Understanding Loneliness - The Hidden Epidemic

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Loneliness is something that everyone will suffer from at one point or another in their lives.
In fact, a good number of people actually deal with loneliness on a regular basis, however, there is a social stigma against openly admitting that you are lonely, so most people keep this feeling hidden.
Loneliness is measured by a lack of deep and meaningful interpersonal connections in a person's life.
Although many people may be unwilling to admit to feeling lonely, when asked if they have a close friend, partner, or relative with whom they can share thoughts and feelings with, many people responded that they did not.
This indicates that loneliness is largely under reported in our society.
Many people believe that loneliness and depression often go hand-in-hand, and this is true.
However, it is important to understand that differences between them.
Loneliness is characterized by a desire to reach out and connect with others, while depression is characterized by withdrawing from others keeping to oneself.
The way that the loneliness/depression cycle usually plays out is that a person will begin to feel lonely due to a lack of meaningful connections in their life.
They will then try to reach out, but if their efforts do not prove successful, they may become depressed after a time.
This depression will cause them the be more reclusive, which will only breed further loneliness and thus the vicious cycle continues.
If you're feeling lonely, your main enemy that you will have to deal with is depression.
It is what will kill your drive to reach out and connect with others and sabotage your efforts to turn your situation around.
Find ways to keep your spirits up and maintain your motivation to make friends and build connections.
Although social anxiety, shyness, or any other obstacle may hinder you as you try to make new friends along the way, it is good to schedule times when you can meet and interact with people as much as possible.
Join a church or social group that meets regularly.
Spend time greeting strangers as you walk to work in the morning.
Go the extra mile to make small talk with cashiers, waiters, or other people you may see on a regular basis.
Simply asking a question like "how is your day going?" can sometimes be all that it takes to open up a new conversation and begin building a friendship.
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