Lonely in a Crowd: How to Overcome Loneliness & Not Let It Grow Into Depression
The following article was kindly written and contributed by Leslie Dye.
You might have moved to a new place and struggling to make friends. Or you might be going through a phase in life where you feel utterly isolated. When you feel lonely, regardless of how busy the surroundings are, you might experience the feeling swallowing you.
Loneliness is not a mere mental feeling. If not addressed, it could harm your physical and mental health, impacting every aspect of your life. Evidence suggests that if you do not address it, loneliness could be involved in issues such as alcoholism, weaken your immunity and even lead to depression.
But you don't have to tackle it alone. If you are feeling disconnected, here are some ways that could help you battle loneliness.
Acknowledge the Impact of Loneliness
Loneliness has become a pressing health concern. The first step is to recognize how it is impacting your life. Some people find loneliness often hindering their daily activities. For instance, many students rely on EssayPro for academics as they are unable to focus on their classes and assignments. For others, it might be challenging to concentrate on work or even go out and socialize.
Apart from emotional pain, loneliness can affect your health, as well. Loneliness and depression are often intertwined and could become a deadly combination for a person’s wellbeing. Lonely people tend to show more symptoms of depression and immune dysregulation. In other words, people who experience loneliness are more prone to physical pain, and a variety of other health issues.
Of course, coping with loneliness is easier said than done. However, it is necessary to take conscious steps to overcome your emotional distress before it worsens.
Understand Why You Are Lonely
According to the Australian Psychological Society, 1 in 4 people in Australia is experiencing loneliness. The surveys show that it could be partly due to disconnection from society, or due to the feeling of not being understood by friends and family. In order to overcome this emotion, you first need to work out why you are feeling lonely. It will give you a better idea of how to find your way out of it.
Correct your Dysfunctional Thinking
For many people, it is their mind that often controls their emotions. Studies reveal that lonely people's thoughts are dominated by concerns of rejection hurting and a tendency to stay away from pleasant areas of life. Identifying the thoughts that direct you to the pessimistic mindset is where you can begin to correct it.
Be aware of how your thoughts are affecting your mood and actions. If you find yourself stuck in the middle of a loop of dysfunctional thoughts, try to identify their root, and try to reshape it. It will take patience and practice, but in a while, you will see a shift in your moods.
Reach Out to People
It is not uncommon for lonely people to feel like their company is a burden to others. However, people are often merely busy with their lives and assume that you are busy with yours. Instead of succumbing to your solitude or trying to hide it from others, the easiest way to break the cycle is to rewire your thoughts.
You might be surprised how an initiative from you could turn things around in a relationship, be it with family or friends. As difficult as it might seem, talking to your friends and family could bring you huge relief and help deviate your thoughts. You might even find yourself wanting to do it more often.
The social media networks might be intended to connect people, but reports suggest otherwise. In fact, limiting social media use could help decrease your loneliness. It will significantly reduce feelings of anxiety and the fear of missing out. Be mindful of why you are connecting to social networks and what you hope to attain. Put your mental health above others’ opinions about you Instead, focus on nurturing relationships outside social media.
Engage Your Body
Physical activity releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine and endorphins that could dramatically alter your mood. Exercising will help you to feel more connected with yourself and push you to get outdoors. There are also other social aspects, such as joining a gym or a club that could encourage you to interact with people. Step by step, engaging in physical activities will help you foster and build friendships.
Sometimes it might be hard to mingle with your people, you know. The best alternative to find solace and interact with others is to volunteer. You can find any cause that you believe in and engage in their activities. Be it serving in a homeless shelter, or pet care, if it brings you happiness and satisfaction, it will also help with loneliness. You will find a sense of purpose in life and help others while doing it.
Find Companionship in Pets
Owning a pet comes with an endless list of benefits that could help you overcome any negative feelings. Animals offer constant companionship, and their presence can help to reduce anxiety as well. Moreover, pets can motivate you to take part in physical activities that will curb the feelings of social isolation.
If you have exhausted other options, or feel the need for additional help, never hesitate to reach out to professionals. Your loneliness might be a symptom of an underlying mental or physical health issue. One of the treatments for loneliness is therapy, which could be enormously helpful. You could also begin with online sessions if you find the comfort of your home more appealing. Regardless of which way you choose, it is vital that you recognize the need for help and take action.
Depression and loneliness go hand in hand. It has the potential to make on feeling nervous and uncertain about their place in the world. However, remember that both issues can be treated. With support from your loved ones, self-love, and effective treatment, you can take steps towards healing yourself.