How to Remove Loneliness

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According to the Mayo Clinic, friends are key to good health: "Friends prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too." Many individuals find it difficult to maintain or create relationships during their working life because career is a priority. With some effort to nurture your current friendships and to engage in activities with new people, you can begin to strengthen personal connections and remove loneliness from your life.

Get out in your neighborhood. Take your pets for walks and chat with people you meet along the way. Spending time with your puppy in a dog walking park, for example, will lead you to meet other dog walkers who share your experiences and interests.

Volunteer in the community. Your hospital, community center or local branches of well-known charitable organizations will all have volunteer positions available. If you devote time on a regular basis, you'll develop a rapport with others who do the same. If you are interested in community action, sign up with a group devoted to a cause you feel strongly about.

Take a class or join a faith community. Going to school will enhance your skills or give you the chance to experience something you've never tried, like learning Japanese or vegetarian cooking. You'll also engage with others learning the same thing. If you once belonged to a faith group but your attendance has fallen off, make it a point to start going again.

Engage with others during your work breaks. Instead of using coffee time or lunch to do errands, share a meal with a coworker or friend. You may discover you come back to your job more productive than if you'd been on the go.

Say "Yes" when you are invited to a social function. Many people decline invites because of awkwardness or fear. Time spent at a social function can help you to overcome these insecurities and will go a long way toward removing loneliness. If someone invites you to do something, accept, and then invite that person to do something in the future.

Refrain from depending on the Internet to develop social connections. Laura Pappano, author of "The Connection Gap: Why Americans Feel So Alone" discussed the myth that online interaction is a substitute for face-to-face contact. She said, "The Internet can connect us to more people than ever before. But multiplying the numbers of interactions we have does not mean we are connecting more." Citing research, the Mayo Clinic also states that increased online interaction does not lead to closer offline relationships.

Nurture your current friendships. In your rush to make new friends, don't forget about those you already have. The Mayo Clinic recommends adopting a positive life outlook. An excessive amount of complaining can harm a friendship. Becoming a supportive friend and attentive listener can go a long way toward keeping valued friends in your life.