Connect and Thrive

A guide to combating loneliness and connecting with others

Social connection is vital for our psychological and physical health. Disconnection and loneliness can have a significant negative impact on both, so we’ve created a guide to help you navigate this important challenge. Read on to download your free copy of ‘Connect and Thrive’.

The importance of connection

As humans, we’re basically “wired” for connection with others. It’s central to our shared experience, even if we differ in how much connection we’re looking for.

When we make a subjective evaluation of our connection – the depth and frequency with which we connect with others – we can either satisfy our curiosity, or realise that we’re not connecting enough. Over time, this can result in loneliness, which is a very difficult topic to discuss.

Loneliness is not the same as being alone.

We can experience loneliness even when surrounded by others – like in a workplace. Because it’s about the depth of connection we’re seeking with others, not just being in the same location as them. This is why it’s possible to feel lonely even when surrounded by people we know.

The problem of loneliness

Research has consistently demonstrated the significant negative impact of loneliness on our wellbeing. 

Loneliness is linked to higher incidences of depression, increased anxiety, reduced self-control, reduced self-esteem, and job burnout. The link between loneliness and these negative outcomes is thought to lie in our behaviours. When people feel lonely they often behave in socially negative ways, such as increased hostility and defensiveness.

Loneliness can mean we’re more ‘hyper vigilant’ or ‘on edge’, experiencing more stress and anxiety. This can in turn impact the quality of our sleep, which makes everything more difficult: managing our emotions, making good quality decisions and focusing on important tasks.

Loneliness can even have a negative impact on our cardiovascular health and weaken our immune system. This really underlines the importance of interpersonal connection when it comes to our wellbeing.

Myths about loneliness

Despite its prevalence, the experience of workplace loneliness is still misunderstood.

Our recent video outlines some of the more common misconceptions when it comes to loneliness, including:

  • Loneliness is about being alone
  • Loneliness is the result of working from home
  • Loneliness is simply a ‘personal problem’
  • Loneliness is a permanent state
  • The answer to loneliness is simply more social events at work

Connect and Thrive: A free guide

We’ve written a free guide ‘Connect and Thrive’, which:

  • Explains why loneliness is such a threat to our wellbeing
  • Explores the importance of interpersonal connection
  • Explains how to use psychological flexibility to overcome loneliness

We look at connection and its benefits through the lens of Psychological Flexibility, an evidence-based method for boosting wellbeing and resilience. The guide includes a simple case study, to explain how loneliness can occur, but also how to apply the skills of psychological flexibility to reach out and make connections with others.

You can download this free guide by clicking on the button below. Please feel free to share it with your personal and professional network.

Download Our Free Guide

Podcast episodes

In episode 135 of ‘My Pocket Psych’, Richard interviewed the co-author of our ‘Connect and Thrive’ guide. Dr. Sarah Wright. Sarah shares what peaked her interest in the topic of workplace loneliness, why it’s such a problem for organisations and what we can do about it.

Richard was recently interviewed on the ‘World of Work’ podcast, and outlined the prevalence of loneliness at work, as well as some simple steps anyone can take to deal effectively with feelings of disconnection.

Watch our webinar

On May 30th, we ran a free webinar on beating loneliness. 

In this session, Chartered Psychologist and Coach Dr. Richard MacKinnon, shares some key research insights into loneliness, busts common misconceptions associated with the experience, and shares some simple but effective ways we can each overcome our own loneliness.

Whether you’re experiencing loneliness right now, or you’re responsible for others at work at risk of loneliness, you’ll get valuable insights and practical tips.

International resources

We’ve gathered some links to international resources below. Each of these organisations or initiatives has a focus on social and interpersonal connection and on combating loneliness.

Please get in touch if you’d like us to add some connection and loneliness resources from your own country. We’d like this listing to be as inclusive as possible.

🇦🇺 Australia

🇮🇪 Ireland

🇳🇿 New Zealand

🇬🇧 United Kingdom

🇺🇸 USA