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Is Your Virtual Life Making You Lonely?

FRIENDS

Instead of recommending a green juice or supplement this week, I am asking that you step back from your computer and connect with a real live person. Thanksgiving is a time to drop our devices, look up and see each other. Rather than waiting until Thursday, let’s start now.

We are hardwired for connection. Our health is literally affected by the level of connection we experience with others.

Technology has served us well, yet with new forms of connection, it seems as though our person to person relationships are lacking as a result. We are lonelier than ever. Loneliness is now considered an epidemic of the 21st century.

Virtual friends may be good for your business and meeting new friends, yet real (person to person) relationships nourish the soul more than any “like” or comment on social media. Meaningful relationships are healthy – those with intimate relationships live longer and are healthier than those who identify as lonely (an eight year study by the University College London found a 26% death rate in individuals who identify as socially isolated). In fact, loneliness is a key factor to lowered immune function.

There is a real science behind our human need to connect!

We have replaced intimacy with simple connections, when physiologically, human beings were designed to thrive when connected with others on intimate levels. Well-rounded, healthy beings foster real relationships, and here are some simple ways you can make changes today:

Write a note.  Send a handwritten note to someone you care about.  Let them know you’re thinking of them and fill them in on what’s new with your life at the moment.

Identify what habits are keeping you lonely.  Notice your tendency to turn to technology when you feel the desire to connect. Can you get off the computer and go take a dance class or invite a friend from work out for yoga and juice.  Stepping outside of your comfort zone is GOOD for your health.

Commit to realness.  Share truthfully and vulnerably with people you love and trust. Rather than showing people what you want them to see, let it all out. Trust that they can and want to be with the real you.

Give thanks with friends.  It’s a week of giving thanks, I’m betting you will see a lot of people sharing what they’re thankful for.  This is a great time of year to personally tell those in your life that you are thankful for them.

I, for one, am beyond grateful for you. Thank you for being on this journey with me. You mean more to me than you may ever know.

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