How to avoid feeling lonely


The world is full of countries with loners. Recent trends—longer working hours, busy family schedule, frequent moves, and high divorce rates have created even lonelier people. Only 23% of people in the world say they are never lonely. Loneliest of all are those who are divorced, separated, or widowed and those who live alone or solely with children. Among single adults who have never been married, 42% feel lonely at least sometimes. However, loneliness is most likely to cause emotional distress when it is a chronic rather than an episodic condition.

To combat loneliness, people may join groups, fling themselves into projects and activities, or surround themselves with superficial acquaintances. Others avoid the effort of trying to connect, sometimes limiting most of their personal interactions to chat groups on the Internet. But the true keys to overcoming loneliness are developing resources to fulfill our own potential and learning to reach out to others. In this way, loneliness can become a means to personal growth and discovery.

How to avoid feeling lonely

  • Learn to be by yourself. Enjoying your own company helps make you the sort of person others enjoy.
  • Pursue some interests on your own—hiking in the woods, perhaps, or joining a singing group.
  • Keep in touch with old friends, even when miles or years may separate you.
  • Give of yourself as a volunteer. Nothing warms the spirit more than reaching out to those who need you. 

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