Everyone has felt lonely at some point in their lives, but is it okay to feel alone?
The feeling of loneliness is different for everybody. It's possible to feel lonely with people around you, or even when you're in a room full of people. You can be surrounded by other people, but still feel utterly alone.
This article will explore the psychology of loneliness, as well as its possible effects on your mental health and well-being. It will also look at the question of whether or not it's appropriate to feel lonely and what you can do about it.
The feelings of loneliness are fairly common, but for some people loneliness is something they struggle with regularly. As a society we tend to view loneliness as abnormal, something that is only experienced by other people. Loneliness, however, is an experience that everyone goes through at some point in their lives. It is not a character flaw, and it does not make you any less worthy or deserving of love or companionship.
Loneliness is one of the hardest things to bear when you're in the middle of it. Strangely enough, loneliness can be difficult to explain to others. It may help those who are close to us understand that we are lonely if they listen carefully and try to empathize with our feelings, but often the best thing we can do is seek professional help.
Loneliness is actually a very individual experience since everyone feels lonely differently. Everyone experiences loneliness somewhat differently and responds in their own ways. This is important to remember when you're feeling alone.
Lonely feelings can be very confusing and difficult to deal with, especially if they're not something you've experienced before. Unfortunately, it's often difficult if not impossible to understand the experience of loneliness through articles or books, since the experience is unique to the individual. The best thing you can do when you're lonely is reach out to someone close to you. By talking about your feelings with someone else, you will help them understand what it's like for you and in return that person can offer support in a way that no one else could.
Impact of loneliness on mental health
Loneliness can have a number of adverse effects on your mental health. Although it is not a clinical diagnosis, loneliness and social isolation are linked to depression and other mental illnesses. It can have an especially negative effect on those with depression since without social interaction, symptoms of depression may worsen. Social isolation can also expose you to other negative elements that contribute to depression such as the lack of physical activity, poor diet, and poor sleep.
As with many mental illnesses, loneliness is often caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. When someone is lonely, certain chemicals in their brain become unbalanced. These chemicals help us to function normally. When there is a lack of attention, social contact, and other necessary experiences, the chemical balance in your brain shifts and you become lonely.
Loneliness can negatively affect a person's ability to think. People who are lonely tend to become more focused on the things they do not have rather than what they do have. For example, someone who is lonely might focus on all of the things they wish they had rather than all of the things they already have.
Dealing with loneliness
Perhaps the hardest thing about loneliness is knowing what to do about it. It's impossible to explain the experience of being lonely, especially if you have never experienced it before. When you're experiencing loneliness, there are many external factors that contribute to it. Loneliness is one of those things that can't really be explained on paper, since everyone has a different experience of it.
If you want to know more about dealing with loneliness, or how you can help someone who is feeling lonely, refer to the following pointers:
1. Reach out to someone you trust- Be it a friend, family member, or a professional like a doctor or psychologist, reaching out to someone is an important step in coping with loneliness.
2. Spend some time alone- It's tempting when you're lonely to spend all your time with other people. This however can only make loneliness worse. Try to spend some time on your own, either doing something that interests you or just taking some time to relax and unwind after a busy day.
3. Get moving- The next time you feel lonely don't sit down on the couch and watch TV. Exercising can help lift your mood and ease negative emotions associated with loneliness by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. The more often you exercise, the easier it gets to feel good.
4. Eat a healthy diet- Being unhealthy can lead to loneliness by causing changes in mood, which can impact your ability to interact with others. Try to eat foods that are rich in iron and try and get more iron into your system. If you're feeling particularly negative, it might help to try and eat foods that are rich in Vitamin B6 as well.
5. Take good care of yourself physically- It can be hard to be around people if you're feeling too icky or too tired all the time, so take care of yourself while you're around other people. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, and try to make sure you're feeling good enough to be around others.
6. Focus on the things you have- Do not let your focus shift towards the negative things missing in your life. Focusing on what is missing can only make you feel depressed and more isolated. Instead, focus on the things you do have. Focus on the good; think of all the reasons you're happy to be alive and in this moment.
7. Avoid comparison- It can be easy to compare yourself to someone else when you're feeling lonely. Try not to compare yourself to others, since this will only make it harder for you to feel better about yourself.
Loneliness is not an easy thing to deal with and often the best way to deal with it is seeking professional help. Loneliness can make you feel depressed, anxious, and out of touch with yourself and the world around you. Although loneliness cannot be "fixed", there are steps you can take to help alleviate its effects on your mental health. If you continually feel lonely despite following these steps, it might be time to seek professional help.