Life Beyond 50
Why are we so lonely?
It’s quite distressing to realise that 60% of Australians regularly feel lonely. Loneliness is rarely noticed yet has become an epidemic. On a recent Today telecast I watched a segment about “WHY ARE WE SO LONELY?” and it got my attention. It’s not something we like to talk about much, and I think it’s about time we did.
What’s created this widespread global loneliness?
In an era where job losses are more and more frequent, relationships break down, people with disabilities are often isolated and ignored, people in poor health and living alone, some are even lonely in their marriages and feel so disconnected and invisible.
A biggie that is emerging, feeling disconnected as a result of the high tech low touch on-line connection now so prolifically available. That in itself has been a game-changer in the way we predominantly communicate and market with ease to each other however, the fall-out has been felt deeply at a heart level. We often just don’t know how lonely we are and just don’t know what to do with it.
Why do most people not like to admit they are lonely?
People feel shame because they feel lonely. Why shame? It’s hard to admit they’re feeling lonely as they have felt perhaps criticism and judgement from others that they are perceived as being weak, needy, co-dependent, quiet and keeping to themselves, secretive, won’t socialize with anyone. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Are we willing to connect to our loneliness? There comes a time when we have to have the hard conversations. What is lying beneath the temper tantrums, the depression, the teariness, the despair, when people “act out”, hurt themselves and others?
Loneliness occurs in all walks of life, in all wealth brackets, in both men and women, children, teenagers, mums and dads, business owners, people with great responsibility and a heavy burden, the unemployed, the carers and the cared for. It’s astounding that 40% of people in nursing homes never receive a visitor in a whole year! That breaks my heart.
Elderly are lonely and disconnected from their families.
Young ones are on-line at home and at school, and the art of communication is becoming a dying art. The by-product of on-line exposure is that kids think it’s real life. It actually creates anxiety as they don’t know how to relate to each other in Real Life. Perhaps getting a life could be the way to go here. People just seem to be too busy to relate to each other in a human to human way, eye to eye, touch to touch, smile to smile. Even in a room full of people we can still feel lonely.
Loneliness is different from being alone, and being comfortable with your alone-ness and time out. We all need to have our own space and calm the farm, but long-term chronic isolation and loneliness is a mental health hazard.
Loneliness causes stress, anxiety, depression and compromises our immune system.
Suicide is on the rise. Not enough connection can make you feel ill. What do I mean by connection? Some may say “I’m overwhelmed with people around me everywhere, demanding my time and my energy. I want to be alone and have nothing to do with people. I want to go and live in a cave.” That’s a man feeling lonely and unsupported and disconnected. Having a long cuddle, no words are necessary, hold hands and going for a walk is connection.
When a baby watches his mothers face for eye contact, wanting connection as he doesn’t have the language to ask for what he wants. His brain lights up, when he experiences it as a baby and never stops all the way through his life, looking for that happy, contented, safe and secure connection.
Also, regrettably if they are a victim of abuse in any form, if they are the only ones who can see the truth, there is nothing more lonely than not be able to speak your truth without fear of reprisal, criticism or judgement.
Lonely people don’t care how much you know, they just want to know how much you care.
How do we fix it? Start with your family. Your partner, your loved ones, young and old. More high touch, low tech. More eye contact, conversation, touch, doing “coffee”, spending time not money, having a drink, drop by for a cuppa, showing interest, giving a hug, a hand shake, a smile, give recognition, ask a question, and LISTEN.
If you are the lonely one, and I think we all are even if for a short time, move your physiology, put your shoes on, walk around the house, down the street, smile, join groups, reach out to others online, do something every day to increase your confidence and take your life back.
Want to chat about it?
PS. Before you leave, be sure to download the Free E-Book. You can get it now at the top right hand corner of this page. My Warmest Wishes. Trish
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Many years ago I remember my mother telling me that time goes so quickly, life changes constantly, and we are all here for such a short time.
Although at the time she was already in her late forties, she still felt the same as she did when she was a teenager and a younger woman. Of course, I thought I knew everything at that age, (yes, whatever!), so I just dismissed the notion.
It took me several years to understand what she was saying. When I really took a good long look at myself in the mirror, I saw a woman who was very familiar to me, but different to the girl I remember. My body shape and hair colour had changed, my clothes were different, but I still felt the same. Or so I thought.
But something had changed.
Over the years I had worn so many hats I lost sight of my purpose, my essence and who I really was through those life changes. What happened to that tall slim girl who used to play hockey at school, compete in Dressage events and was generally having one big active life in rural NSW?
Life Changes Are Inevitable.
Life happens to us all and as time passes, there are inevitably changes: in our bodies, our relationships, our finances, our identities and beliefs. Some are positive and ever-evolving, and sometimes it just sucks!
All around me there have been births, deaths and marriages, long lasting relationships- some starting, some ending, fun and laughter, and ultimately, there have been upheavals. Believe it or not, the upheavals are a wonderful invitation for personal growth. It also presents a choice of how we respond to it, and our beliefs from the past create our present.
Deep within each of us is a system from which we create meaning. It’s a constant part of our identity that is trying to keep us safe by creating meaning around events and experiences we encounter as we proceed through life. These meanings are born during childhood however, much of the meaning we create has been based on false conclusions interpreted when we were children.
I was no exception. I figured I already had sorted out a lot of crap long ago however, there were more surprises and disappointments, and one for me was accepting that there were still some things I just could not change. It was out of my hands, and always had been, and the only thing I could change was myself and how I responded. It was brought to me as a gift packaged as an adversity.
I was in charge of my own outcomes, and now I needed embrace it, be grateful for the gift, and love my life with creativity, courage and compassion.
Here are a few steps which may inspire you to overcome self-limiting beliefs, rediscover your beauty and brilliance, create the intimate relationship connections you crave and feel sexy at any age.
- Give yourself permission to move from being a young woman to mature-womanhood with acceptance and grace while retaining your dignity, vitality and “sexy”.
- Visualise how you want to “become”. If you can see it, you can achieve it and bring it into your reality.
- Make yourself “Bullet Proof”. You can’t stop people from rejecting you but you can stop rejection getting in.
- Recognise that there will be some people who will resist your changes. Stay grounded and focused on “Becoming You”.
- Remove all the negative beliefs before you install new ones. The mind cannot hold conflicting beliefs at the same time.
- Know you are Enough! All the love you need comes from within.
- 80% is good enough without being driven crazy with meeting self-imposed expectations that may not even be congruent with your authentic personality.
- Never give up. The only difference between the little shots and the big shots is the big shots kept shooting.
- Reward yourself with each step you take knowing that you are worth it.
You may have some trouble with some of these steps, and if you do, take one step at a time or select one that is most appropriate for you at this time. You will be taking giant steps in the right direction to creating and loving your life beyond 50. I’m always here to help
For more tips to help you launch into your Fabulous Second Fifty, be sure to download my Free e-Book. You can access it from the top of the page. Warmest wishes, Trish.