1. isolated_manTo stay healthy, stay connected – In Western world countries its estimated that one in five people suffer from loneliness. This isn’t just a matter happiness, but a health threat with significant costs personally and nationally. Being loved, needed and included are the necessary components of happiness and without these basics research shows a decline in life expectancy.
  2. Know the difference between being alone and loneliness – These two are not the same experience. Without feel accepted and included a person can feel lonely in a crowded room. Its easy to wrongly assume that others see you in a certain light and respond by feeling rejected. Sometimes a person can feel lonely in a marriage or relationship.
  3. Seek professional help once you have recognised the situation – You may have hundreds of acquaintances and no real friends. You may feel as if nobody understands or is interested in you. Loneliness often means taking on life’s challenges on your own, that there is nobody to confide in or to listen to you. In fact some people have a family and a great partner and still feel on their own.
  4. Inapprop-SleepingAnother big force in the health impact of loneliness is insomnia – Sleep loss costs billions a year in lost productivity, mistakes and high stress. It accounts for countless accidents most of which could be prevented. Sleep deprivation affects a person’s concentration, memory, moods and intimate availability. In fact it affects your ability to function and your body’s ability to function.
  5. Chronic loneliness is a significant factor in chronic disease – Many people go to doctors, emergency rooms and hospitals with real or perceivedpains simply to get human contact. Loneliness is up there as a risk factor with smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and stress raising the possibility of developing metabolic syndrome, and twice as likely to develop early dementia and alzheimers disease.
  6. Trusting relationships are a key to a health fulfilling life and even survival ­– It is known that children brought up in east european orphanages have a low life expectancy. The basal fight or flight response is activated earlier in lonely people, so they have a lower tolerance for stressors, and they react more negatively. Loneliness increases the numbers of insomniacs and can cause depression. Isolation is one of the greatest unrecognised illnesses, sometimes with fatal consequences. The sad thing is that there is help available.
  7. When we talk about self-image concerns it inevitably brings up the topic of beliefs – Lonely people tend towards revolving negative thinking, particularly about themselves. Patterns and attitudes such as these are difficult to change by yourself, but amazingly easy and fast using NLP techniques. These revolving ideas turn out to be self-fulfilling prophecies only because they build on experiences of past behaviours. Lonely people often have the idea that nobody likes them, making it difficult for anyone to get close enough to find out.
  8. The strangest things happen when you do something out of the ordinary – A great solution to loneliness is to volunteer to help someone else. Once you are committed to something it is harder to withdraw and so easier to break the isolation. Those that support others without any moral obligation live longer. It is difficult to have a situation of two lonely people because they understand each other’s dilemma. An interest aside here is that once the isolation is broken a previously lonely person finds enormous inner strength and compassion for others, proving every cloud has a silver lining.
  9. Many isolated people adopt the local stray cats and dogs – Animals become surrogate people and even though pets provide definite health benefits they can never provide the motivation to extend yourself beyond loneliness and reach out to others.
  10. Making excuses – When you’re feeling low, depressed, tired, stressed and de-energised its easy to make excuses for not reaching out to friends, or even accepting offers of friendship. Having a non-judgemental listener will certainly help you to feel more connected and its only then that you’ll discover longer term behavioural solutions. The biggest challenge a lonely person has is accepting the diagnosis and asking for help. It may be the wee small hours of the morning when you’re at your lowest, it doesn’t stop you making a list of people you could reach out to, and a plan of action for the next day. Making a plan is useless unless you put it into action.

Remember we’re only a single phone call away to make a booking and begin a new way of living as an active, healthy, happy member of society. The funny thing is that the only thing stopping you is the loneliness itself.