If you are feeling lonely, know you are not alone.  Everyone feels lonely occasionally even in the middle of the crowd.  And loneliness can happen at any age.  Young adults are at risk when they leave school and their parents' home and move into their own home for the first time.  Retirees may feel particularly lonely when they no longer have a daily routine and lose workplace relationships.  Married people may feel lonely during rough patches in a relationship.

    Unfortunately, loneliness can spiral downward into the three D's of defensiveness, desperation and depression.  These, in turn, can push people away and cause even more loneliness.

     Defensiveness actually separates lonely people from others.  If you are feeling lonely, take the time to look at your own behavior.  Look at what could be limiting your ability to establish relationships.  Sometimes some tweaking of your social skills is all that is needed to feel less lonely.  Do you go places to meet people?  When was the last time you accepted an invitation or attended a social function?  Do you join in conversations already taking place?  Release the defensiveness and see how you can reach out to others. Taking a class or joining a volunteer group can be a great way to meet new people and do something positive for yourself and others.

    Desperation occurs when people feel that lack of social connections.  But often the best cure for loneliness is not meeting new people, it is deepening the relationships you already have.  Reach out to the people you already know.  Reconnect.  Go through your address book or emails and reconnect. Find old high school, college friends or co-workers. Then make a real effort to stay reconnected.

    Depression can happen when loneliness becomes overwhelming and the person simply gives up.  They begin to believe that it's impossible to be anything but lonely and become very pessimistic.  They step into the "why bother" mode - why bother to try to make a new friend, why bother to reach out to someone,  why bother to attend a social event.  Of course, you will likely not meet your soul mate or your future best friend at every event.  But, if you are lonely, step out of the loneliness box of your home and into the world of possibility.

    If you need help to release the defensiveness, desperation and depression that can be triggered by loneliness, a clinical hypnotherapist using brief therapy can help you to step out into a better and happier future.  Hypnotherapy can help you BE WELL.