We all feel lonely from time to time, that’s just a part of life. In fact, loneliness is a universal emotion that is expressed in a unique and complex way in each individual.
While loneliness is an integral aspect of being human, prolonged isolation can lead to serious consequences for your mental and physical health if left untreated. If you feel alone, whether you are literally isolated or have an emotionally distant partner, know that your feelings are valid and that you don’t have to bear this burden alone. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with a relationship coach may give you the solace you seek and help you overcome your loneliness.
Keep reading to learn more about loneliness and discover ways of coping with feelings of isolation.
How Do I Know If I Am Lonely?
Loneliness manifests itself in a myriad of ways. Even the individuals who seem sociable, energetic, and outgoing can be struggling with loneliness, although they may not necessarily be aware of it. What’s more, some people can be chronically lonely for years before they recognize the problem.
If you aren’t sure if your feelings of loneliness are just a fleeting phase or something more severe, look for the following symptoms:
- Your relationships stop at surface-level intimacy. Even if you do have family and friends in your life, you struggle with building deep, intimate relationships with them. You may not feel fulfilled in your relationships or fear showing your vulnerability in front of others.
- You feel like your friends don’t truly understand you. You see your friends more as acquaintances than real, intimate friends. You don’t feel comfortable opening up and sharing your deepest feelings and thoughts for fear of rejection and abandonment.
- You feel isolated even when surrounded by people. If you experience an overwhelming sense of alienation even when you are with lots of familiar people, you may be dealing with chronic loneliness.
- You constantly experience feelings of low self-worth. Chronic loneliness can result in long-term self-doubt and constant negative talk. It can significantly decrease your self-esteem and leave you feeling inadequate, unworthy, and insecure.
- You feel drained after engaging in social interactions. Feeling exhausted or burnt out after being with friends for prolonged periods of time is another sign of chronic loneliness you should look out for.
- You don’t have the right emotional support network. If you don’t feel like you can confide in your friends and family because you feel like they won’t care or understand, it’s possible that you simply don’t have the right kind of people in your life.
Can You Be Lonely But Not Alone?
Absolutely. Being in a group of friends doesn’t eliminate feelings of loneliness, especially if you’re surrounded by the wrong people. However, even if you have caring and loving friends, you may still feel disconnected and isolated if you’ve struggled with chronic loneliness for a while.
Feeling utterly alone when you are with friends can be a frightening feeling. You may feel confused about your emotions and even try to project your own fears on others, convincing yourself that your friends don’t care about you or understand you but refusing to show your vulnerability and connect with them on a deeper level.
What Are The Effects Of Loneliness?
Loneliness can affect both your mental and physical health. Prolonged isolation without a good support network can change the way you see yourself and other people, lower your self-esteem, and even affect your brain health. Rumination and negative thoughts can spiral out into a vicious circle, deepening your sense of disconnection and alienation.
What Loneliness Can Do To A Person
Without proper support and assistance, loneliness can severely decrease the quality of your life. Here are some common consequences of experiencing chronic loneliness:
- Increased cortisol levels;
- Weight gain and weight loss;
- Problems with logical thinking and concentration;
- Severe antisocial behavior;
- Substance abuse;
- Sleep disturbances;
- Altered brain function;
- Increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure;
- Increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s;
- Deep feelings of depression and anxiety;
- Suicidal thoughts;
If you are overwhelmed with feelings of loneliness, don’t wait for the problem to get worse. You can reach out and break your bubble, no matter how difficult it may seem right now. Professional coaches can help you heal your relational wounds and enable you to recognize the parts of yourself that make you special, worthy, and lovable. All you have to do is take that first step.
How To Deal With Loneliness
Living with loneliness is hard, but it doesn’t have to last forever. Here are some tips for overcoming loneliness:
- Accept that loneliness is a universal human emotion.
Understanding that numerous other people feel the same way you do can make you feel more at ease and encourage you to step out of your bubble.
- Notice and combat your negative talk.
Your lonely feelings are just that – feelings. They are not facts. Don’t allow the negative voice in your head to convince you that you are not lovable, worthy, or fascinating enough.
- Focus on other people.
Shifting your attention to the people in your life can help you overcome feelings of loneliness. If you have a partner or good friends, try and show genuine interest in them and help with their emotional struggles.
- Seek out people who share your interests.
If you feel like your friends and family members don’t understand you, maybe you just haven’t found your tribe yet. Find communities or individuals who like the same things you do and make an effort to connect.
- Don’t expect too much from others.
Idealizing a friend or a partner can only deepen your loneliness if you’re not careful. Nobody is perfect and you shouldn’t expect them to always meet your expectations and fill the hole inside you – only you can do that.
- Reach out and seek support.
You don’t have to suffer alone. Instead, contact a professional coach who can help you explore your emotions and learn effective methods for overcoming loneliness.
Find A Relationship Coach Online And Fight Loneliness
Whether you live alone or can’t find support in an unequal relationship, you can find happiness and create deep bonds in your life. All you need is a little push. Let our online PIVOT Advocates help you overcome emotional numbness and loneliness by providing expert guidance and support.
PIVOT is here for you, whether you wish to learn how to create healthier relationships through our intensive retreats or find emotional support via relationship coaching for individuals and couples. You deserve to find balance and meaning in your life. Reach out to PIVOT coaches today!