“I’m lonely” is a phrase I have grown a custom to hearing on a daily basis. It’s perplexing considering Earth is populated with an estimated 7 billion people. Right here in my immediate geographical area, there is just about 12 million or so residents.
Between the high population of productive people and the apex of technology, how could this be? All the tools that are intended to bring us together somehow alienates us. Please forgive my Johnny Come Lately statement as we all know this narrative is quite familiar.
The caveat is intimacy. Tangible interactions are seriously lacking. We have somehow traded that away for fiber optics and the fleeting dopamine reaction from someone hitting the like button on our posts. Now that we wrapped it up in a neat little bow… what can we do about it?
For starters, we can go grass roots with it.
Volunteering is a great activity that promotes wellness. It is actually scientifically proven. Aside from the warm and fuzzy feeling you get for helping and making a positive impact, you are out interacting with genuine people. Depending on what type of community service you are decide to do, you can reap the trifecta of benefits that nourish you mind body and spirit.
Adopt a Pet
Adopting a pet has tremendous benefits. The National Alliance on Mental Illness NAMI wrote a great article called The Power of Pet Therapy. Pets are good to relieve anxiety, depression, and traumatic experiences. If you are just lonely or you live alone, having a pet offers companionship and loving member of your household to come home to that is always happy to see you. Having a dog in particular can encourage you to get out and get some fresh air and be active and perhaps meet new people too!
Take a class
Pick a class! Any class! It doesn’t have to be gym class. It could be a cooking class, dancing class, painting class, acting class, or self-defense class. Maybe even a social group that meets up every now and again, like a book club.
Taking a class is a great way to expand your knowledge, develop a new skill and meet new people in the process. Our entire social sphere was built on taking classes. We learned to socialize by being in class from kindergarten through college. As adults, it becomes more challenging to meet people – especially since we are no longer in school. So, why not take something up that interests you where you can cannot with other people that have similar interest?
This may fall under volunteering, but I think it deserves its own paragraph. Matching up with someone to mentor is a great fulfilling experience. There is an invaluable social exchange that happens in that dynamic that impacts the lives of both parties involved. Sharing our experience with others and helping them hone and shape their own personal vision can be quite rewarding bond.
We can get so stuck in our current predicaments that we do not see the possibilities available to us to live a more rewarding life. While you may feel lonely, there are people out there that would greatly appreciate spending time with you and getting to know you. There are people out there who would love to converse and exchange ideas. There are people out there you could inspire with your own experience. There are people out there who would not feel so alone with you in their lives.