Loneliness is one of the most common problems that Christian retirees face. It is also one of the most difficult to deal with. As a Christian, you know what it means to feel lonely because it’s mentioned in the Bible: “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish.” (Psalm 65:16-17).
Loneliness can be caused by many factors, such as geographical location or financial status, but it can also be caused by emotional issues, such as depression or isolation. The fact remains that many people suffer from loneliness at some point in their lives, whether they are retired or not; however, if you want to avoid this problem becoming more severe for yourself, then read on to understand and develop some tools for how to handle this issue:
The reality of loneliness in senior
Loneliness is a feeling of isolation or lack of companionship. It can result from the absence of, or lack of contact with, friends and acquaintances.
Loneliness has been linked to higher rates of illness and death in old age. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that people with social ties live longer than those without them, even when controlling for other health factors such as income and access to healthcare.
Causes of loneliness
Loneliness is a universal feeling. It’s a feeling of being disconnected, alone, and not belonging. Loneliness is also a feeling of not being understood by others.
Suffering from loneliness can have many causes:
- You may suffer from depression or anxiety, making you feel isolated from others and question your worth and value.
- You may have lost touch with friends and family as you got older so that when they die, their place in your life is taken over by strangers who find it hard to relate to your experiences as an older person – perhaps because they are too young themselves! (This happened to me).
Effects of loneliness
Loneliness can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. It has also been associated with a decline in physical health. In addition, studies have shown that loneliness can lead to a decline in cognitive function: memory, attention, and executive functions are all negatively affected by loneliness (Beck et al., 2012).
One study found that the brain changes associated with loneliness are similar to those seen in Alzheimer’s disease (Weiss et al., 2009). Other research indicates that symptoms of depression may be linked to social isolation and an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease (Goveas et al., 2004).
Solutions to loneliness
You can do several things to address the problem of loneliness in your life. One of the best things you can do is find friends, family, and other loved ones who will be with you as you grow older. You should also try to see where you fit in at church or even check out our growing community at RetirementReformation.org, which provides companionship for people like yourself. If none of these options work, then it may be time for us all to stop being so judgmental about social media sites like Facebook and instead use them as tools to help build friendships and relationships with others who may be facing similar problems! In fact, please keep your eyes open for a new Facebook community specific to Retirement Reformation in the coming weeks (CLICK HERE to be notified when it launches).
Solitude vs. loneliness
Before we close, let’s not mistake solitude for loneliness. Scripture instructs us to practice solitude in Mathew 6:6, Psalm 46:10, Exodus 14:14, and many more passages.
On the other hand, loneliness is an emotional state that occurs when you feel isolated from others. It’s associated with feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as a lack of self-worth and insecurity about social interactions.
If you’re a Christian retiree and are experiencing loneliness, we encourage you to keep going. Don’t give up on finding new friends who share your values and enjoy spending time together. You may even be able to start an activity group of retired Christians who meet regularly for fellowship, prayer, and Bible study or to share their experiences from their respective careers!
Take care of yourself in this season of life as you make perhaps your greatest impact!