With the rise of modern transportation modes, the internet, and social media, we can say that the world is more connected than ever.
Socializing with a friend is just a few clicks away, and it is even better with video chats. Meeting physically with people takes only hours regardless of where they are in the globe. However, even when time and space seem to be collapsing, research shows that most of us still experience loneliness. It then begs the question, why do we feel alone. What can we do to combat this feeling?
Why we feel lonely
From the above, we can say that loneliness is a state of mind rather than a state of being alone. However, the causes of loneliness are unique to everyone and could also be a manifestation of other mental health conditions. Here are a few reasons why we feel lonely:
Lack of physical human connections– Even though social media makes virtual socialization easy, we still crave for more physical connections. When that is not possible such as when we move to a new school or neighborhood, we feel lonely. It is made worse when we have to deal with language barriers, making it more difficult to connect with those around us. Sufficient and consensual physical connections, and simple presence, can greatly influence emotional connection and attachment to those around us as well.
Having no one to share interests with– As human beings, we have different interests in life. That is to say, we can find ourselves interested in things that others around us aren’t interested in. When this happens, we tend to tell ourselves that we are different or awkward, which makes us isolate ourselves from the rest. This “outsider” persona can lead to feelings of loneliness, and thus isolation.
Painful events– These are common in life, but sometimes we feel like the people around us don’t understand the depth of our pain. Situations such as the loss of someone close to us can lead to increased feelings of sadness and loneliness. This is emphasized by the fact that cases and feelings of loss are experienced uniquely and exclusively to the person, which means that understanding and addressing these feelings can seem even harder, as no remedy works for everyone without exceptions.
Social comparison– Social media has put other peoples’ lives out in the open right in front of us. When we see other people portraying themselves as more accomplished or happy than us, it is easy to feel like we are less than them. Such feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem can trigger feelings of loneliness of a self-deprecating nature.
What we can do about it:
It is normal to experience feelings of loneliness, but when they come in intense episodes repeatedly for indefinite periods, this can lead to chronic loneliness. If not treated, chronic loneliness can lead to health conditions such as depression, dementia, and heart problems among others. The following tips can help counter feelings of loneliness.
Staying positive– Painful moments come in life, but the good thing is that they don’t last forever. It is good to keep a positive outlook even when it looks like a breakthrough is ages away. The truth is that we are closer to our happy day with every passing hour. Having something that reminds us that life is beautiful goes a long way. A personalized photo pendant necklace is a perfect way to customize a favorite quote on a piece of jewelry that you can keep close to heart. Fit into it your favorite picture of someone or something that makes you happy, or engrave a motivational quote that will cheer you up no matter what!
Being grateful- The truth is that no one has everything they need in life. For all we know, people displaying flashy lives on social media could be doing worse than we are. Instead of beating ourselves up, we should be grateful for what we have. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to remind us that we are blessed.
Connect with like-minded people– Just because no one around us likes our interests, it doesn’t mean that we are awkward or weird. Thankfully, there are many social groups on the internet formed by people with different interests. Surfing through online platforms can lead us to a place that we feel that we belong to.
Talk about it- Feelings of loneliness only get worse when we bottle them up. Instead of wallowing in our state of despair, it is good to share how we feel with people around us. As said earlier, loneliness is a state of mind. Though we feel that people around don’t care, it is our mind convincing us that that’s the case. Talking about feelings of loneliness, or other mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety can be extremely challenging, especially if you’re not feeling understood. Take your time to build trust into someone, and consciously remind yourself to believe that people are willing to help you. Be it people from your inner circle, or mental health professionals.
Focus on other things– Feelings of loneliness can be broken by a fun activity or even exercise. This is because when we channel our focus on other things, our minds are taken away from what we are feeling. It becomes much easier to cope with the situation. You can use this time to maybe try a new physical activity. For example, you can opt for integrating an e-bike kit to your traditional bike and enjoy some exhilarating cardio to take your mind off of your daily concerns and anxieties, and also enjoy an effortless assisted ride!
In a state of loneliness, it is easy to think that we are in a hopeless situation. However, no matter how lonely we are, we can overcome it. The secret is to make a deliberate effort to get out of the situation.
Keep in mind that feelings of loneliness can never be permanently eradicated. However, this article intends to instruct and comfort severe cases, when loneliness hinders them from functioning normally on a daily basis in terms of social relationships, sense of belonging, and self-esteem.
This article was written by Vincent Rubin.
Vincent is a life coach with 7 years of experience with a focus on family relationships. In his free time, he likes to read and spend time with his family doing outdoor activities. Right now he is focused on sharing his expertise with a wider audience through his writing.”