January 27, 2020
Loneliness is a universal human experience that we all deal with from time to time. An analysis of a recent survey of 10,000 adults found that 61% can be considered “lonely”. 
10 Little Things To Do When Youre Feeling Lonely
Loneliness is a state of mind that has less to do with being alone and more to do with feeling alone. That’s why people can feel lonely at work, at school or even in their friendships or romantic partnerships. It’s not about the number of people in our lives, but rather about the depth of those emotional connections, psychologist David Narang, author of “Leaving Loneliness,” told HuffPost. 
“If we are in a room full of family and friends but nobody knows the actual thoughts and feelings we are having, we are likely to feel lonely,” he explained. “Whereas if even one person knows our true thoughts and feelings at a moment in time, we are much more likely to feel less lonely.”
And while many people experience loneliness on occasion, a pervasive, prolonged type of loneliness seems to be on the rise.Even mental health professionals like therapist and executive coach Megan Bruneau deal with loneliness. For her, loneliness is often accompanied by a sense of heaviness and despair that turns into shame.
“Loneliness and shame tell me I’m broken and unlovable, better off in the safety of my isolation because once people see the real me, they won’t stick around anyway,” Bruneau said. “Yet I’ve come to know — and at times, befriend — loneliness well enough to support myself through these times.” 
We asked mental health experts for advice on what to do when you feel stuck in a lonely state of mind. 
1. First, try not to judge yourself for feeling lonely.
Loneliness itself can be painful but that discomfort is only compounded when we criticise ourselves for feeling it, Bruneau said. 
“Most of the suffering we experience when feeling lonely is a product of the shame and anxiety we create through judging and abandoning ourselves,” she said. “We believe we’re failing or broken because we feel lonely or we’re lonely because we’re unloveable.”
Instead, practice self-compassion. Say to yourself: “It’s understandable you’re feeling lonely right now; you’re a human who, like other humans, yearns for connection in our disconnected world,” Bruneau suggested. 
2. Know that loneliness is common and what you’re feeling won’t last forever.
“Remember this feeling will pass, is not a sign of pathology, and that there are millions of other ‘lonelies’ out there, sharing this feeling with you right now,” Bruneau said. 
3. Reach out to people for connection.
That might mean calling a family member, making plans to get coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or even posting about your experience with loneliness in an online forum.
“While shame will try to convince you you’re unlovable and no one wants to hear from you, remind yourself it’s lying and you will likely feel better if you connect,” Bruneau said.
4. Get out in nature. “You can go for a walk outside if you are nearby nature or a park,” said Dr. Jeremy Nobel, founder and president of The UnLonely Project, an organisation dedicated to tackling loneliness through creative arts. 
Spending time with animals can also be comforting, Bruneau added. 
5. Reduce time spent on your phone. 
If you’ve been scrolling on Instagram a lot lately, make more face-to-face interactions a priority. 
“Browsing social media for hours on end tends to leave people lonelier as they compare themselves to the bright and shiny pictures others selectively post,” Narang said. “However, you can turn this to your advantage if you ask someone to lunch or to get together in some way, as the research shows that this way of using social media makes people less lonely.”
6. Do something creative.
Artistic pursuits can be very soothing when you’re in a lonely place, Nobel said. 
“Reading a breathtaking poem, knitting a lovely scarf, or expressing your feelings through painting or sculpture are all ways you can transform your suffering into something beautiful.”
7. Think about someone who really loves you.
Pick a person in your life who cares for you deeply and then ask yourself a few questions like: “How do I know this person loves me?”; “How do they express it?”; “What was a time they were really there for me?” 
“Remember that being worthy of and receiving this love was not only a reflection of the other person’s goodness, but also of your own, or you could not have been so loved,” Narang said.  You’re a human who, like other humans, yearns for connection in our disconnected world.Megan Bruneau, therapist and executive coach8. Seek out a small burst of connection with a stranger. 
Even little acts of kindness, like smiling at a friendly looking person you pass on the street or holding the door open for someone, will make you feel closer to those around you, Narang said. 
“As you let someone get in front of you on the freeway, imagine what they are feeling,” he suggested. “Talk kindly to the cashier at the grocery store. In small ways, you are meeting their need for kindness or for help which opens them up a little, just as it opens you up.”
9. Sign up for a class or group activity.
Plant the seeds now for new and deeper connections by enrolling in a class or group that meets regularly. It could be anything that piques your interest: a volunteer organisation, a professional association, a cooking class or a book club. 
“In the midst of a class or activity, you will be having an experience of that event,” Narang said. “Briefly sharing your experience (e.g. liking something specific or having a particular curiosity) with others there allows them to get to know you just a bit.”
10. Think about what your loneliness might be telling you.
Instead of pushing it away, get quiet and sit with your loneliness, however uncomfortable it may be. 
“Notice the discomfort and how it affects your emotions, thoughts, and also tension in your body,” Narang said. “After a few minutes, you might start to get clear on specific actions you want to take — an action plan which is now coming from your calm mind and which is more likely to be effective than one arising from stress.” When To Ask For Help  Again, experiencing loneliness is very common — feeling this way doesn’t mean there’s something “wrong” with you. However, if your loneliness is persistent and/or crippling, it may be time to take action and get some help. 
Loneliness “is not an experience that we are meant to have indefinitely,” Narang said. “When this otherwise typical experience of loneliness is prolonged, it increases our risk for many health problems, and it may lead us to become depressed.”
Instead of isolating yourself further, open up to others or a mental health professional who can help you foster more community and healthy connection in your life. 
“If you find yourself regularly distressed over your feelings of loneliness, that is probably a sign that you might feel better if you reached out for help to friends, family, spiritual counsellors or mental health support systems,” Nobel said.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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