Practice Positive: Feeling lonely? Maybe you need to put down the phone

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Humans crave connection. We all have an innate desire to belong, to connect. It is part of the human condition. We seek out others who share similar interests, beliefs, passions and hobbies.

So what do you do when you find yourself lacking this sense of connection? Sometimes we find ourselves in a new town and need to find new friends. Other times we discover that the people we used to share so much in common with, no longer satisfy that deep need to belong. Perhaps you have outgrown each other or they simply don’t have the same schedule as you now. The reasons for needing to find connection vary widely.

If you have ever felt this way, a disconnect or a lack of like-minded friends, you may be relieved to know that you are not alone. With the internet you have access to all sorts of options for finding the right people for you to connect with. It is as easy as doing a quick internet search.

You can join social groups on sites such as or look up local sport associations and get involved. You can donate your time by volunteering for a cause that you care about, and meet others like you while doing it. Perhaps you are an avid reader. Look up local book clubs, often listed on sites such as Craigslist or on your community library website.

Once you have found some great people to spend time with, make sure you use the time wisely. Human connection is integral for mental, emotional and even spiritual health. With the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets people are finding themselves feeling disconnected even when they are amongst friends and family. I have encountered this myself.

I recommend you set up a policy with your closest friends that once you are all together, you put your phones away on silent. Make the time you have together count. It will definitely help boost your mood if you laugh together and talk about things on your mind. There is something about eye contact and engaging conversation. Choose to cultivate great, lasting friendships and healthy relationships. All it takes is a bit of effort and a commitment to sharing yourself. So lose the phone for the short time you have together. If you are doing things that you love, with people you like being with, you won’t even miss it.

– Author and public speaker Dawn Carson lives in Cloverdale. Follow her on Twtitter @Dawn_Carson

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