Do you often feel disconnected and awkward among a group of people? Do you prefer solitude, and that has prolonged over time? If the answers are yes, then you are going through ‘loneliness.’ And feeling lonely may gradually result in depression and anxiety. But the heart balm is that you are not alone in this.
It is okay not to be okay. A larger portion of society today feels lonely at one time or the other. According to the BBC’s loneliness study of 55000 people, 40% of 16-24-year-olds from the group reported they ‘often’ or ‘very often’ felt lonely. The good news is, there are ways to identify and turn around this situation.
Here, we have brought some guidelines and potential measures to uplift your mood and ease your feeling of loneliness.
Realize the Gravity of the Situation
According to Ross Rosenberg, a psychotherapist, and trainer, loneliness is a multidimensional problem. The depression and anxiety from feeling lonely can result in insecurity, poor self-esteem, less confident, and feeling undesirable for relationships. Contrary to the popular notion, loneliness is not just a state of being alone or in the absence of a company. It is a struggle caused by emotional turmoil from feelings of imperfection, shame, or inadequacy. And the central cause is people holding on to negative thoughts for a longer time.
Another factor to feeling of loneliness is that people suffering from it often do so in silence. They smile and go on with their lives while hiding their core emotions. It is a shame-based experience for them, and they often pretend to be chirpy, jovial, and fun. Putting yourself into social situations with people does not help at this point. Because the more you feel inept, the faster you isolate yourself, and that does not help in mingling.
It may seem logical that having more friends can help battle loneliness. However, the feeling is multidimensional, including social, psychological, and physiological factors. Thus, having friends does not help to feel secure and lovable. Changing one’s poor self-esteem to self-confidence and inculcating love, respect, and care for oneself is elemental in solving and healing the cause for chronic loneliness.
All these concerns may sound alarming, but it is not the end of the world. Nonetheless, if you know that feeling lonely is already affecting your well-being, then it is a good idea to identify the root cause.
Potential Causes for Loneliness
Everyone has different life-story and personal reasons for why they behave the way they do. So, pinpointing one reason to feeling lonely may seem complex. But we have listed some potential grounds on which are commonly reported by people suffering from the situation.
Sudden changes in life
New situations in life often cause a ruckus, and it makes us uncomfortable. Relocating to a new house or city, new job, break-up, death of a loved one, etc. are the sort of changes in life that disturb your daily routine and modify your social circle, thus leaving you feeling lonely after some time.
Unresolved past issues
Loneliness is sometimes just a hangover from the incidences of the past. Situations like childhood trauma, old family disputes, unresolved relationship issues, etc. can pile up over time. And without a safe environment to acknowledge them, they result in loneliness.
Not knowing your inner-self
In this walk of life, if you have never stopped to identify your true passion or learned about yourself, then it may leave you feeling lonely. Not having your dream job, compromising your ideals, or following other people’s idea of happiness can lead you into loneliness with time.
Not acknowledging self-growth
Sticking on to the same notions that worked for you in the early years of life does not always work for you. For example, you may outgrow some habits, you may not have the same intimacy with your old friends, or you may not even like the same hobbies anymore. But simply not acknowledging the fact that you have changed, can leave you misunderstood and feeling lonely.
Now you know what is bugging you. The next step is to address the issue and implement some countermeasures.
Here are some tips to battle loneliness in life.
- Catch the negative overtones on time. Self-degrading thoughts like, “I am not qualified for this job.” Or “I am not classy enough for this party.” etc. should be attended early on.
- Bring positivity with affirmative self-talk like,” I am beautiful the way I am. “or “I am open to this new challenge.”
- Put yourself out in situations that you fear. Isolating yourself and validating the fears can take you away from the love and companionship you deserve.
- Weed out the toxic relationships from life. Create a space for positive reinforcement and relationships.
- Nurture your support system. Even if you have only one close person, do not stop building on it and never underestimate the value of what you can offer.
- Take charge. Please do not wait for things to happen; make them happen for you. If you want a date, ask someone out. If you want to party, invite people over. Do not shy away from taking risks.
- Make yourself heard. Do not shut away from your opinions or ideas in public. Put your point clearly, confront people when necessary, and stand up for yourself if you feel pushed over.
- Ask for help. It is okay to be vulnerable. Getting comfort from someone is not a sign of weakness; it is the trait of a courageous person to acknowledge their problems and find solutions. Talk to a friend, discuss with family members, you can also join online communities where anonymous chats are possible, and you can also consider therapy.
To sum up, always remember that you are not the one feeling lonely. People may have bigger issues than you, but opening up and sharing experiences can help you battle this issue. Do not overthink, take your time, identify the causes at your pace, and choose the best way for yourself to address the problem. The tips from this guide will help you, but the first step has to come from you. Stay happy, stay healthy!