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- I am 51
Nobody should be lonely. People of all ages need connections that matter. But there are 9 million lonely people in the UK.
The information and resources on this have been informed by 'Ending Loneliness Together', an incorporated body and registered charity created by a national network of universities and industry partners.
Thank you for ing up for the R U OK? Every few weeks we'll send you conversation tips and the latest news from our staff, experts and supporters. Find Help. Creating a world where everyone feels connected and that they belong. What is loneliness? Loneliness is not the same as being alone.
Common causes of loneliness in a relationship
You can choose to be alone or have periods of solitude and be happy and content with that decision, while some people would feel lonely doing this. Others may have partners, friends and lots of social contacts but still feel lonely. Loneliness however can lead to poor health and wellbeing when a person feels distressed about their social situation. Loneliness is not in itself a mental health problem. But, being lonely increases our chances of poor mental health and having a mental illness increases our chances of experiencing loneliness.
Feeling lonely is a common response to stressful events. The COVID pandemic has meant that we are all learning to adapt — through physical distancing, quarantine and self-isolation — to keep our community safe. This situation is unusual: it challenges how we think, act, and feel. Some people will be experiencing new feelings of loneliness that they are finding difficult to manage.
Before the pandemic we know that around 1 in 4 Australians were already feeling lonely. People who were already feeling lonely may find that their loneliness has become worse.
Ending loneliness by working together
Why we need to reduce loneliness. Persistent feelings of loneliness: increase your risk of poor physical health e.
It can negatively affect school and work performance. Long- term loneliness is associated with: Increases in workplace errors Decreases in workplace efficiency and productivity Decreased achievement at school Lower team cooperation and cohesion. Tips for managing loneliness.
Experiencing loneliness reminds us that we are human and we need to connect with others including those outside our network of family and friends. Many people find it difficult to talk about feeling lonely and worry about how others will respond.
Campaign to end loneliness
The stigma of loneliness can mean some do not receive the help they need. If you're not lonely how can you help others? Start a conversation by asking R U OK? Reaching out with a wave, a smile and a friendly word to the people you meet at the shops, down at the beach or in your neighbourhood can be the first step to helping someone in your community feel a little less lonely. Telling a lonely person what to do is not going to be very helpful.
Instead you should listen and try to understand why people feel isolated. Often the solution might be to reach out in a respectful way so they do feel included. Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is to ask people what is happening in their lives and ask them to share what is their experience. By doing so and then genuinely listening to what a person says, you can show them that someone is interested, someone does care and that there is real value in making the effort to relate socially to others.
Consider support and services
If you are lonely what can you do to help yourself? Recognise and acknowledge that you are feeling lonely. This is the first step towards achieving change. Be aware of what grabs your attention.
Loneliness changes the way we focus on things. It makes us think more negatively about our relationships. So be mindful of this and counteract any unhelpful thoughts, and redirect your focus to the needs and feelings of others. Sending the right message to others. Loneliness makes us feel vulnerable and may lead to unclear messages to others. But you can reach out in a way that feels comfortable.
Let others know that you want to reach out because you enjoy having a chat with them or catching up with them. Nurture relationships that are rewarding to you. Put time and effort into them so that they continue to flourish.
Related member resources
Find things to do that you enjoy. We know that positive emotions can help dampen stress and broaden your perspective on the world, which can help provide a wider range ideas to consider when tackling your loneliness. Share your interests with like-minded people. For some people, socialising in groups with shared interests paves the way to building more meaningful relationships and an increased sense of meaning.
Be persistent. Tackling loneliness is a marathon rather than a sprint.
Repeatedly challenging your negative thoughts and feelings can help you develop new, more positive habits. First name.
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Together to end loneliness
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