You may be more lonely than you think you are!

It is estimated that over 40% of us will feel a deep sense of loneliness at some stage in our lives. In fact, it is becoming more common in modern society. Although  people tend to live physically closer to each other nowadays thousands still sense being ‘ far apart’ psychologically. Loneliness should not be confused with the number of friends or relationships someone has. For instance, research indicates that 60% of lonely people are actually married. It is also true that many people are quite content being alone. Their favourite company is often their own company. We know that hermits choose solitude as a way of life and can sustain themselves through many decades detached from the social world. Loneliness depends on the subjective quality of your relationships. You sense loneliness when you feel disconnected socially and emotionally from those around you. Despite being more connected technologically people are reporting more and more loneliness than ever before. 

As we grow older our social ‘circle’ tends to become smaller. We let old friendships fade away and opportunities to sustain social life decrease. Life becomes busier as we take on the responsibilities of work and family. It becomes almost more attractive to refuse invitations to events and issue none. Less stress. Less hassle. We become accustomed to lying on the couch after a day’s work with the remote control in our hand. Indeed, families rarely sit at the same table for dinner anymore. I’ve met people who regret not getting to know their children better when they we growing up. The irony is that everyone was living in the same house at the same time for those critical years. 

We need to work at being ‘social’. In fact, it’s worth the effort as the more socially active people tend to live longer as a result. Loneliness causes our immune systems to function less efficiently, which over time, puts us at increased risk for developing all kinds of illnesses and diseases.

I often advise children to be open to many friendships and different kinds. The more friends the better. Children can become obsessed with having one best friend. I encourage them to have many. They should develop friendships on the road where they live, with children from other schools, from the year group above and below them at school and with their cousins. We should bring them with us on visits to their grandparents, relatives and our friends. They need to learn how to engage with others. They need to learn how to give an account of themselves socially. They will never learn these skills by being left at home in front of a screen. 

And what about ourselves? We may be lonelier than we think we are. But this can be addressed with a little effort. We can invite people around. We can arrange to visit a neighbour or friend. We can join a committee or club. Old friendships can be renewed and being more openminded when it comes to forging new connections would be helpful. People need people. We are each others’s greatest resource – especially in times of challenge. 

© Shane Martin


Three public seminars with psychologist Shane Martin will take place over the coming weeks at venues in ANTRIM, NAVAN and DUBLIN. Places are limited. It’s important to book your place as soon as possible because there are no plans for any further seminars for the foreseeable future.

Total fee €65  


ANTRIM Saturday 7th March 2020 (09.00- 1.00 p.m.)  Dunsilly Hotel, 20 Dunsilly Rd, Antrim BT41 2JH CLICK HERE TO BOOK FOR ANTRIM SEMINAR

NAVAN Saturday 14th March 2020 (09.00 -1.00 p.m.) Ardboyne Hotel, Dublin Road, Navan CLICK HERE TO BOOK NAVAN SEMINAR

DUBLIN Saturday 28th March 2020 (09.00 -1.00 p.m.) Project Room, Malahide Castle, Malahide, Co. Dublin K36 YP65   CLICK HERE TO BOOK FOR DUBLIN SEMINAR

For all details about the seminar including timetable and content  – see below

The LIVE LIFE WELL seminars provide people with an opportunity to create a space for themselves to get away from their daily stresses and strains. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on their lives and learn what science has uncovered about becoming healthier, happier and more resilient. The focus will be on simple yet powerful practices to enhance the quality of your life.

The LIVE LIFE WELL seminars contain the best material that Shane teaches condensed into a single day. The no-nonsense practical ideas from his best selling book ‘Your Precious Life-How to Live it Well’ will be delivered in his customary animated and humourous style.

The seminar will not intrude on anyone’s privacy. There will be some discussion but no one will feel under pressure to talk. It is important to know that the seminar is for the general public and why people attend remains their own business. Often people working within the health profession attend for professional reasons. Sometimes an interest in psychology draws people to these events. However, most people attend because they want to take time-out from a busy life schedule to learn simple evidence-based strategies linked to a better quality of life.

The seminar costs €65


The timetable for the morning is as follows:

09.00 Registration

09.30-11.00 MINDING OURSELVES How to Avoid Unnecessary Stress:

We cannot avoid being stressed. Indeed, we need to experience stress in order to achieve our goals. However, many people annoy themselves needlessly about things that don’t matter. What causes this kind of stress? What can we do to alleviate it? How can we cope better with the unavoidable stresses of life? Shane will offer evidence-based explanations and remedies.

11.00 -11.15 TEA/COFFEE BREAK

11.55-1.00 LIVING LIFE WELL: How to Enhance the Quality of Lives:

Essentially, Shane introduces you to evidence-based strategies linked to greater health and happiness. This is an opportunity to step outside the circle, remove yourself from the ‘noise’ of life and consider the most important things and how we can achieve them.The hope is that the material will uplift and inspire change in your life but even more importantly inspire you to incorporate it into your home, workplace and community.