New Ways to Overcome Loneliness After Surgeon General Warns of ‘Epidemic’
A new advisory issued by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy warns an “epidemic of loneliness and isolation” constitutes a public health crisis.
The advisory includes a National Strategy to Advance Social Connection, with recommendations for individuals, workplaces, governments, and communities.
Murthy said in a statement, “Our epidemic of loneliness and isolation has been an underappreciated public health crisis that has harmed individual and societal health. Our relationships are a source of healing and well-being hiding in plain sight — one that can help us live healthier, more fulfilled, and more productive lives.”
Now, William Lam is weighing in. He is certified in hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming, and founder and president of UPGRD, which offers mind-hacking courses for self-improvement.
Lam explains, "Loneliness and isolation are two different things,” adding, “Loneliness is a state that one gets to decide whether they feel or not, in the midst of isolation. However one can feel lonely even in the midst of a very social environment.”
Instead, Lam refers to the kinds of mental “upgrades” offered by the UPGRD program of courses on everything from stress reduction to “identity coding.”
"Loneliness is just the tip of the iceberg,” Lam said. “We need to dig deeper into when the problem began, before it became the epidemic it is now. We call this ‘identifying the source code.’”
"To solve this problem, we need to know what we want instead,” Lam said. “Now we need to identify what it looks like, sounds like, feels like to have the problem solved. What’s the complete opposite of loneliness? So rather than just going away from the problem, we can go toward the ideal state.”
In order to achieve this, Lam describes a two-pronged approach: Train the mind to be in that ideal state, then modify and optimize the external environment to support the internal ideal state.
“When the external and the internal are aligned, the ideal state will be the new norm,” Lam said.