In a world where connectivity is the catch-cry, loneliness is an emotional epidemic. More people than ever before are experiencing the feeling of isolation.
While there's no doubt that loneliness can become more pronounced as we age and battle with change and loss, it's also a problem increasingly experienced by young adults and children.
As more and more avenues of communication are opened up to us offering the opportunity to link up, hook up and check-up, the more we close up and shut up.
Loneliness can rapidly degenerate into a mental health issue. It can force people into a situation where they exist within society but they withdraw from it. Their state of mind becomes their state of being.
Loneliness, however, is not part of the natural order. Isolation is not a predetermined mental destination. We are wired to be sociable. No man is an island.
It's altogether possible to live alone and yet remain connected to family and community.
Times of physical isolation don't have to equate to mental isolation and loneliness. We can pick and choose the thoughts we want to nurture to control the way we live and act and the things we believe.
Individuals are generally resilient and most minds are far stronger than their owners are willing to believe.
Change is only an effort away and the choice is ours and ours alone.
- Gary Bentley is a Rural Aid counsellor.
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