02/02/2015 07:16 GMT | Updated 29/03/2015 06:59 BST

Feeling Lonely? Disconnect to Reconnect

The A-Z Challenge: L is for Lonely. Shift negative habits, alphabetically.

Do you feel lonely sometimes? Even when you're 'in a crowd'? Even when you come into contact with so many people - at work, on your commute, socially or even online? How is it possible to feel lonely in a world of billions?

The reasons for loneliness can be many, but one reason why we may feel lonely is because we live in a plugged-in world. Of course there are many benefits to this - technology makes life easier, efficient and enjoyable. But one of the many drawbacks of spending too much time online or on our digital devices is that it affects our real life connectivity and how we feel.


Image: Inner Space

No matter how many people we're connected to - we can still feel disconnected. Loneliness is really as much about feeling disconnected from our own self as it is about feeling disconnected from other people and places.

If the loneliness stems from being over plugged-in to the digital world - then how about reducing the time you spend online. Put those digital devices aside. Come on. Not forever. Simply, unplug now and then. Unplug from the phone, laptop, TV, game consoles.... Disconnect to reconnect.

"When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone." Tennessee Williams

Reconnect with Others

  • Boost existing relationships. Build your social circle. Reach out, volunteer and help others. Get out there, do something, anything! Step out of your comfort zone and interact face-to-face as much as possible. Step out of your comfort zone and interact face-to-face as much as possible. Be more approachable, smile more and make an extra effort to have meaningful conversations.
  • At home or at work, make time to eat with other people (it may not be possible all the time, but whenever you can). Eating together gives us a chance to catch up and connect, and build stronger relationships.

Reconnect with Yourself

  • You will never feel lonely if you like the person you are with - you. Get to know and like yourself. How? Create some 'alone time'. Alone does not mean lonely. Alone is healthy, but spending all your time alone, and feeling lonely, isn't. Get over the feelings of loneliness and get better at being alone without feeling lonely.
  • Engage in alone-time activities, and stay connected with yourself as you go about doing simple things. Go for a walk and enjoy nature. Meditate, paint, write, reflect, read.... Go for a movie, a concert, or a meal at your favourite restaurant.

Simply put, it's about developing a healthy balance between spending time with others and time alone; and enjoying your own company as much as the company of other people.