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Loneliness can be fatal

January 21, 2014 

Loneliness causes people to feel empty and alone and unwanted. Loneliness is becoming more common in the United States.

So many of my friends and relatives mentioned to me how lonely they were, especially during the holidays. I experienced this a few weeks ago when my best friend and companion, my dog Marley, had to be put down.

Loneliness has a wide range of negative effects on both physical and mental health. Some of the health risks are depression, suicide, poor decision making and increased stress levels.

There are a lot of things you can do to overcome being lonely. For example, you could:

1. Volunteer for one of your favorite charities or organizations. You can meet others and maybe you can find more meaning in your life.

2. Get a pet, especially a dog or cat. They have so many benefits and getting rid of loneliness is one of them. Walking your dog opens you up to a community of other dog walkers. Dogs on a leash can become people magnets. I will definitely do this one and find myself another rescue dog soon.

3. Strengthen existing relationships with people already in your life that you could get to know better. Call friends more often, go out with them more.

Please remember: loneliness is not outside. It is inside.

Have a comment of column idea for Pat? Email her at pateudy09@carolina.rr.com.

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