In this new article, you’ll find out how to deal with loneliness.
Loneliness is a complex and frequently nasty emotional response to isolation or an absence of companionship.
Loneliness generally includes feelings of anxiety a couple of lack of connectedness or communality with other beings, both in the present and in the future.
Thus, loneliness can be felt even although surrounded by other people. The causes of loneliness are varied and include social, mental or emotional factors.
Research has shown that loneliness is widespread in society amongst people in successful marriages, relationships, families, and careers.
It has long been explored in human literature since classical times.
Loneliness has also been described as social pain—a psychological mechanism intended to alert the individual to isolation and encourage him to seek social connection.
What are the common causes of loneliness?
People can experience loneliness for many reasons and plenty of life events can cause it, such as an absence of friendships during childhood and adolescence, or not having a significant other physically around one.
At the same time, loneliness may be a symptom of other social or psychological problems, such as chronic depression.
Many people experience loneliness for the first time when they’re left alone as a baby.
It is also a quite common, although generally temporary, consequence of a breakup, divorce, or the loss of a vital long-term relationship.
In these cases, it may stem from the loss of a selected person and from withdrawal from social circles caused by a related event or grief.
The loss of a vital person in one’s life will generally trigger the grief response; in this situation, a person may feel lonely, even when with other people.
Loneliness can even occur after the birth of a kid (often expressed in postpartum depression), after marriage, or following other socially disruptive events, such as moving from one’s hometown to a foreign community that causes homesickness.
Loneliness can occur in unstable marriages or other close relationships of an identical nature, where feelings present may include anger or hatred, or where feelings of affection can’t be given or received.
Loneliness may be a communication dysfunction, and it can even result from places of low population density where there are few people to interact with.
Loneliness can even be seen as a social phenomenon that can spread like a disease.
When one person in a group begins to feel lonely, this feeling can spread to others, increasing everybody’s risk of feeling lonely.
People can feel lonely even when they’re surrounded by other people.
A twin study found evidence that genetics accounts for about half of the measured differences in loneliness amongst adults, which is similar to estimates of heritability found previously in kids.
These genes operate the same way in women and men. The study found no general environmental contribution to adult loneliness.
Feeling Lonely vs Socially Isolated
There is a clear difference between feeling lonely and socially isolated (1) (eg, loner).
Specifically, one way of thinking about loneliness is the discrepancy between a person’s desired and attainable levels of social interaction, while loneliness is solely an absence of contact with other people.
Therefore, loneliness is a subjective experience; if someone thinks they’re lonely, then they’re lonely.
People can be lonely when alone, or in a crowd. What makes someone lonely is the proven fact that they want more social interaction than currently available.
A person can be in the middle of a party and feel lonely because they do not talk to enough people.
Conversely, a person can be alone and not feel lonely. Even if nobody is around, the person is not lonely because there isn’t any desire for social interaction.
There is also the notion that everybody has their own sweet spot of social interaction. If a person gets too little or too much social interaction, this can lead to feelings of loneliness or overstimulation.
Solitude can have positive effects on individuals.
One study found that even though time spent alone tends to depress a person’s mood and increase feelings of loneliness, it also helps improve their cognitive state, such as improving concentration.
In addition, after the time-out was over, people’s moods tended to improve significantly.
Solitude is also related to other positive growth experiences, religious experiences, and identity building such as the solitary search used in rites of passage for adolescents.
Loneliness can even play a vital role in the creative process.
In some people, temporary or prolonged loneliness can lead to marked artistic and artistic expression, for example, as happened with the poet Emily Dickinson, and plenty of musicians.
This is not to indicate that loneliness itself ensures this creativity, but rather that it may have an influence on the artist’s subject and is more likely to be present in individuals engaged in creative activity.
Psychological effects of loneliness
Loneliness has been linked to depression, and thus a risk factor for suicide.
Émile Durkheim has described loneliness, particularly the failure or unwillingness to live for others, i.e. for friendship or altruistic ideas, as the main reason for what he calls egoistic suicide.
In adults, loneliness is a major reason for depression and alcohol addiction. People who are socially isolated may report poor sleep quality, and thus reduced restorative processes.
Loneliness is also related to the Schizoid character type in which a person may see the world differently and experience social alienation, described as self-isolation.
In kids, an absence of social connections is directly linked to some forms of antisocial and self-destructive behavior, particularly hostile and delinquent behavior.
In both kids and adults, loneliness often negatively impacts learning and memory. Disturbances in their sleep patterns can have a significant impact on their ability to function in daily life.
Chronic loneliness can be a serious and life-threatening health condition.
At least one study has empirically correlated it with an increased risk of cancer, particularly for those who hide their loneliness from the outside world, and is also related to an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Loneliness shows an increased incidence of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.
Loneliness has been shown to increase the concentration of cortisol levels in the body. Prolonged high levels of cortisol can cause anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, and weight gain.
Loneliness has been related to impaired cellular immunity as reflected in lower natural killer (NK) cell activity and higher antibody titers against Epstein Barr Virus and human herpes virus”.
Because cellular immunity is compromised, loneliness amongst young adults means vaccines, such as the flu vaccine, are less effective.
Data from studies of loneliness and HIV-positive men show that loneliness increases disease progression.
How to overcome loneliness
There is no easy solution to overcome loneliness. Calm your mind and ask yourself- If I had five people with me right now, would I feel better than I do now?
If the answer is yes, the solution is much simpler. If the answer is no, you are not lonely, just sad.
So, if an absence of social contact is bothering you, you can overcome loneliness by hanging out with other people, otherwise you can even overcome it on your own.
I will list all possible ways you can overcome loneliness below:-
1. Realize that loneliness is a feeling, not a fact.
When you feel lonely, it is because something has triggered a memory of that feeling, not because you are in fact isolated and alone.
The brain is hardwired to notice pain and danger, and that includes fearful feelings that are painful; therefore loneliness gets our attention.
But then the brain tries to make sense of the feeling. Why do I feel this way? Is it because nobody loves me? Because I’m a loser? Because they’re all evil?
Theories about why you feel lonely can be confused with facts. Then it becomes a bigger problem so realize that you have this feeling and accept it without overreacting.
2. Reaching out because loneliness hurts and can confuse you into thinking you’re a loser, an outcast.
You may react by withdrawing from yourself, your thoughts, and your feelings of loneliness and this isn’t helping.
At its best, anticipating loneliness can encourage us to reach out and cultivate friendships, which is the healthiest thing to do when you are sad and alone. When you were a child and your sorrow caused you to cry, you might evoke comforting responses from others.
If you are an adult, not so much.
3. Watch your mind deflate.
We often create self-centered stories to explain how we felt when we were young; it is not unusual for kids to assume that something is wrong with them when they’re unhappy.
If they’re lonely and sad, kids may assume that other people do not like them, which is rare.
Victims of bullying may have fans and friends, but often they aren’t aware of this because disgrace and loneliness are given more attention.
Habitual assumptions about social status carry on into adulthood and if you are searching for evidence that the world sucks, you can all the time find it.
4. Make a plan to fight the mental and emotional habit of loneliness.
If you realize that you’re dealing with an emotional rut, you can make a plan to deal with loneliness.
Because healthy interactions with friends are good, make an effort to reach out to other people, to strike up conversations and face the times even when your loneliness and depression tell you not to.
Yes, it does work, but it is beneficial, just as exercising is helpful even when you are feeling tired or lazy (2).
5. Focus on the needs and feelings of others.
Pay less attention to your lonely thoughts and feelings. I could walk down the street thinking to myself, my loneliness and the hopelessness of it all, staring at the pavement and sighing to myself.
Or I could walk down the street grateful for the variety of individuals who share the sidewalk with me, silently wishing them good health and luck, and smile at everybody I meet.
The latter is more fun, although sometimes I must remind myself to do it on purpose.
6. Find other people like you.
Today there are more tools than ever to find out where knitters, hikers, or kiteboarders hang around so you can hang around with like-minded people.
This makes it easier to identify groups you have something in common with, a natural basis for starting friendships.
7. Always shows up when meeting other people.
You do not have to run for president of the knitting society at your first meeting. But you must show up.
I’ve been telling others to practice yoga for 20 years and vowing to do it myself during that time, but aside from the occasional serendipitous yoga offering at a retreat, I’ve spared no effort to find a class I can attend regularly. until a month ago.
Now I’m enjoying it and it is not that hard. I have put reminders on my phone to withdraw from the procrastinator society.
8 . Curious, but do not expect anything.
Every time you show up is an experiment, a micro-adventure in social ties.
If you are curious and interested in other people, they will be interested in you because you are giving them your attention. So you’re going to get attention in return.
Curiosity about other people also takes your focus away from painful feelings that tend to make you hide and sulk.
9. Kindness goes a long way.
You have the power to offer love and generosity to all those you come into contact with.
It’s not instinct to be nice to strangers or people who scare you. But it’s an option. And in the long run it’s a winning choice.
Alternatively, being mean or tight-fisted with people you do not know very well, could earn you a reputation as Scrooge.
10. Remain persistent even if a certain group appears to be a dead end for you, try another.
If you are persistent, challenge the assumptions and feelings that tell you to give up and resign to the lonely life, and emerge and be curious and kind to other people and more groups, the odds are in your favor.
And once you have a friend or two, nurture those friendships with time and attention. Don’t be too careful about whether you give more than you initially get.
If you make more friends and a few of them are takers, you may choose to spend more time with friends who value your friendship.
11. Do social activities yourself.
It’s often not your partner or friends that you miss, but the activities and hobbies you shared.
Invite yourself out on a date. For example, if you are going to dinner or a movie on a date, go to a movie theater or a nice restaurant.
Although, at first, it may feel awkward doing the things on your own that you are used to doing with other people, do not hold back.
It’s not strange to be alone and do something! Once you remember why you did these items before, you can enjoy the activity itself again.
Bring a book, magazine, or journal if you are going out to eat or drink coffee alone, so you will be busy when you generally talk.
Remember that people deliberately go out on their own just to have some “me” time; it is not as if people will see you sitting alone and assume you don’t have any friends.
12. Consider getting a pet.
If you are really struggling without companionship, consider adopting a dog or cat from your local animal shelter.
Pets have been household companions for hundreds of years for a reason, and earning the trust and affection of an animal can be a really rewarding experience.
Be a responsible pet owner.
Ensure your pet is spayed or neutered, and only commit to bringing a pet into your life if you are ready to tackle the daily tasks of caring for it.
13. Consider joining a gym.
Exercising and taking care of our bodies are generally the first things to put aside when we are busy.
If you spend less time with other people than usual, try using that time to exercise. If you work out at the gym, you might even meet some new friends or someone special!
14. Learn a new skill.
If you want to make the most of this time and feel good while you do it, consider learning a new skill. You can learn to play a musical instrument, learn to draw, or learn to dance.
Going and studying these subjects with other people can help you meet new people but will also offer you a creative outlet for your feelings.
Turn your loneliness into something lovely!
Cook yourself a delicious meal or make baked goods for friends or neighbors. Cooking food is helpful, you can channel your focus into something nutritious.
15. Find Comfort and Happiness in Solitude.
Recognize the importance of being alone and enjoying solitude. Being alone is not the same as being lonely.
Peace, serenity, freedom, space and an opportunity to connect with your deeper self.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article on how to deal with loneliness. I actually hope that its content has been of good help to you.