It may appear that a negative feeling like loneliness is more contagious than a more positive emotion like happiness. Don’t believe the lie. The truth is most humans tend to focus on the negative . For some the loneliest time is when they are surrounded most by those who are “suppose” to care the most. How do we stop the cycle?
Did you know that loneliness is only recognized in highly developed societies. Other factors that may contribute your feeling lonely is the decline in close relationships, long work hours, high rate of exploitation at work, chronic feeling of tiredness, long commutes, remote locations of friends’ houses, the popularity of Internet, and lack of affordable recreation facilities.
Perhaps as a society we can reduce loneliness by centering on new values that are favorable to a sense of community, better parenting skills, expansion of new recreational facilities, and changes in social policies which will offer a less segregated living.
Know that smiling itself can help increase positive, pro-social behaviors. What’s in a smile? A lot of information, telling the receiver of the smile whether you meant you are happy, amused, or proud. Happiness is a core component of life and living, and is associated with helping protect us against heart disease and enhancing our overall health. Know that gratitude tends to lead to more happiness.
Gretchen Rubin, posit several strategies that combat loneliness
1. Remember that although the distinction can be difficult to draw, loneliness and solitude are different. “It’s entirely reasonable to feel lonely yet still feel as though you need some time to yourself.” Loneliness feels draining, distracting, and upsetting; desired solitude feels peaceful, creative, and restorative.
2. Nurturing others — raising children, teaching, caring for animals — helps to alleviate loneliness.
3. Keep in mind that to avoid loneliness, many people need both a social circle and an intimate attachment. Having one of these elements may still leave you feeling lonely.
4. Work hard to get your sleep. One of the most common indicators of loneliness is broken sleep — taking a long time to fall asleep, waking frequently, and feeling sleepy during the day. Sleep deprivation, under any circumstances, brings down people’s moods, makes them more likely to get sick, and dampens their energy, so it’s important to tackle this issue.
5. Try to figure out what’s missing from your life. Making lots of plans with friends will not alleviate your loneliness. Most of us want “The quiet presence of another person. Perhaps someone else just hanging around the house with you. The more clearly you see what’s lacking, the more clearly you’ll see possible solutions.
6. Take steps to connect with other people (to state the obvious). Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change. The pain of loneliness can move you to connect with other people.
Unfortunately, loneliness itself can make people feel more negative, critical, and judgmental. If you recognize that your loneliness may be affecting you in that way, you can take steps to counter it. Seek out a Emotional or Mental Health Professional, Self-Help Books, or Support Groups.