We are almost two decades into the most technologically advanced century there’s ever been, and our awareness of that grows every year. The world is going more digital, bringing greater ease and enrichment into many aspects of our daily lives. However, despite a more connected world, loneliness is one of its most dangerous side effects. Loneliness has been shown to trigger other adverse issues, such as drug abuse, addiction, as well as limiting memory function and decision making.
However, things are changing and these issues are starting to be taken more seriously. Most recently, Prime Minister Theresa May appointed a minister for Sport, Civil Society and Loneliness (Tracey Crouch) to tackle such issues. The openness around mental health has created much debate over how to balance our digital needs with our more innate ones.
Our online comments can be read by millions yet we can still lack the self-confidence to ask that person out. We can curate an entirely digital life for ourselves yet feel like we lack a true social life. Marriages are less likely to last and divorces are affecting whole portions of society. Relationships can now be made or broken at the click of a button, so no wonder it can feel like an impossible task to find a meaningful connection. That is why more men and women are turning to realistic silicone dolls for companionship and intimacy.
Within this, our desire for meaningful connection is so great that it often can be overwhelming, giving us anxiety and stress. Our fear of being alone can cause us to fall deeper into an isolated state of mind, and it is this fear that really sits at the root of loneliness. Because, despite the demands our society places on us, we should not feel ashamed of being by ourselves, but rather we need to create meaning within our own experience, not merely in public life or in cyberspace.
Even if you have a busy career, or a vibrant circle of friends, or many different romances throughout your life, it is still easy to also be lonely. That is why if meaning can be created by your own will and mental power, then confidence and social skill will grow as a result. We must look for ways, both digital and physical, to expand our connective experience and conquer the fear of loneliness.
1) Get a pet
Studies have shown that the connection between a pet and their owner is one of the strongest contributors to giving people a greater sense of meaning and contentment. A pet can be the perfect person to talk to and open up with, since they will not question your motives, nor will they discourage you.
A pet will also provide you with endless love and attention, and there is one for virtually every personality type. If you’re an active person, perhaps a dog would be the best for you, whereas if you’re someone who prefers to focus and spend time indoors, cats can be perfect. Perhaps, if you’re the more adventurous type, you would thrive with a lizard or a tarantula. Whatever the connection you desire, a pet can contribute to this enormously.
2) Find a hobby
While there are plenty of hobbies that can be done by joining clubs or meeting on internet forums, sometimes the best way to make meaning is to simply do it for yourself. There are plenty of hobbies where you can find out more about yourself and find out what really makes you come alive.
You can unleash your artistic side by writing or drawing, choosing either to go down a path of free expression and seeing what you make or focusing on getting better at your chosen art. You may wish to improve your every day by becoming a more interesting cook or gardener, or finally sorting out the house by focusing on some overdue DIY.
These small activities, when practised little and often, have shown that people feel much more content and less stressed, and more able to handle things when life goes wrong. If you’re really unsure on what to begin doing, pick one at random that sounds fun and easy to pick up and see. If you really hate it, it’s no great loss, but if you love it, you will remember that day as the start of something amazing.
3) Challenge yourself
Perhaps owning a pet and having a hobby sound nice, but maybe they also sound a bit dull. When that thought strikes, it’s time to pick a greater goal. A challenge can bring meaning to the day, a whole month, or even years of your life, to find out what you are really made of. Some challenges can be physical, such as running a marathon, competing in an endurance test like Tough Mudder or deciding to lose some weight.
Other challenges can be completely intellectual, like wanting to learn a new language or reading a whole bunch of books on a subject. Whatever goal you pick, make sure it is clear what you want out of it and how long you want the challenge to be, and whatever it is – start right away.
A very simple 30 day challenge can allow you to appreciate whole aspects of your life and what can be taken for granted, for instance abstaining from social media or taking cold showers every day will make you see the world differently. Try one today and see how you feel this time next month.
4) Buy a substitute
Ultimately, that desire for meaningful connection can only go so far, and sometimes even when all has been done to find solutions it can come down to simple biology. We are simple creatures, we need food, exercise, an equal amount of rest and stimulation, and we also need sex and a human connection. This is not easy for everybody, and our digital world only adds to that difficulty.
However, sex dolls have been proven to reduce loneliness in the long term and their owners have been able to create meaning with their lifelike partners that can rival real flesh-and-blood relationships. A sex doll can be the ultimate sexual fantasy, yes – but it can also heal and comfort a broken heart, or boost the confidence of a would-be lothario, or simply just let someone be free to be themselves without the fear of judgement or abandonment. Real doll owners are said to feel much more free and assertive, which is a positive step in the right direction to end the fear of loneliness.
Once we make peace that we are afraid of being lonely, these small steps can really help to make us feel better and get us on the right track to become the better versions of ourselves. At the end of it all, it is reassuring to know that even though we might feel lonely, we know that millions of others feel the same way and that being on our own needn’t be torture. There is always a way out, all it takes is to make your own meaning.
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