The Gentle Mind

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and hypnosis for loneliness

We live in an ever-more connected world.

We can call, face time and text.

But we’re lonelier than ever.

We work online from home, shop online, there are fewer buses to help us get out, we meet fewer people, bump into fewer people for a chat, we bank online rather than in branch. Even at the checkout, we can scan our shopping and don't even enjoy a brief ten seconds with a cashier. Soon there will be no train ticket offices. And libraries are closing.

Humans need to meet humans, but wherever you turn we are stopping our ability to connect.

It’s true that as we get older the people in our lives die and we’re left with fewer and fewer friends and family, so what’s to be done?

Well, firstly, think about your social media use.

Social (or is it anti-social?) media has been dubbed the smoking industry of the 21st century. We’re slowly realising that it causes harm. And one of the biggest ways it hurts is it amplifies loneliness:

  • People don’t think they have to meet, that texting is enough.
  • Comparison is the thief of joy - everyone can appear to be having a better life than you; they can film and airbrush a life less ordinary.
  • People can round on you and bully you.
  • You can create a wonderful life and keep posting it when all along you’re lonely on the inside.
  • You endlessly flirt on dating apps and tease but never meet.
  • You spend hours every day searching for meaningful contact - those lost hours are still lonely hours.

Then there’s what’s known as emotional loneliness.

  • Bereavement - a partner/mother/father/child has died.
  • A breakup - a relationship has ended.
  • There’s a big upheaval - a job you’ve had for years ends, your time in the forces ends, you retire, you downsize to a totally different part of the country.

Loneliness has always been an issue

Human beings evolved to feel safest in groups and, as a result, we experience isolation as a physical state of emergency.

Imagine if you lived in a tribe and while you were out hunting, you found yourself alone. You’d be under serious threat without the protection of your group - your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, would rocket up, and would stay raised until you’re back with your tribe.

What is the effect of long-term loneliness?

There has been lots of research on the effects of loneliness on our mental and physical health – it’s seen as one of the biggest health concerns we face.

Loneliness has been linked to early death and an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, cognitive decline and poor sleep. It’s as harmful to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. People who feel lonely are more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s (and other forms of dementia) than those who do not feel lonely.

Helping yourself and others feel more connected

We are hard-wired as humans to need social connections. You need to:

  • Get out and about.
  • Put yourself in the way of people.
  • Volunteer.
  • Get a dog.
  • Seek out like-minded - play a team game, join a class.
  • Change your mindset.

And the last point is where I can help. If you feel you’re stuck in the same way of thinking and need to change.

Who am I?

I’m James Thomas. A Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist. I’ve helped people come to terms with all sorts of things. Childhood abuse, overeating, cocaine taking, ketamine habit, catastrophising, procrastination, hoarding, stress, anxiety, insomnia, cancer pain, bereavements, break ups, being cheated on - and loneliness.

I have rooms in Louth and Lincoln.

Contact me at or call 07787563099.

There’s a calmer version of you in there somewhere. And by working together you can get there.

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