In many of your moments in life, it might feel like you are the only person who feels lonely and disconnected. But, the truth is, many people feel just like you do – disconnected and cut off from people and not part of something bigger. Yet, despite all the ways we can feel connected, predominately through technology and social media, feelings of loneliness are on the rise. And therein lies the irony.
And, unfortunately these feelings are all too common. This is because we all want to feel included. Part of something bigger. Have purpose. Find purpose. Have meaningful connections with other important people in our lives.
The bridge of technology
Technology is the bridge that can connect you with family and friends and yet it can also separate you when you realize you are not included in activities shared by others.
Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn (among others) are all community based which means that your family, friends, and co-workers are all there. And yet despite all this interconnectedness, many people increasingly feel rejected and more alone than ever. How did we get here?
The Impact of rejection
People feel rejection both emotionally and physically because the same regions of our brain that are activated when you are in physical pain, is activated when you are rejected.
Rejections can be dangerous for just about anyone. Rejection tends to throw us in a pit of loneliness because we feel rejected or feel different. We don’t feel included. This just makes us feel worse. We scroll through our social media, sometime for hours on end, and see all the things people are doing that makes us feel left out. No wonder the fear of missing out or FOMO, is on the rise, and affects us emotionally and mentally.
Expectations can have a huge toll over feeling lonely. We often have often have lofty expectations of ourself and of others. This can lead to disappointment and feeling more disconnected. But despite all that, there are things you can do now that will help you overcome your loneliness, feel more connected and part of the bigger whole of life, and get yourself back on track to experiencing happiness and joy.
6 Ways to feel more Connected and less lonely
- Focus on the solution, not the problem. The best solutions can sometimes be found amongst the things that make you happy. And when we focus on solving the problem with less focus on the problem, we discover solutions that were hiding in plain sight. For example, asking yourself the Miracle Question can help you take the steps to focus on solutions. Doing this will help you feel more in control of your life and put you on a path of change and feeling less lonely.
- Face to face. Unfortunately, the digital age has left face to face and in person exchanges in the dust. That isn’t good for us as people. We need to meet with people in person and connect. And meeting face to face also means you have to leave your comfortable home. So, not only are you spending time with a friend and connecting, but you are changing your state of mind with a new environment.
- Join a club or take up a hobby. Look to your community for ideas on a new hobby or local club or organization. There are other options that you can find on the internet. For example, Groupon has so many things that you can do on your own. This will get you out of your house and in front of new people – maybe a new friend with a shared interest.
- Step outside your comfort zone. It’s challenging especially when we feel lonely to step outside our comfort zone. It’s the last thing we want to do. Just thinking about it may make you want to run for the hills. But, this is the perfect time to make a change and take baby steps to become comfortable with the uncomfortable stuff of life. And setting a lot of small goals will eventually lead you to overall progress that helps keep you motivated and happy along the way. Doing this plays into something called goal gradient, which essentially means the closer you get to achieving something, the harder you’re willing to work to make it happen.
- Limit your social media. Being on social media too much social media has been linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety, reduced self-esteem, an increase in loneliness, few real-life and face to face interactions, unrealistic expectations, and a significant dissatisfaction with our own lives.
- Give back. We often can get out of own way, when we reach out and help another person. This could be through volunteering or helping someone in need – even for just an hour. When we do this, we often feel more gratitude and less sad about how we are feeling. It gives you a chance to reach beyond self.
In the moment, it might feel like you are not making any progress, but you will. Soon, one connection will lead to another one and before you know it, you are cultivating connections outside your comfort zone and feeling less lonely.
However, if you are still struggling, the team at illumu can help you move through heartbreak. Check out our Kickstarter campaign to see how we can help you overcome your heartbreak and get back on track. Reach out to us. We are here to help.
It all starts with intention.