Lonely? You Can Change That

Day 1 of 3 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Most of us are surrounded by people all of the time. If we are not in the physical proximity of people, we are still connected through emails, texting, calling, and social media. And yet the numbers of people who admit to suffering from loneliness has more than doubled since 1980. 

Loneliness has nothing to do with the number of friends a person has or even with how many social interactions fill a calendar. Researchers have discovered that loneliness stems from a disconnection between a person’s expectations for how relationships are to be and the reality of those relationships. When there is an increase in relational dissatisfaction—whether with a marriage partner, children, friends, co-orkers, family, romantic relationships, or others—the effects of loneliness set in. 

Several subtle signs that a person might be lonely include: a preoccupation with shopping or purchasing material items, the tendency to take frequent long, hot showers or baths, a fascination with social media sites, extreme weight gain/loss, low immune response, binge-watching TV, and interrupted sleep patterns. 

Overcoming loneliness is important because its impact on our physical bodies can be tragic. In fact, recurring feelings of loneliness have been shown to increase a person’s risk of premature death by 14 percent (this is double the amount for obesity.) This is also why we want you to overcome feelings of loneliness. You deserve so much better than that. God has a plan for you and it will take your energy, emotions and attention to carry out. These can often be depleted through feelings of loneliness. 

Keep in mind, loneliness is very different from being alone. 

Loneliness includes feelings of disconnection from those around you, which leads to frustration and even depression. Many married couples suffer from loneliness, as do many people who appear to have an active social life. Loneliness stems from a lack of authentic understanding of and appreciation for someone else, and vice versa. 

Again, being alone differs from loneliness. In fact, more intentional time "alone" can help alleviate your loneliness. We'll look at that next.

If you found this devotional helpful, we'd love to guide you on your journey to total freedom and fulfillment with Prayers for Freedom Over Worry and Anxiety.