Loneliness is often defined as a subjective feeling of being alone regardless of the amount of social contact or number of existing relationships. It is possible to still feel lonely even if you are surrounded by people. In a 2018 report by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 22 percent of adults in the United States said they often or always feel lonely or socially isolated.
Loneliness can be a vicious cycle. When we feel lonely, we may fear being judged by others or think that something is wrong with us so we hide our true feelings and avoid reaching out to others, which in turn contributes to the loneliness. This fear or shame to talk about loneliness adds to the stigma surrounding loneliness and makes it harder for people to seek the social connections they need.
To reduce the stigma around loneliness we must talk about it and invest time, energy and intention in connecting with others. Here are a few Hello4Health™ resources to help you begin the conversation about loneliness and be a good listener.
Ways to connect with people
Build your wellness and social connections through fun activities available on Hello4Health.org. We know not everyone has the social supports and skills to stay connected; our tools are here to meet you wherever you are on your social-connection journey.