Do you suffer from feelings of isolation and loneliness?
Everyone feels lonely sometimes. But if you feel this way severely or over a long period of time it can have a profound impact on your life. It can even lead to serious health issues like anxiety, depression, lowered immune system and disturbed sleep.
As a therapist I understand how painful and difficult these feelings are, but I’ve also seen that they can be eased. Identifying the cause of your loneliness will help you gain control over it. And there are steps you can take to help yourself overcome feelings of loneliness.
Loneliness isn’t the same as being alone
Loneliness isn’t the same as comfortably spending time by yourself. It’s the feeling of being unable to connect with others. And you don’t have to be alone to feel lonely – you might be surrounded by friends and family but feel detached from them.
What causes feelings of isolation?
Isolation and loneliness can affect anyone at any stage in life. In today’s society more people are feeling lonely because we tend to move away from family and don’t connect with our new neighbours. But you can also experience isolation if you feel unable to conform in a close-knit community.
Sometimes an event in your life can cause physical or emotional distance from others, like moving somewhere new, the loss of your health or a loved one, or the arrival of a new baby. Feeling different from others because of a language barrier or a disability can also cause acute loneliness. And if you’ve experienced physical or verbal abuse, this can make it difficult to trust people and make new connections.
If you feel isolated and lonely, you can find yourself withdrawing from others and avoiding social situations, which in turn makes the lonely feeling worse.
You can overcome your loneliness
While it can be hard work – especially at first – you can break the cycle and overcome loneliness and isolation. I’ve outlined below some simple steps you can take to heal yourself: