By “increasing population” she means the approximately 42.6 million adults over age 45 in the United States who are believed to suffer from chronic loneliness, research says. “These trends suggest that Americans are becoming less socially connected and experiencing more loneliness,” added Holt-Lunstad.
How to Combat Loneliness
So, how does one combat loneliness? The answer could be as simple as visiting your local recreation center, the study states. “Greater emphasis could be placed on social skills training for children in schools and doctors should be encouraged to include social connectedness in medical screening,” Holt-Lunstad said.
Additionally, people should prepare for retirement socially as well as financially, as many social ties are related to the workplace, Holt-Lunstad noted. She added community planners should make sure to include shared social spaces that encourage gathering and interaction, such as recreation centers and community gardens.
Other ways to get up, get out, and interact include:
Get help: Understand that loneliness is a feeling and not a fact. Because it can be painful, plugging into care, rather than withdrawing from others is a first step.
Read Fiction: A whole new world, full of adventure, colorful characters and possibly the inspiration needed to discover the powerful creature inside you, awaits.
Try a hobby: You are not alone. Love hiking, biking, running, even knitting? Identify and join groups with common interests – a natural basis for the beginning of a friendship.
Volunteer: Everyone has a passion. Find a way to lend your time with a movement or organization that aligns with what makes you tick.