The Loneliness EpidemicBy Dr. Margaret Paul
June 25, 2018
Are you lonely? Do you believe you just need to learn to live with this?
Recent research on loneliness indicates that almost half of Americans experience themselves as lonely, and, surprising, more young people are lonely than the elderly. (https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/05/01/606588504/americans-are-a-lonely-lot-and-young-people-bear-the-heaviest-burden)
“Now a nationwide survey by the health insurer Cigna underscores that. It finds that loneliness is widespread in America, with nearly 50 percent of respondents reporting that they feel alone or left out always or sometimes.”
Loneliness and Self-Abandonment
In Inner Bonding terms, how much of this is due to self-abandonment? How much are these people leaving themselves alone inside and leaving themselves out in terms of caring about and taking responsibility for their own feelings? How many young people are abandoning themselves with screen time and social media, and then suffering as a result? In fact, the research indicates that this may be what is occurring:
“…some research published in 2017 by psychologist Jean Twenge at San Diego State University suggests that more screen time and social media may have caused a rise in depression and suicide among American adolescents.”
When people haven’t learned how to love themselves by taking compassionate responsibility for their feelings, and instead avoid them with their various addictions to substance and processes, they feel alone and left out inside. Their disconnection from themselves leads to their disconnection from others, resulting in loneliness.
Practicing Inner Bonding Can Heal Loneliness
I have seen over and over with the countless people I’ve worked with and heard from over email, how they no longer feel lonely as they learn to love themselves rather than continue to reject and abandon themselves. It’s my experience that within every lonely person is a self-abandoning person – which means that lonely people can do something about being lonely.
As they learn to see, value and love themselves, they feel more confident in reaching out to others, and since we all attract at our common level of self-abandonment or self-love, they attract open and caring people into their lives.
If you think about it, it makes sense that the more a person stops leaving themselves alone and leaving themselves out regarding compassionately attending to their feelings and taking loving action for themselves, the more attractive they are to others.
In Addition To The Pain Of Isolation, Loneliness Can Cause Illness
“Loneliness has health consequences. ‘There's a blurred line between mental and physical health,’ says David Cordani (President and CEO of Cigna Corp., who contracted much of this research). ‘Oftentimes, medical symptoms present themselves and they're correlated with mental, lifestyle, behavioral issues like loneliness.’
“Several studies in recent years, including ones by Holt-Lunstad, have documented the public health effect of loneliness. It has been linked with a higher risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. It has been shown to influence our genes and our immune systems, and even recovery from breast cancer.
“And there is growing evidence that loneliness can kill. ‘We have robust evidence that it increases risk for premature mortality,’ says Holt-Lunstad. Studies have found that it is a predictor of premature death, not just for the elderly, but even more so for younger people.”
Obviously, it doesn’t have to be this way. Everyone CAN learn to manage their loneliness in ways that bring about healing rather than the pain of isolation and illness. In the past, when people lived in communities without TV, fractured families and social media, loneliness was rarely an issue. Today, we each need to make sure that we are taking loving care of ourselves through our Inner Bonding practice so that we don’t ‘die of loneliness.’
I hope you can see that, by diligently practicing Inner Bonding, you don’t have to end up feeling alone, sick and lonely.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support for learning to love yourself.
Send this article to a friend Print this article Bookmarked 0 time(s)
|What Is The Message of Loneliness?|
|The Difference Between Aloneness and Loneliness|
|Managing Loneliness and Heartbreak|
|Loneliness versus Solitude|
Join the Inner Bonding Community to add your comment to articles and see the comments of others...
Information about you from another's wounded self is always about control rather than about love. It is not helpful to you, even if it is accurate. It is loving to you to let others know that you do not want information about yourself unless you ask for it. Ask for it only from people who have your highest good at heart, not from people who have an agenda for you. Ask for it from people who have a strong loving adult.
By Dr. Margaret Paul