Loneliness

Loneliness is subjective pain – its a strong feeling of emptiness and solitude. Loneliness is not about how strong you are, or how weak you are. In my view, it has nothing to do with a person’s inner strength or tolerance level for pain.

Put simply, anyone in the world regardless of personality/character is susceptible of becoming lonely. That is to say, you could be outgoing and have lots of friends and family but still feel lonely. On the other hand, you could be an introvert, reserved or a pessimist but not (comparatively speaking) feel as lonely.

If you feel lonely for a prolonged amount of time and that feeling becomes more and more intense, you need to seek help. Loneliness can consume you and be detrimental to your physical and mental well being.

If you know people who are lonely or if you feel lonely, then NOW is the best time to take some action. Here are some ways how:

(1) Start doing some exercise. You can do this alone or with other people, for example, join a yoga class. It is a known fact that exercise releases endorphins in the brain which causes a natural high or a sense of euphoria. Regular (moderate) exercise is a healthy start to feeling better about yourself.

(2) Get out of the house. You can’t feel good if you are regularly at home, probably still in your smelly pj’s, with bed hair and unshaven. Getting out of your house and getting some fresh air and sunshine is good for you. For example, go for a stroll at a nearby park. Sunlight encourages healthy circulation, making you feel better and soothes your nerves. It also increases the production of endorphins and thereby boostingyour mood leaving you with a renewed sense of well-being. Sunlight also stimulates your appetite and improves digestion and metabolism. You will find yourself sleeping better at night as well!

(3) Get some normal human interaction. Organize to meet some friends or family for lunch or go shopping for new clothes and talk to the sales assistant. Connect with the real world. Meet new friends – you can join an interest group or study something you’re interested in.  Any kind of normal human interaction will help you get your mind off feeling lonely.

(4) Pursue your interests. If your interests are home bound, this option is recommended only if you have pursued the options above. I recognize that you can’t be out all the time so during the times you are at home, then pursue some of your interests. For example, spend your time baking if that tickles your fancy, or start knitting or crocheting, or read an uplifting book or watch a funny movie. It is a good time to pursue the things that make you feel happy.

It will take time to recover from feelings of loneliness, especially if you have been lonely for quite some time. Loneliness can develop into depression so if you recognize the signs of intense loneliness early, you should seek professional help.

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