Feeling Lonely? You are not Alone!!!

The researchers found that “people who are lonely tend to be linked to others who are lonely. Unfortunately, loneliness itself can make people feel more negative, critical, and judgmental.

It may appear that a negative feeling like loneliness is more contagious than a more positive emotion like happiness.  Don’t believe the lie. The truth is most humans tend to focus on the negative . For some the loneliest time is when they are surrounded most by those who are “suppose” to care the most. How do we stop the cycle?

Did you know that loneliness is only recognized in highly developed societies. Other factors that may contribute your feeling lonely is the decline in close relationships, long work hours, high rate of exploitation at work, chronic feeling of tiredness, long commutes, remote locations of friends’ houses, the popularity of Internet, and lack of affordable recreation facilities.

Perhaps as a society we can reduce loneliness by centering on new values that are favorable to a sense of community, better parenting skills, expansion of new recreational facilities, and changes in social policies which will offer a less segregated living.

Know that smiling itself can help increase positive, pro-social behaviors. What’s in a smile? A lot of information, telling the receiver of the smile whether you meant you are happy, amused, or proud. Happiness is a core component of life and living, and is associated with helping protect us against heart disease and enhancing our overall health.  Know that gratitude tends to lead to more happiness.

Gretchen Rubin, posit several strategies that combat loneliness

1. Remember that although the distinction can be difficult to draw, loneliness and solitude are different.  “It’s entirely reasonable to feel lonely yet still feel as though you need some time to yourself.” Loneliness feels draining, distracting, and upsetting; desired solitude feels peaceful, creative, and restorative.

2. Nurturing others — raising children, teaching, caring for animals — helps to alleviate loneliness.

3. Keep in mind that to avoid loneliness, many people need both a social circle and an intimate attachment. Having one of these elements may still leave you feeling lonely.

4. Work hard to get your sleep. One of the most common indicators of loneliness is broken sleep — taking a long time to fall asleep, waking frequently, and feeling sleepy during the day. Sleep deprivation, under any circumstances, brings down people’s moods, makes them more likely to get sick, and dampens their energy, so it’s important to tackle this issue.

5. Try to figure out what’s missing from your life. Making lots of plans with friends will not  alleviate your loneliness.  Most of us  want  “The quiet presence of another person.  Perhaps someone else just hanging around the house with you. The more clearly you see what’s lacking, the more clearly you’ll see possible solutions.

6. Take steps to connect with other people (to state the obvious). Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change. The pain of loneliness can move you to connect with other people.

Unfortunately, loneliness itself can make people feel more negative, critical, and judgmental. If you recognize that your loneliness may be affecting you in that way, you can take steps to counter it.  Seek out a Emotional or Mental Health Professional, Self-Help Books, or Support Groups.

About 

DrBev is a National Certified Counselor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and a Certified Gestalt Psychotherapist, Seminar - WorkShop Facilitator, Radio Personality, Author and President and Educational Director of DrBev Mental Health Counseling.
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6 Comments

  1. Posted June 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    A powerful eyeopener, and the way you outline the cause and solution of loneliness, wow I am so humbled, and in agreement.

  2. Karen Anderson
    Posted June 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Good article! I was especially drawn to this statement:
    “Loneliness feels draining, distracting, and upsetting; desired solitude feels peaceful, creative, and restorative.” I’ll have to remember that in the future. Thanks for the share..

  3. Bree Terrell
    Posted June 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Wow, so true. I am a true believer that one needs to be comfortable in his/her aloneness. I love my alone time and rarely feel lonely when I’m in my space. It’s my time to reflect, journal, read, or just relax my self with myself. I have experienced being lonely while in a relationship due to how unhealthy it was so now I’m loving “my time.”

    I think it’s healthy for individuals to learn how to be comfortable in their aloneness and not feel the “need” to always be around others. My thinking is that if a person does not like to be alone with him/herself, why would someone else? I also believe that it takes time for a person to become comfortable in his/her aloneness. Surrounding yourself with positive people who have your best interest at heart is a good system to have in place as well.

    I enjoyed reading this…thanks for sharing!!

  4. Posted June 4, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Great article!! The strategies are really helpful and many can benefit from it. Keep up the great work Dr.Bev!

  5. Viv
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    It’s important to be able to handle loneliness in a constructive matter. Loneliness informs us that something “is missing” in our life. It is our job to find out what that is. By having self-intuition, we can do so, in a healthy matter. Everything is about balance. We must learn to balance our work life, our personal life, our social life, our emotional life, our individual life, and our spiritual life.

    I have found that having time alone; having solitude, re-energizes me. It is during this time, I learn more about myself, and am able to become a better “me” for myself and for the world. By having and enjoying my solitude, I hardly ever feel lonely.

  6. Posted June 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    This is excellent!

    Some people choose to be alone, but aren’t necessarily lonely. Many people confuse being alone and being lonely.

    Keep up the good job!

    BFT

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