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  • Written by Eric North aka “The Happiness Warrior”

We all go through periods in our lives when we can feel unwanted, friendless, detached, and rejected. It might feel devastating and make us want to retreat and hide even further. If we’re lucky it can provide us a glimpse of self-awareness and honesty that we’ve always tried to ignore and hide. As much as we might not want to admit, the illogical illusion of insecurity is something that destroys our chance of finding true happiness and limits the scope of our lives. It’s a fear without any reason in a world where we are constantly challenged with change and disruption.

The studies are in and the results are less than hopeful. Loneliness is on the rise here in the United States and most other countries. More and more elderly people live alone and rarely see or talk to another human. Divorce is happening at a later age and more people are suddenly finding themselves living alone without a strong social support network. The statistics are troubling, and we see it’s poignance in our daily lives.

I believe that most of this is reflected in how we view ourselves and live under a constant state of fear and apprehension. This causes us to retreat further and inhibits us from asking for the happier and more connected life that we deserve. We are taught to worship others at the expense of our own needs and values. 

We often live in the way we see the world through the lens of chaos, inertia, and confusion. We’re increasingly controlled by the system and decisions and ideology are forced upon us. We place too much attachment on self-created and negative emotions that further divide us from our soul.

We live in a world where we’re failing to think for ourselves. A world where many of our leaders are serial liars and oligarchic despots. People who gain from our divisions and seek to further push us apart. Loneliness is a natural outcome of this mindset and paradigm that we don’t deserve. As The Happiness Warrior, I know we can do better and create the world that we dream of. One step in the right direction every day creates purpose and momentum.

Our ability to understand loneliness is found within ourselves in our own life patterns and experiences. If loneliness is defined by the intense need to be with other humans, why do we try so hard to fight our very nature? In a world that desperately needs more unity, why are we so afraid to come together? If the truth is so important why do we go to such great lengths to hold it back?

All humans are relatives of one another. The same origin and beginning. We are all on this planet together and need each other to survive.

As The Happiness Warrior, I believe in absolute kindness and empathy for others. Some may not be worthy, but it’s not for me to judge. It’s easy enough to move on and go where we are wanted and appreciated.

In a perfect world, we would seek to understand each other better and listen to another’s story and ideas without spewing hate. We gain knowledge and wisdom when we are together and suffer emotionally more when we are alone and apart. It’s good to know and understand the joy of solitude but loneliness is tearing our world apart.

Fear is the common denominator of most of our trauma and misery. It keeps us locked in our solitary ways of thinking and further pushes us apart. Perhaps the worst fear of all is being neglected and ignored. The paralyzing fear that comes when we worry that we’ll be left out and forgotten.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE LONELY

Every day I tell myself that I will not succumb to fear and try to live my life in harmony with my core values and authenticity. I’m never lonely because I know I can always make a new friend and share a smile or sign of acknowledgement. There’s always a human who needs a happy face or a friendly word of support and recognition. It doesn’t cost us anything and cumulatively it makes a difference. Remember that showing up for our own lives is how we help educate and inspire others.

GIVING BACK IS EVERYTHING

The best cure for loneliness is to give back without any reason or motivation. Be kind and listen, help when it’s appropriate, and always be an example of hope and reason. There’s more to our insular lives when we become more at peace with ourselves and our intentions. Learn the peaceful feeling that comes from giving without expecting anything back.

Volunteering is the perfect way to make new connections and find more purpose. More purpose creates more passion, and this creates a new version of ourselves. This raises self-confidence and changes our perspective of how we see ourselves and relate to the world around us. Volunteering helps give us a level playing field to use our natural gifts and gain more empathy and wisdom.

Loneliness is on the rise and chaos is its natural condition. We must realize that in order to save ourselves we must seek the greater good for all. Everyone has a part to play, no exceptions and no conditions.

DEFINING ALONE

Loneliness is a feeling that can produce deep feelings of emotional suffering from the pain of being separated and disconnected. It’s almost as if fear replaces rational and intelligent thinking and the decline can be rapid and make us feel like we’re being split apart and absent from other’s lives.

It reflects a state of insecure attachment and challenges our societal bonds. In almost a blink of an eye we can feel that we are forgotten and left behind. Loneliness prevents us from building social strengths that enhance our sense of well-being and enhances our cognitive and innate life skills. It can dampen our power to believe in ourselves and darken our existence. Motivation is lessened and life can feel like a tedious vacuum where nothing changes, and we feel that we don’t belong.

ALONESSS IS A CONCEPT

The concept of aloneness is a central tenant in both Western and Eastern religious and meditative systems. When we feel the spirit and value that comes from the practice of aloneness we can trust ourselves to be our best advocates. We can experience the trust and peace that comes with knowing we are complete within ourselves without need for validation of others.

One of the greatest benefits to practicing aloneness is the ability to trust in ourselves and feel at peace when we intentionally choose solitude. With this comes greater mental acuity and personal strength. Time alone is never time wasted if we know in our heart that we are complete in our personal truth and ability to live in authenticity. The ability to be still and practice solitude makes us more trustworthy and authentic to others.

WE ARE NEVER INCOMPLETE

Loneliness is often exacerbated by deep rooted and unhealthy self-created negative emotions that cause us much harm. Greed, envy, and jealousy are always the underlying causes. We live in a world where we are constantly assaulted by messages that undermine our self-worth and make us feel consciously inferior and unworthy.  If we’ve ever experienced any of these emotions we know the cost of our feelings of self-worth and authenticity. We know they are unhealthy and yet we keep on doing them. They cause us to feel more anxious and distracted. They are irrational and we can only fight them in our consciousness. All it takes is one step to be honest with ourselves and demand that we do better.

The walls fall and we become more attractive to others in our truthful vulnerability. We begin to connect and find that life has more joyful opportunities. We learn to love ourselves as we begin to trust and value others. It’s a cycle that can change and grow with time and practice. The ability to join and lead others to greater life satisfaction and happiness.

Envy and jealousy are so closely tied together and only cause us great spiritual and personal harm. They can devour us with single-minded intensity. They are used by the minds that seek to control us to divide and fully conquer our best nature. They make us uglier than we deserve to be and unhappy in every thought and function. The powers that seek to control us are hard at work in the background sowing the seeds of further hubris and obstruction.  We need to see ourselves clearly and live in truth to remove this cancer. Self-awareness is our greatest power. Only when we can see the good in ourselves can we relent from this evil path and become our best creation.

LONELINESS IS A HEALTH DISASTER

When we are lonely and feel out of touch with others life tends to start losing its meaning and we find ourselves indulging in more unhealthy activities and guilty pleasures. Cheat meals, comfort food, and long days in front of our screens. We lose sight of the real world and get lost in a world that’s not real or substantial. We lose the mind/body connection and start to feel more alone, angrier, and helpless.

Acute loneliness has been shown to:

-          Raise blood pressure.

-          Increase instances of heart disease.

-          Increase chances of being obese.

-          Weakens immune system function and increases chronic inflammation.

-          Exacerbate anxiety and depression.

-          Accelerate cognitive decline and hearing loss.

-          Increase risk of earlier onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

-          Increased morbidity and lower life expectancy.

People who experience chronic loneliness often feel great emotional pain from their past mistakes and regrets which translates to increased physical pain and serious injuries. They have been taught by societal impulses to focus on the pain and celebrate victimhood rather than concentrating on forgiveness and healing. They become increasingly isolated and act out their frustrations on their keyboards and outward signs of aggression and dysfunction.  They wonder why no one wants to hear them while becoming more disassociated and mean to themselves and others. They’ve lost the ability to feel good about themselves and seek social isolation.

STRATEGIES TO COPE AND THRIVE

1.       Silencing our inner critic and learning to practice self-awareness is the way to learn to love ourselves. Be gentle and forgiving in subconscious thoughts and feel happier and more alive.

2.       Be kind to others and focus on actions that have meaning. Generosity leads to greater feelings of gratitude and belonging. Creating good feelings and smiles is infectious.

3.       Plan ahead and search ahead for the times and dates that can trigger bad memories or feelings. Turn it around and plan something fun that changes the story. It’s up to us and only to us to change our mindset and attitude.

4.       Adopting a pet can help us form a family connection. The extra company can be a big comfort when we’re feeling lonely and make us feel more loving and secure with our ability to care for and nourish something besides ourselves.

5.       Use social media wisely and don’t rely on online friendships to create a digital friend network. Reality and face-to-face contact will make life seem less superficial.

6.       Rediscover and focus time on a new hobby that provides satisfaction and introspection. A hobby that produces items that others enjoy is a way to connect through our artistic vision and draw others into our orbit with similar interests and passions.

7.       Reconnect with others and check in with them periodically. A kind word and a laugh with an old accomplice or trusted friend is worth its weight in gold.

8.       Finding our purpose is more than a solitary mission and creates value in our own life and the world around us. Purpose creates connection and influence. Loneliness is abated when we share our knowledge and wisdom with others.

9.       Take a walk and say good morning and or hello to everyone you encounter. A cheerful acknowledgement of respect with a stranger is how we close the door on societal created hate and division. When I go out into the world I tell myself that “I like everyone”. Nothing lifts our spirit more than generosity from our soul.

10.   Moving as much as we are capable of is the most natural and life-affirming way to raise our spirit and vibration. Outdoors is best but anything is better than nothing. Start with short bursts that raise heart rate and body temperature. Every small effort is collaborative, 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there can change our mood and provide life-changing benefits.

Loneliness is a true worldwide epidemic and something that we can conquer by self-awareness and learning to love and understand ourselves better. When we can remove our egos and need for validation we can become our most authentic being. All humans deserve to be happy and forgiving.

Happiness comes from within, but it’s infinite and life enhancing when it’s shared with others. Be a warrior for happiness and help us become united.

Together we are stronger and more powerful than when we are one.

Eric North

IG  @TheHappinessWarrior1
www.thehappinesswarrior1.com

Eric North The Happiness Warrior

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