HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Loneliness is an emotional response that can quickly overwhelm people . It’s also a feeling many people are battling.
- Study by Cigna shows nearly half of Americans experience loneliness
- Findings also show that social media isn't helping either
- Life coach recommends reducing time on social media
“I was so unhappy, miserable person. Not the person who I was at all, and it just got to a point where I am calling the suicide help line because I don’t have anyone to talk to,” said Jodie Jones, Tampa.
For others, getting the courage to speak up is another battle in itself.
“It’s hard to talk about,” said Lisa Sundheim with a sigh. “To me, I feel like it is probably when my head hits the pillow when I think about all of the things that I didn’t get done.”
Sundheim is recently divorced and a mother of three. She admits to currently feeling high levels of loneliness. Jones is also lonely and said she felt it the most when she first moved to Tampa from out of state.
“It was really hard,” said Jones.
Jones said she struggled to find good friends and establish herself in a new city.
“Luckily, I have a dog. So at least I have some kind of presence in the house, like someone who is happy to see you, but yeah I would cry like all the time,” Jones admits.
Loneliness is also very stigmatized today, which makes it hard to talk about.
“It is very common and overall it is just part of the human experience to feel lonely,” said Danielle Bayard Jackson, a life coach.
Bayard Jackson knows many who people struggle with the emotion of loneliness. A study by Cigna shows nearly half of Americans feel lonely and social media isn’t helping.
“You are feeling bad and you start scrolling through and it is easy to feel worse,” said Sundheim.
Bayard Jackson says just by decreasing social media time can help.
“Just eliminate the time right before bed of scrolling through social media and having those comparisons be the last thoughts on your mind before you go to sleep,” said Bayard Jackson.
Both of these women admit they work through their loneliness day to day.
"Honestly as a person, I am like, just now like maybe within the last three months or so finally feeling normal again. Like a happy person, not the face that you put on,” said Jones.
Both are trying to remember the good things and accepting that things are not always perfect
“Perfection isn’t necessary, it’s that we are showing up and trying to be real with one another,” said Sundheim.
Bayard Jackson also recommends working to engage with those you engage with daily, to try volunteering, and connecting with faith based organizations if you are religious.