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What is loneliness: Why is it so bad now?

Bear Psychology Podcast

Release Date: 02/20/2020

Gratitude & Kindness: Easing Holiday Strain this Season with Dr Baranowsky show art Gratitude & Kindness: Easing Holiday Strain this Season with Dr Baranowsky

Bear Psychology Podcast

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Bear Psychology Podcast

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Bear Psychology Podcast

Christine Arylo is an entrepreneur and author of "". She focuses on shifting from overworking and giving too much to empowering yourself to achieve what matters most to you, receive what you need, and breathe. Do you tend to overdo and over-give?  Then join the conversation, and figure out what your drivers are for this behavior, so you can free yourself up to do what truly matters! On Christine's website she asks "?" Select the link below to complete the "Overwhelmed & Over It, Self-Care Quiz" & Find Out How You may be Adding to Your Own Overwhelm, Burnout...

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Bear Psychology Podcast

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Bear Psychology Podcast

SEX ADDICTION? Should you be Concerned? An in-depth conversation with experts Alex St. John & Natalie Cournoyea The numbers are in: 6% of population in the U.S. identify as having a Sexual Addiction. 27,000 people search Google for "sexual addiction" every day. This is a huge number, yet it is still an issue that we don't talk about or understand in the general population or within the therapeutic community.  Unfortunately, at this time there is no significant research on this topic in Canada...

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Bear Psychology Podcast

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Bear Psychology Podcast

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Bear Psychology Podcast

In this episode we pay attention to the deep and traumatic roots of Black Lives Matter and unpack the layers of how to respond effectively as individuals and within communities. I dialogue with mental health professional, Ornge trauma team lead and anti-racism trainer, Tom Walker. After the murder of George Floyd the public outcry continues to be a powerful voice that is awakening the world to the injustice of systemic racism that so many have turned their backs on for too long.   At this critical moment while witnessing continued acts of social...

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Our Shadow and the Unconscious Mind show art Our Shadow and the Unconscious Mind

Bear Psychology Podcast

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Bear Psychology Podcast

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What is loneliness: Why is it so bad now?

In the age of technology, we are more connected than ever, so why do many people still struggle with loneliness? First, let’s define loneliness. Loneliness is need of human connection but not being able to have it. It is a subjective experience and is not the consequence of being physically alone. If you feel lonely, you are lonely. Loneliness occurs when someone perceives their relationships as not fulfilling their social needs. Dr. Andrew Wister from Simon Fraser University believes social media may be partly fueling loneliness by creating a false sense of multiple connections. The list of friends you turn to for social needs is much smaller than your friends list on social media.

What are the negative results of loneliness?
 
Chronic loneliness is not only emotionally draining; it is a physical health risk. Researchers have likened loneliness to being as detrimental to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Interestingly, brain imaging studies show that social rejection (loneliness) activates the same brain areas as physical pain. Those who are chronically lonely experience anxiety, depression, and may feel physically ill. Loneliness can also be a vicious cycle. Those who have been lonely for long periods of time become better at noticing social cues but are worse at interpreting them. To make matters worse, the person experiencing loneliness is more likely to interpret social cues negatively making them feel more isolated.
 
Check out Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection by neuroscientist John Capiocco and author William Patrick for an in-depth look into the effects of loneliness.

Are you lonely? How do you deal with this?

It is important to accept that feeling lonely is a normal human experience, and there is nothing wrong with you if you experience feelings of loneliness. If you tend to prejudge people’s intentions as negative, or assume social situations are going to go terribly, you may be lonely. Taking time to reflect upon previous interactions with people is helpful in parsing out the negative from the positive. Not every interaction is negative! To build social connections it is imperative to get yourself out there. Go to an event you’ve wanted to go to, or invite someone out for a coffee. If someone reaches out to you, try stepping out of your comfort zone and go with them. Even if a lasting friendship doesn’t emerge, you will have succeeded in practicing your social skills which are useful for future connections.
 
Expert in the field, Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad discusses living in a lonely world here