Do you remember the Calgon bath commercial from the 1970s? The harried working mother who was overwhelmed by traffic, a yelling boss, a crying baby, and a barking dog? In a moment of exasperation and exhaustion she cries out, "Calgon, take me away!" And immediately, she finds herself in Calgon paradise. Clearly, this woman needed a retreat--even if it was her bathroom. I'm sure there are many moms out there, especially those with young children, whose bathroom has become an oasis!
Like the Calgon mom, there are times in which we need solitude and quiet, however extended periods of time spent alone are not good for us relationally, emotionally, or physically. We, as human beings, are created and designed for relationship and community. Everything God created in the Garden of Eden, he said was good. However, the one thing he said was not good, was man being alone. God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and in that sleep, he took a part of Adam (rib) and placed it in Eve. Ultimately, our hearts long for relationship because that is how we were created. There is a longing to be known by God and by others.
Studies reveal that loneliness and social isolation are detrimental to our well-being. They can cause or be a symptom of mental health issues like depression, phobias, and anxiety disorders. Social isolation can also effect one's self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. Additional studies also suggest that loneliness and social isolation can cause inflammation in the body, increase blood pressure, harden arteries, increase the stress hormone, cortisol, and decrease the immune system. There is also an increase risk of cancer, diabetes,heart disease, and other diseases.
You may ask, All of the above from loneliness and social isolation? Yes. When there are unmet longings of our hearts and our lives are not in sync with God's original plan, purpose, and intent-- we are predisposed to a myriad of negative effects.
You were created and designed for relationship with God and with others. Healthy relationships are necessary for our overall health and well-being as they bring about mutual fulfillment and enjoyment. If you struggle with loneliness or social isolation, consider the following:
* Pray. Talk to God about how you are feeling.
* Identify the root cause of loneliness and social isolation.
* Get involved in a local church.
* Volunteer at a local community organization.
* Take an art, exercise ("Zumba")/ dance, or poetry class
* Join a book club
If you would like prayer, encouragement, or support in this area please call:
1(866)460-8976 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org