People are connected to one another in ways people thirty years ago would have never imagined. Twitter. FaceTime. Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. Google Chat. With an app on their smart phone, people can video chat with people on the other side of the world. At any time of day, a grandpa in Daytona, Florida can check the latest pictures his granddaughter has posted on Instagram. Best friends in different cities can stay up-to-date on how each other is doing through Facebook, and spouses who travel can still have dinner together through FaceTime. And yet, despite all these ways to connect, people are feeling disconnected and lonely. Research, in fact, has documented that loneliness and isolation are on the rise, and social media may be a contributor.
Just as people can be in a crowded room and feel alone, so can people be online and feel isolated. Feeling emotionally connected to people involves far more than being able to reach them through a social media or smart phone app. People want to be known in deeper ways than through a carefully curated social media page. People need to share themselves—all their fears and doubt as well as their joys and successes—with people who will accept and love them. Similarly, people need to do the same for their loved ones. When people feel emotionally disconnected, they may feel unloved and lonely.
“The most terrible poverty is loneliness,
and the feeling of being unloved.” —Mother Teresa
The feelings of isolation people are experiencing are significant mental health challenges. Modern society, in many ways, makes establishing a support network and a deep community more difficult, but many people are overcoming these obstacles. They are learning how to establish deep relationships, and they are often working with a counselor or coach as they do.
More and more clients are reaching out to Thriveworks Atlanta in Sandy Springs because feeling isolated and alone. They are ready to pursue meaningful and deep relationships, and with the help of our professionals, they are doing just that.
A Few Ways to Fight Loneliness
If you feel discouraged and isolated, know that many people are fighting the loneliness epidemic. They are prioritizing healthy relationships and their support network. Community can be grown and established—it is not a fixed quantity. Here are a few ways to do so…
Tip #1: Turn off the television.
Think of the most famous shows of all time… MASH, Parks and Rec, Stranger Things, Cheers, Frasier, The Big Bang Theory, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Scrubs, Friends, Seinfeld, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Gilmore Girls, Modern Family, Sex and the City… to list a few.
These shows have very different characters, settings, and plots, but they have something very important in common: relationships. In many ways, people are drawn to these shows because the depict the deep community people want in their real lives. Fans, at times, can feel personally connected to show and the characters. Unfortunately, watching community on TV does not translate into experiencing community in real life.
A better approach is to turn off the TV and spend that time with loved ones. Instead of watching TV friends guide each other through relational challenges, ask your friend how the date went this weekend. Instead of watching families navigate the challenges of parenting, set up a fun activity with your children. Instead of watching friends live their lives together, ask your friends if they would be interested in getting apartments in the same building.
People rarely miss the screen time when they replace it with time with their loved ones. In the process, they are also gaining deeper friendships and healthier community with their family. Feelings of loneliness may likely be lowered as well.
Tip #2: Pursue a Few Inner Circle Friends.
No every person in your life will be a best friend, but everyone should have a few friendships that go deep. Inner circle friends…
- Can relate to each other beyond the context where they first met. Being soccer moms or co-workers or CrossFit junkies or book club members or [fill-in-the-blank] may have brought you together, but once the original connection was established, it grew.
- Do not need an activity or a crowd to be together. Good friends are going to go to parties together. They are going to get manicures or organize a poker night. But they will also ditch the crowds and the activities at times in favor of just being together.
- Trust each other with their real lives. Inner circle friends do not have to impress each other or hide from each other. They share joys and successes without judgment, jealousy, or bitterness.
Build Deeper Relationships—Sandy Springs, GA Counseling
Many people are experiencing the toll a disconnect social takes. They may feel lonely and isolated, but many people are working for their community. They are prioritizing relationships and building connections. Many are also working with a coach or counselor for guidance.
If you are ready to make an appointment with a counselor or coach about the loneliness you feel, then Thriveworks Atlanta is ready for you. We take most forms of insurances. There are no waitlists, but we offer evening and weekend appointments.
Let’s fight loneliness together. Contact Thriveworks Atlanta today.