Shift Your Focus to Fight Loneliness
Loneliness is a vicious cycle for many people. Feeling lonely increases self-centeredness, which in turn, increases social isolation and prolongs a sense of loneliness.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from 230 adults between the ages of 50 and 68 living in the Chicago area. Study participants answered questions about their feelings of loneliness and self-centeredness each year from 2002 to 2013. Researchers discovered that a higher level of loneliness one year led to a higher level of self-centeredness the following year. They also found that people who reported being more self-centered one year generally reported feeling lonelier the next year.
According to the study, which was recently published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, finding ways to avoid self-centeredness when you are feeling lonely may help break the cycle and reduce your sense of loneliness. One way to do this is to pay attention to the concerns of others, perhaps by volunteering.