It’s hard to feel connected in a world that is so gravely disconnected. We spend so much time looking at our screens, but when was the last time you really looked at someone? I don’t mean like catching a glimpse of someone, and I don’t mean staring either – you’re not actually looking at anything when you’re staring – I mean, looked with curiosity, without judgement, just looked.
We live in a world where time is money and money is time, and even though we very rarely acknowledge death, we’re all trying to out-run it…squeezing in as much achievement as we possibly can in the little time that we have here.
A lot of us feel lonely because of this rushing and disconnect. This experience of loneliness is an existential issue that affects all of us; ultimately, we are all alone. But, sometimes our loneliness is greater than it needs to be.
Tips for experiencing less loneliness and more connection:
Put your phone down at least for a little while.
You don’t need your phone in the bathroom and you don’t need it while you chat with your grandma. When you wake up in the morning, embrace the person next to you instead of your phone.
We’re all addicted to our phones and this isn’t just trend-talk. Our brains actually release dopamine every time we scroll through Facebook/Instagram/Youtube… Our brains LOVE this dopamine shot, so we mindlessly end up hooked to our phones searching for more. And, really, what the hell are we searching for? For an acquaintance’s picture of her holiday in Bali? It’s not that our phones or the internet are bad. These are incredible inventions, but when you spend a large portion of your day looking at a screen, you are missing the physical world around you, and with it, you miss your opportunities for connection.
Do something nice for someone.
It is so easy to feel dissatisfied with the world and the people in it. I mean, the world’s pretty chaotic at the moment, no? It’s okay to feel sad and angry about the difficult things that are happening in our world. But use the anger you feel to push you forward to be the change that you want to see. If you want people to be nice to each other, be nice to people. Be kind. Be generous. And don’t quit just because someone doesn’t respond to you in the way you want them to.
When we are so focussed on achieving that we don’t make time and space for others, we become lonely and disconnected. We may not notice that we are doing this. So I want to ask you, when was the last time you did something nice for someone? If it was a while ago, do something kind for someone soon. Keep being kind. It really does soothe our souls.
Create spaces of quiet.
Have you ever been around someone who talks a lot, loudly and is sort of wired and chaotic in their behaviour? If you have, then you know how exhausting it can be to be around them. You may find that you actually retreat inside yourself when you’re with them, because they leave no space for you to say anything.
Being plugged into the internet is kind of like being around this loud, chaotic person all day, everyday. Technology makes it so that we’re constantly wired; we are bombarded by information that we have no time to make sense of. It’s overwhelming, so without even noticing, we retreat inside ourselves. We disconnect and desensitise from the world around us because it’s all just too much. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t talk or we don’t leave our homes. It just means that we become less sensitive to what’s happening around and within us. This is really when we experience loneliness, sadness, and emptiness.
This is why it is so important to be quiet every so often. Being quiet includes leaving your phone alone. Be alone with yourself so that you can breathe. So that you can even notice that you are breathing! How amazing is it, that we have these breathing lungs and beating hearts?? When we are quiet, we don’t need to work so hard to make sense of the world around us, we just have more energy to see through the chaos.
Remember that the world we see around us, is a projection of the world that exists within us. Do your part in creating a more peaceful and connected world by creating a more peaceful and connected You.
Blog post image by Isaac Buttigieg.
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