Is loneliness so bad? So many of us replaced real-life connections with virtual ones. We miss the human touch. Our brain reacts differently. We are social animals. Yet many people in human history willingly choose and enjoy loneliness and even hermitage. I did not form my opinion yet, so I invited Jack Lee to write a guest post for me.
Everyone will feel lonely or want to be alone at a certain point in life. There is no set age or moment in life when loneliness strikes. In other instances, it is you who will want to stay alone because of a phase in life or an experience that you feel is best handled alone. As such, loneliness is a normal part of the life of a healthy and ordinary person.
Loneliness becomes a problem when it takes a negative turn. To put it differently, some people come out of the loneliness phase stronger while others lose themselves in the process. Experts have not identified a specific trigger for the desire to be alone. It will change from one person to the other, making it difficult to prevent.
Triggers and the perspective of life will determine how a person recovers. It also affects the frequency of this loneliness feeling. It is also worth noting that loneliness does not mean isolation. You can be in the midst of an enthusiastic crowd yet still feel lonely. A good point to start is by understanding why people feel lonely and is it self-willed or a condition?
Causes and the Desire to Stay Alone
People feel lonely for several reasons. One of the most common reasons for loneliness is a change in the situation. Moving to a new school, city, job, or being in a strange environment will cause loneliness feeling. Experts attribute the feeling to the unavailability of people, fixtures, and routines that you were familiar with. The body and mind are forced to learn new things. You have to start the journey of knowing people all over again. You lose bunters and friendship that added life to your days.
Situational change is easier to manage but acclimatizing to the new environment will take varying times, depending on the flexibility of the subject. Some people are eager to make new friends while others may take a while. Prepare mentally for the loss of old friends and familiarity if you are moving to a new place. It makes it easier to beat the loneliness bug.
A permanent loss will cause the feeling of loneliness. The death of a parent, partner, child, or such close acquaintances in life results in loneliness. Because it is difficult to replace, the condition requires a lot of counseling. It is similar to being in a strange place because you have to learn how to cope with the absence. The biggest challenge with recovering from such loneliness is the realization that it is irreversible. Some people slip into depression as a result.
Social strive is a common trigger for loneliness. When loneliness emanates from such a circumstance, it is dangerous because a person could feel lonely yet he or she is in the middle of chatty and vibrant people. This kind of loneliness emanates from the feeling that the people around you do not understand your situation. As such, you feel isolated, though you are in their midst.
Victims of such loneliness may isolate themselves. Others go into depression and will avoid communication. It has resulted in harm, either of self or the people around. It results in misunderstandings that may not be easy to resolve. Improved communication and change of environment may help you to overcome this kind of loneliness.
Loneliness and Mental Health
Loneliness escalates and may result in strained mental health. Scientists affirm that social support is a critical component of a healthy mind. As a result, people who feel lonely and act lonely by isolating themselves from others will experience mental health issues.
Early signs of the effect of loneliness on mental health include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and suicide. Elderly persons who experience prolonged loneliness risk of suffering from dementia and eventually Alzheimer’s disease. As such, handlers and people around vulnerable persons must observe the early signs of loneliness with the aim of taking quick action.
What are the early signs of loneliness? Well, spotting these signs requires a lot of situational awareness. You must know what the person loves and identify situations when such a person is isolating from friends and family. Here are signs that loneliness is taking a toll on a friend or relative.
- The person begins to show signs of anxiety and depression. Deep thought and keeping away from things that made him happy are danger signs.
- The victim may be aggressive towards people even without provocation. Minor differences trigger arguments and altercations. Relating with such a person becomes difficult and the personality appears to have changed.
- A passive attitude develops towards people, activities, and ideas. A person who loved football no longer wants to participate. The excitement of seeing friends or family is gone. Such a person has to be pushed to do things that he or she ordinarily did without coercion.
- Cognitive decline sets in. A person who was sharp and insightful no longer contributes to debates or is now giving frivolous answers.
- Self-neglect or poor self-care. It results from beaten self-esteem and diminished positivity. The person no longer exercises and is not interested in dressing smartly. You might also witness a don’t-care attitude towards personal grooming.
The severity of each of these conditions will depend on the intensity of loneliness. When the situation is mild, the loneliness is on the surface and easier to manage. If the loneliness persists for too long, it could have devastating and irreversible effects on mental health.
The handling of loneliness is equally important. A positive attitude and the willingness to embrace the solutions available will help you to come out of the loneliness fast. At the top of the solutions is the recognition that you feel lonely. It is from that point that you begin to find a solution. Luckily, these solutions are easy to find. In fact, some of the solutions do not require any resources. A change of scenery or a positive attitude is all it takes to shake off the loneliness.
How to Deal with Loneliness, Remain Healthy, And Comfortable
Staying alone should not translate into loneliness. Even when loneliness strikes, there are opportunities for you to remain healthy and comfortable with yourself. The remedies for loneliness will depend on individual causes as well as preferences. Here are easy ways to deal with loneliness to guarantee good health and comfort.
Watch out for the Signs of Loneliness
The signs of loneliness are easy to pick even without the help of a professional psychologist. In fact, the best starting point is identifying triggers. Since each person has unique triggers, you should know what would cause you to slip into loneliness. If you anticipate a situation that would lead to loneliness like moving to a new place or the departure of a close acquaintance, you must find a way of dealing with it. For instance, should you pay for an essay instead of spending the entire weekend alone in the room completing the assignment? When loneliness is identified early, it will be easier to handle. You prevent devastating and long term effects when you acknowledge loneliness early.
Maintain a Routine
A routine gets you acting almost involuntarily. Whether people leave or you move to a new place, every hour of your day will be occupied. With a routine, it is easier to deal with issues that may lead to loneliness.
A routine eliminates idle hours that get you thinking about the people who have left or what you have lost. In case you fall into loneliness to the point of skipping some of the activities, you will feel the effect because some of the activities in the routine will not have been accomplished. A routine keeps you going even when the body or the mind does not feel like responding.
Build a Social Circle
Research indicates that people with a smaller or weak social circle have higher chances of falling into loneliness. It is this circle that also spots your challenges with loneliness and intervenes. However, you must build a strong bond with your circle of friends. It is this circle that will watch over you when a friend passes on or you move to a new city.
Loneliness has a psychological angle that even friends cannot help. Recognize that loneliness comes and can be handled. Whenever a solution is proposed, you must be ready to adapt it. Remaining in negativity and giving up prolongs the loneliness to the point where even friends give up on you. Be as eager to find a solution as the people who could be helping you along the way.
Learn to Enjoy Personal Time
Loneliness causes isolation. However, isolation does not have to come with a negative effect. It is possible to stay alone in a room without feeling lonely. Once you find yourself alone, get interesting engagements to occupy your time. Read, listen to music, play games, and engage in such interesting activities. It will protect you from slipping into loneliness.
At the end of the day, you will find yourself lonely at a point but it is how you handle the situation that will determine the outcome. Adopt a positive attitude so that every situation is easier to handle. Above all, learn how to manage loneliness so that it does not eat into your mental health.
Jack Lee is a journalism student at the University of Toronto and an esteemed freelance writer from WriteMyEssay.Today. He is interested in a healthy lifestyle and engaging in outdoor activities, but most of the time it won’t be the case – you’ll probably find him on the couch, watching another episode of The Big Bang Theory.