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Why We Feel Lonely and What to Do About It

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According to Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, man is, by nature, a social animal. The loneliest people are antisocial individuals in any society. Human brains are wired to depend on social connections to thrive. Whenever you are cut out from these connections, your brain will tend to trigger the feelings of pain and sadness. Loneliness is a feeling that causes people to feel alone, unwanted, and empty. It is therefore politically correct to say as a human being, you cannot live alone. You need social interactions to define who you are.

Loneliness can take a toll on your health. It can affect your mental and physical health. When it affects you psychologically, you develop conditions such as insomnia in that you are completely unable to sleep. Research has shown that loneliness can also elevate your chances of developing dementia when you’re older. In very severe instances, loneliness has been known to trigger suicidal thoughts and can drive you to take your life. 

Apart from impacting your mental health, this condition can also influence your physical health. Studies have reported that people who experience chronic loneliness eat unhealthy foods that lower their immune system. They are also at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Apart from your health, loneliness can also influence your behavior. Most lonely people tend to turn to substance abuse in certain instances.

So, in a world filled with interesting people and a lot of fun things to do, why do people feel lonely? Here are three reasons detailing why:

1. Loneliness can be hereditary

You could have inherited loneliness from your parents. Research shows that there are about 15 genetic variations that can make you susceptible to loneliness. It is such traits that make you want to distance yourself from people. 

A good example of people with hereditary loneliness is an introvert. These are people who prefer to live in isolation. They possess a reserved and quiet demeanor and are overwhelmed by social engagements involving many people. Some people are born introverts, while others pick up this trait as a result of how they were raised. 

2. Inflated expectations toward friends

Have you ever felt lonely while hanging out with a group of friends? Well, it is possible to feel that way. Having a lot of friends is not a guarantee that you will not get lonely. Friendships are built on relationships and often have feelings attached to them. If you do not feel connected to your numerous companions, you will tend to get lonely. People with lonely tendencies assume that having friends will help them solve their problems. Unfortunately, not everyone in your social circle will come to your aid when you are in trouble. Very few will provide support, so you should strive to have quality and not quantity with regards to friends.

“If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.” – Zig Ziglar

3. You’re too uptight

Some people constantly maintain their “guard up” which makes it difficult for them to bond and connect with other people. If you are the kind of person who sits in a social gathering and stays quiet the entire time when other people are having a conversation, then you’re contributing to your loneliness. Such behavior will make it difficult for other people to reach out to you and want to bond with you.

4. The fallacy of social media

Ideally, social media is supposed to bring people together but the irony is that it causes people to feel lonely. How does this happen? People tend to post their best selves on social media platforms even when it is not true. When you are busy checking your friends or colleague’s images of their supposedly “perfect lives”, it is likely that you will feel left out. 

A recent study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found an association between social media and loneliness. 

Having known why people tend to get lonely, what do you do about it then? Here are tips on how to avert loneliness:

1. Engage in sporting activities

You know you are lonely when you feel unhappy and sad because you are isolated. The journey to averting loneliness begins with you. There are numerous activities you can engage in to feel connected to people. For example, you could take part in sporting activities such as marathons or cycling races near you. In such sporting activities, you have a chance to meet numerous people and it is unlikely that you will feel alone. 

2. Volunteer in community work

Volunteering gives you a chance to focus on the needs of other people. It is difficult to feel lonely when you are caring for the elderly in a home or catering to the homeless. Lending a hand will leave you feeling fulfilled and it will also help you keep your mind off sad thoughts that are associated with loneliness.

“A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that next time you feel alone.” – Mandy Hale

3. Attend therapy

When you experience chronic loneliness, you should seek help. You could source the services of a therapist who will help you understand the underlying issues that are making you dissociate from other people. Therapy will give you fresh perspectives on your problems and help you understand your emotions better.

4. Detach from social platforms

As indicated above, social media is one of the factors that contribute to loneliness. In case you spend a lot of time on these social media platforms, you need to stop it and reexamine your life. When you do so, you will realize there is a lot you could with your life away from these platforms. However, you can decide to scroll through these platforms once in a while based on how well you are doing with the management of your loneliness

Conclusion

Loneliness is a complex emotion that can affect anyone. Of importance is how you handle yourself when this feeling overwhelms you. If you want to be happier and live a full life, you need to tackle the problems in your life that are making you sad and unhappy. 

The process of overcoming loneliness begins when you focus your attention on the things that matter the most in life like social interactions. Often, it is difficult for people to notice that you are sad and lonely, therefore, you should endeavor to look after yourself. 

How do you keep your mental health in check especially when you’re feeling lonely? Please share your advice for everyone to read below!

Vincent Rubin is a life coach with 7 years of experience. He loves jewelry and always turns to Ariana Nila for versatile personalized jewelry. Furthermore, he is a cycling enthusiast and is especially keen on electric bikes. Currently, he is focused on sharing his expertise in life coaching with a wider audience through his writing.

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A Simple but Effective Technique to Be More Confident

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Many people want to learn how to be confident in different situations, but it’s not always easy. Maybe we’re too addicted to comparing ourselves or maybe social media has brainwashed us to believe that we should all be rich, famous, and in incredible shape. (more…)

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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