This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is focusing on loneliness.

BBC’s Tim Muffett reported that experts claim that loneliness can be twice as deadly as obesity.  And Mind recognises that loneliness can have a significant impact on mental health and it can contribute to mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.  The pandemic and lockdowns (not being able to see people) have certainly not helped either over the last couple of years.

We do all feel lonely from time to time but everyone’s experience of loneliness will be different.  Loneliness is not always the same as being alone.    You may choose to be alone and live happily without much contact with other people, while others may find this a lonely experience.  Certain lifestyles and the stresses of daily life can make some people socially isolated and vulnerable to loneliness.  If you are feeling anxious and depressed, this can also make you feel lonely. 

What can you do to help with your loneliness?

  • Don’t compare yourself to others – it can help to just be aware that things are not always what they seem from the outside.  Social media doesn’t help when you see people sharing their busy lives but remember we only see what other people want us to see!
  • Ring an old friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to for some time, have a good catch up, get those feel-good chemicals flowing.  Arrange to meet up with them if you can.
  • Make new connections – Join a class or group based on your hobbies or interests. Or join a Facebook or Meetup group focused on your passions and meet people online with the same interests as you.
  • Volunteering is a good way of meeting people. Helping others can also really help improve your own mental health at the same time.
  • Self-care is always a good idea, but especially when you are feeling down. Eating nutritious food, exercising, and getting enough sleep will make you feel better in the long term – and added bonus, if you join a workout class or running club for example, it will also increase your social interaction.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol – Turning to the “comfort” of alcohol or drugs becomes a way of coping with feeling alone – it’s a way to numb that pain.  But longer term, it can be destructive.
  • Keep busy – distract yourself from those feelings of loneliness by getting on with the gardening or home improvement project or catching up with paperwork.
  • Reach out for help – make an appointment with your GP. Talking therapies can help as well as talking to friends and family about your feelings of loneliness
  • Hypnotherapy breaks the negative cycle of thinking.  It teaches you coping skills for dealing with different problems.  Hypnotherapy will help you with your confidence and self-esteem by focusing on positive thoughts, beliefs and attitudes.

If you would like an initial consultation to understand more about how hypnotherapy can help you, please contact Jo on 07904 500307 or email info@jofisherhypnotherapy.org.