A sense of belonging is one of the most important aspects of a person well being. Whether we develop a sense of belonging through friends, family, work or nationally. Without an environment of belongings, people can then feel lonely, a topic many rarely talk about.
The loneliness public health crisis is as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and can lead to heart disease, dementia, and high blood pressure.
Loneliness in the western world isn’t just occurring for seniors but young people as well. Loneliness can boil down to several factors in Canada, social media disconnecting us, poor planning of public spaces, or the seven month long winters. There are many more attributes that can be a catalyst for loneliness, but we are going to focus on how you can mitigate it.
So how can you build a sense of belonging, not just because the severe or mild loneliness is harmful towards your health but also so you can enjoy life?
Work On Acceptance
Do you find yourself complaining? Even if you are complaining to yourself? The world is not so grim. Happiness equals reality minus expectations. Though expectations and standards are beneficial because that means you know what you like & want, they can still damage your thought process throughout your daily life, in the short term and long term.
Not everyone can be an optimist but try to choose your internal battles more strategically. This does take a lot of work to overcome. A powerful, popular quote will help you visualise choosing your battles:
“If you had $86,400 in your bank account and someone stole $10 from you, would you be upset and throw the remaining amount $86,390 away?
You would move on.
We have 86,400 seconds each day. Don’t let a negative 10 seconds ruin your entire day.”
Many lonely people, when confronted with an opportunity to do something, will often say “No” and come up with an excuse why they can not join a specified event. If you’re in a mental state where you are feeling down be more open to saying yes to social activity. Let go of preconceived judgments. Judgments build mental walls. If you’re invited out to dinner, don’t fixate on the noisy restaurant of the waiter that misplaced your order, focus on the company around you. Connecting with people is much more important than focusing on negatives.
A simple actionable you can take to make a difference is: think about the words and thoughts that you are portraying, the thoughts and words you say dictate your vision, some words promote togetherness and other separateness.
Make A Difference
The only one that can make a difference is you. External factors are not going to help you nearly as much as you can help yourself; you are in charge of your life’s actions. Getting out of your comfort zone will enlighten you to make a difference if you are in a lonely state. The comfort zone is a danger zone for people of all ages; all good things happen outside your daily routine comforts.
Many times the easiest thing is to be alone, but it can affect your long and short term health. Make an effort and surround yourself with like-minded people, it will benefit you, mentally and physically.