According to this PhysOrg.com article, two new studies from the University of Arizona (UA) have proven that having numerous superficial relationships make you susceptible to loneliness—and that the state of loneliness itself is largely based on perception.
In the first study, which dealt with the link between stress and loneliness, researchers found that people who felt lonely were less able to cope with daily stress, maintain their health, and get adequate sleep, as compared to people who did not experience loneliness. Lonely people also had fewer close relationships with others despite having large social networks on- and offline—indicating that quality, rather than quantity, is what is desirable in social interaction.
Researcher Stacey Passalacqua shares, “There are so many people we have in our day-to-day interactions. But the absence of close family members and close friends is something that should be taken seriously. Sometimes we don't realize how important these close relationships are to our health.”
Additionally, the second study, which addressed the effects of loneliness on health, found that lonely people did not get as much enjoyment or rejuvenation from leisure activities as their socially-happy counterparts. Those who experienced loneliness simply did not get a good enough recharge from exercise, sleep, or even a vacation.
The advice gleaned from both studies was this: people must take better care of their health and nurture meaningful relationships at the same time. Researcher Chris Segrin shares, “Perceptions are all it takes, and when you experience stress, it has a physiological effect on the body. The mind has such a powerful effect on the body and, really, our perceptions are going to shape our world.”
For the complete details of these two studies, read the full article on PhysOrg.com.
One of the most interesting things discovered by UA researchers was that “[t]he mere presence of a relationship is not always something that is going to lead to you feeling satisfied and supported.” Whether you are attached or unattached, loneliness has a way of creeping up on you, especially if you don’t take the necessary steps to check it. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a boyfriend around to serve as a buffer against the blues.
Are you a single gal trying to stave off loneliness? Here are a few suggestions to keep you from feeling alone. You’ll be painting the town red—not blue—in no time!
Click on the tips linked below to learn more about them, or simply keep reading!
- Keep a tight-knit circle of friends and family
- Meet new people
- Attend to your overall performance and well-being
- Develop your passions
- Celebrate yourself
Want to read up on more single girl's guides? Check out the articles linked below
- The Single Girl's Guide to Going out Alone
- The Single Girl's Guide to Traveling Alone
- The Single Girl’s Guide to Blind Dates
KEEP A TIGHT-KNIT CIRCLE OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY
As mentioned by the UA researchers, close ties with friends and family are imperative to fighting loneliness. Having meaningful relationships with people who care about you is key to keeping yourself happy, even when you are romantically unattached.
Make it a point to sit at the dinner table with your family and check in with everybody so that you are all aware of what is going right or wrong in each other’s lives. Also, make an effort to see your “core” friends—the ones whom you love, trust, and know deeply—every week so that you can keep your bonds intact.
If your schedule makes weekly meet-ups impossible, touch base through text, chat, or social networking sites. Remember, no matter how close you are to a certain person, distance changes everything—you’ve got to nurture every connection and above all, be consistent, to really get the best out of your relationships.
MEET NEW PEOPLE
Some people have a fear of rejection, while others are simply shy—but neither condition should be used as an excuse to avoid meeting people. This HubPages.com article encourages singles to “take the initiative to develop new relationships” as well as “develop a strategy to contact [these new friends]” in order to keep loneliness from becoming pervasive. While it shouldn’t be your goal to meet tons of people for the sake of being popular—the studies above have shown that this does not prevent loneliness—it is still a good practice to put yourself out there inside of being closed off from the rest of the world. You lose nothing by being sociable.
Still, that may be easier said than done, especially if you're shy by nature. Up-and-coming celebrity Carla Abellana used to have a problem with shyness as well, which she worked to get over; check out FN's tips on how you, too, can overcome this.
ATTEND TO YOUR OVERALL APPEARANCE AND WELL-BEING
Looking great is always an easy route to feeling great. Sign up for the gym and keep your body in shape—the endorphins that are triggered by exercise will also put you in a great mood. Dress for success whether you’re headed to the office, a barkada coffee date, or a ritzy family dinner—wearing flattering outfits as often as you can will boost your self-confidence. Pamper your skin so it stays soft and blemish-free, and get massages whenever you can squeeze them in—life is all about the simple pleasures, after all.
Trust us, when you take care of your health, hygiene, and physical appearance, you not only improve your well-being from the inside out, but you also attract others with your undeniable It-factor.
DEVELOP YOUR PASSIONS
Now is the time to figure out what you love to do and pursue it—you aren’t responsible for anyone else, so you get to skip all the drama about picking your hobbies over your significant other. This eZineArticles.com article suggests that you “revive dreams you’ve had and do something about them each day.”
Enroll in an art class if you’ve always dreamed of becoming a painter; participate in open mic nights if you fancy yourself a singer but never had the opportunity to shine; take some of your hard-earned cash and spend it on plane tickets to your dream destinations—the possibilities are endless! Best of all, you’ll meet folks who share the same interests as you, which makes them the ideal company to keep when you’re feeling a little down in the dumps.
In one Sex and the City episode, a married friend of the girls’ was rubbing her pregnancy in their faces—making these childless pals feel like lesser women. And what did Samantha Jones do? She threw herself a party—an “I’m not having a baby” party, that is! Here's the moral of the story: when faced with uncertainty and self-pity (two traits that are often triggered by loneliness), you’ve got to appreciate who you are as a person and make the most of what life has given you.
Celebrate your singlehood! Don’t shy away from being on your own—once you embrace it, you’ll see all the benefits that come with being unattached. Take off to Paris on a whim without having to consult with anyone else beforehand; dance with a different guy every weekend, and leave them breathless with your irrevocable independence; or simply relish the peace and quiet that greets you when you get home from a grueling day at work. Being alone doesn’t have to make you lonely—it only takes the right attitude to turn it into an ideal situation.
(Photo by chrisss via sxc.hu)