Added: Alichia Nisbett - Date: 25.05.2022 14:29 - Views: 33099 - Clicks: 4609
First, validate their feelings.
For a variety of reasons, the end of the year can be a tricky time for people to navigate their feelings. This year especially, those feelings of loneliness are likely to be exacerbated by the fact that many people were not able to travel home to see their families. What happens when your BFF calls and says they are feeling particularly lonely, isolated, or missing you? We tapped two experts for helpful words and actions you can use to make them feel less alone.
Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, mental health expert, and author of the upcoming book Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess. She says that we know instinctively that we need each other, and that's often where those feelings of loneliness come from: a place of a deficit from not having those important interactions. Most importantly, Dr. It increases the risk of premature mortality among all ages, and one recent study even indicated that social isolation and loneliness kill more people than obesity. She says that we see evidence in science that isolation and loneliness lead to negative changes in brain and body health, down to the level of our DNA.
Fortunately, this plays out in both directions; loneliness can cause damage, but dealing with loneliness can heal damage. Shasta Nelson, friendship expert and author of The Business of Friendship: Making the Most of the Lonely and freindship Where We Spend Most of Our Timesays that the best way to start with a friend who has let you know they are feeling lonely is to validate their feelings.
According to her, our capacity for relationships are incredibly personal, with some people craving more interaction than others, but the last thing we want to do is try to talk the other person out of listening to their body by thinking we need to cheer them up or point out all the friends they have. This would be an example of toxic positivity and is not helpful to someone who is feeling lonely. Instead, Nelson suggests asking questions that prompt your friend to reflect on their needs.
Next, Nelson likes to use what she calls the two A's: affirm and ask. Once they have reflected on why they're feeling the way they are, start by affirming to your friend that you are there for them by literally saying, "I'm here for you. Then, you can follow up by asking a question.
Is there anything you can think of right now that I could say or that we could do that would feel meaningful? Nelson explains that by doing this, we are able to learn from each other what actions leave the people in our lives feeling most supported. Think of it almost as exploring your friendship love language.
The importance of reaching out when we feel like we need connection can't be stressed enough. And Dr. Leaf says that even if it's only online or over video chat, letting your friend know you're on the other side of the phone can be incredibly helpful. Get creative and make a plan to do something fun with your friend digitally. It will give them something to look forward to and make them feel included, even if you are physically apart. Mackenzie Dunn Dec 28, am. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team.
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‘Most of My Friendships Were Toxic, But Now I’m So Lonely!’