) is a nonprofit law office incorporated in 1976 committed to making equal justice a reality by providing free legal help in non-criminal cases to low-income Utahns.

  • South Valley Services is a domestic violence service provider in West Jordan, Utah. We provide safe shelter and supportive services to women, men and their children who have been impacted by domestic violence.

  • Today, the YWCA is Utah’s most comprehensive provider of family violence services; our programs include walk-in services and a crisis line, emergency shelter, transitional housing, children’s programs, and a vast array of supportive services.

  • Established in 1990, Seekhaven assists survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault rebuild their lives. Serving Grand County and Southeastern Utah, Seekhaven provides a wide range of essential services including client advocacy, emergency shelter, and transition assistance.

  • Peace House is dedicated to ending family violence and abuse through education, outreach, support services, and safe housing.

  • New Hope Crisis Center has been serving Box Elder County for 30 years. Our mission is to provide all-inclusive, integrated, victim-centered services to stabilize and support individuals, families, and our community.

  • Founded in 1984, The Center for Women and Children in Crisis has been in continuous operation for 33 years. Our mission is to provide a caring, advocating, safe, and educationally based environment for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

  • Our organization advocates for victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, and the homeless. Serving people in Sevier, Piute, Millard, Sanpete and Wayne counties of Utah.

  • The DOVE Center is the only area agency providing safe-shelter, crisis intervention, and prevention for clients who have been victimized by violence in their home – whether by a family member or cohabitant – that also serves victims of rape and sexual assault.

  • Founded in 1922, Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake is a non-profit organization that promotes safety, stability and self-sufficiency for low income families and individuals, as well as victims of domestic violence, through effective, efficient legal advocacy and assistance.

  • Canyon Creek Services provides free and confidential services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iron, Beaver and Garfield Counties.

  • Valley Behavioral Health is a nonprofit network of clinics providing treatment for behavioral conditions, addictions, psychiatric conditions, autism and other chronic health conditions. We treat chronic lifelong conditions as well as temporary conditions triggered by traumatic life events. Our programs are tailored to people of all ages and every social, cultural and economic situation.

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  • At Amethyst Center for Healing we are dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities recover from trauma and abuse, so that we may all live peaceful, empowered lives.

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