The research is clear: Loneliness is hazardous to our health. In fact some experts claim it increases our risk of premature death by a whopping 20%. It can affect our blood pressure, our heart health, and our weight. When we are lonely we take less care of ourselves. We lose the motivation to eat right, exercise, tend to our appearance, or even socialize.
Of course being alone does not always mean you are lonely. Nor does being in company always ensure you are NOT lonely. Also worth noting is that we all have different alone-time preferences, which must be respected. We vary along the introversion—extraversion personality spectrum.
Rest assured, that everyone at one time or another feels lonely, and then the feeling passes when we switch our focus.
Research shows that loneliness involves feelings of social isolation; a feeling that something is “missing” from your life; such as EMOTIONAL SUPPORT or PHYSICAL COMPANIONSHIP. The good news is, you can do something about it. A good place to start is to take control of your social life. If you frequently feel like you are missing either one of these components, get out your journal, and a calendar, and TAKE ACTION.
First the journal, where you describe WHAT you want your social life to look like? Do you want to find romantic love? New friends? Reconnect with old friends or distant cousins? The possibilities are endless.
Second, be willing to do the WORK. Designate blocks of time in your calendar to deepen the relationships that afford you emotional support, and schedule activities that provide you with exposure to new possible companionship(special interest groups such as book clubs, walking groups, volunteering, etc.) and not necessarily lifelong commitment.
Third, follow through with at least 1-2 social activities per week. This can be increased or pulled back to your satisfaction.
If you often feel lonely, take action; even if at first you don’t feel like it. It can save your life. Kind of like exercising; if you make social interaction a more frequent habit, you will eventually feel so much better you will wonder how you spent so much time alone watching TV!
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#Aging Happy #BeingOver50Rocks #HappinessWithinOurControl