There are more than seven billion people in this world. That’s right, SEVEN BILLION! And yet psychologists tell us that people are suffering from depression at an alarming rate because of loneliness.
In a world full of people, why are so many feeling disconnected?
According to “Psychology Today,” “You may have people around you throughout the day or you may even be in a lifelong marriage, yet you may feel a deep down loneliness. Not surprisingly, isolation can affect one’s mental and physical health to great detriment.”
You don’t have to be alone to be lonely. We all want to feel connected to someone or some group. We all want family or something that can take the place of family when they are not there. If we lack that “connection,” then we feel alone.
The interesting thing is, since we have a world full of lonely people, we have a world full of cures for the loneliness of others. All that is needed is a way to connect.
Pets are wonderful. Statistics show that people who have dogs or cats live longer, but pets can only provide so much. We need to connect to people.
The key to alleviating your own loneliness is to find a person who is also lonely and focus on making that connection.
Being in the proximity of other people doesn’t always alleviate loneliness. We have all experienced the feeling of being alone in a crowd. And the idea of the more the merrier just isn’t true.
It isn’t how many friends you have, it is the depth of the connection you have with those friends. What can you share? How deep does your trust go? What are the common threads that hold you together?
Building connections can be a challenge in our fast paced, electronically isolated world.
I love the commercial that ran for several months featuring a young woman bemoaning how lonely her parents must be because they only have a hand full of friends on Facebook. There she sits alone in a room looking at a picture of someone’s puppy and bragging about how great her social life is. All the while Mom and Dad are out enjoying friends at a concert.
It may not sell me the car, but it does show me the need to get out there and be with people.
There was a group of older men I use to watch playing Lawn Bowling in Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee. I was a young college student and would often go there to study and eat my lunch.
I can remember feeling sorry for those guys who came there every day to roll those balls on the grass.
I now understand that it had nothing to do with the game. It was the connection.
Share some time with another person this week. Take a walk together. Share a conversation about something important or about nothing at all, just talk. Tackle a project. Play a game. Make a connection.
You will help someone else and you will be the better for it too.