BrainWise and LonelinessPosted On: September 24, 2020
The feeling of loneliness is a Red Flag our body sends to our brain that alerts us that important social connections we need for survival are at risk. It is a signal that motivates us to reconnect with others and establish double lines in our Constellation of Support. In 2018, the massive extent of loneliness was identified by a Kaiser Family Foundation report that found 22 percent or 56 million American adults say are “often” or “always” lonely. This research spurred additional studies to investigate whether loneliness had increased during the COVID-10 pandemic.
The results of this newest research were reported by the American Psychological Association in June 2020. Surprisingly, researchers found no significant changes in loneliness across three waves of surveys they administered. The number of people reporting loneliness, while still high, remained stable.
The researchers attribute the stability of the loneliness factor despite COVID-19 restrictions to the social and emotional support respondents have felt during the pandemic. They found that people are reaching out to friends and family with texts, video calls, and other digital connections, creating a buffer against loneliness. People are motivated to use words, images or animations to stay in touch and find it easy to send a positive text or email to family and friends. It is hard not to feel someone cares when you received a set of double hearts or a thumbs-up emoji. The message of care goes both ways – the sender feels good, too.
The same digital technology, however, can also fuel negative feelings and obsession with streams of bad news and toxic messages, causing more problems. BrainWise can help – use your skills to Stop and Think and halt the negativity cycle could be sabotaging your well-being. Anxiety, sadness, frustration, resentment and other feelings can accompany feelings of loneliness. You can replace them by using self-talk and other tools (see below) to lower and exit your Emotions Elevator. People and resources who surround you with double lines in your Constellation of Support are there to help you. Take steps and use your resources.
The following links to worksheets for children and teens/adults from the BrainWise curriculum will help you and others assess your emotions and make healthy choices and decisions BWCPR TeenAdult Color worksheet BW CPR Constelllation of Support_4.13 K-5 BW CPR Color Prob Solving Worksheet.9.20).