The Psychology of Loneliness: Why it matters and what we can do

This new report by the Campaign to End Loneliness is the first of its kind to look at how psychological approaches can help tackle loneliness. Due to lockdown during the current pandemic, more people than ever before are reporting feelings of loneliness. Mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and positive psychology are all approaches that can help people who are feeling lonely.

The report gathers the current research and evidence available about what can be learnt from psychology, as well as making policy recommendations for how this learning can be applied and help the millions of lonely people across the UK. In particular, it looks at a number of psychological approaches that show promise for easing loneliness in later life. The three with the most relevant research evidence are :

Cognitive behavioural therapy helps people understand their thoughts, feelings and behaviours so they can change some of these to manage their difficulties.

Mindfulness can help people become aware of their thoughts during difficult times and choose to accept or reject them.

Positive psychology promotes positive emotions, helping people to override negative feelings and thought patterns.