There are more and more lonely people in the world every year. This fact reflects where our society is heading today. In fact, it rushes towards self-development, awareness in all life areas, and success, which is usually not supposed to be shared with anyone. According to recent statistics, most humans often feel lonely in Brazil, Turkey, and India. Interestingly, the UK government even has a new minister for loneliness.
The fact that an individual makes a conscious choice to be alone, most likely, says that he or she is comfortable being alone. Apparently, such a person is enough of the approval and recognition that they can give themselves. This direction is gaining popularity along with the trend toward awareness and independence.
But how do you know if you are comfortable being alone for real, or is it self-deception? And in general, why can the very concept of loneliness be interpreted both in a positive and a negative way? These and many other common questions will be answered in this article.
What to Do When You Are Sad and Lonely: Common Myths
Loneliness is a serious thing, it causes a lot of trouble. But at the same time, there are many mistakable myths around this term. Here are five of the most common ones:
Loneliness means isolation from society
Loneliness is not the same as being alone. Loneliness is the feeling that no one around you understands you, and that you do not have relationships with people. Isolation can play a small role, but it’s not just that. You may feel lonely in a crowd, or you may be happy when no one is around you.
There is an epidemic of loneliness in the world right now
Loneliness has certainly received more attention these days. In addition, the percentage of single people has increased compared to the past years or decades. But in fact, there are more and more lonely people simply because the population of our planet is increasing all the time. And with the growth of the population, we simultaneously observe the destruction of social connections and the difficulty in creating new ones. It’s a paradox, but the more humankind around, the stronger the loner feels loneliness. Because people are all strangers who don’t care about you. And dating services can fix that. So, in the future, interest in them will only increase.
Loneliness is always a bad phenomenon
People often suffer from loneliness. However, it is a good thing that such a state is often only temporary and far from being negative. It can signal to us that it’s time to make new friends or try to find a way to improve existing relationships.
Neurologist John Cacioppo believes that the ability to feel lonely has gradually developed in humans- in such a way we maintain relationships with others.
Loneliness leads to health problems
You may have come across the statistics that loneliness is harmful to health. The risk of heart disease and stroke almost triples, and lonely people also have higher blood pressure and lower life expectancy.
Yes, lonely people may be more likely to get sick. But the opposite can also be true: a single person is placed in a situation of isolation due to an illness that prevents him from communicating with others. Or lonely people may be listed as less healthy because loneliness deprives them of the incentive to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Most older people suffer from loneliness
People experience loneliness in old age more often than at other times in their adult lives. But, as Pamela Qualter of the University of Manchester found out in her review of scientific research on loneliness at different ages, there is another peak of this state- at the time of growing up, during adolescence. Meanwhile, studies show that 50-60% of older people rarely experience loneliness.
What to Do When You Are Lonely and Sad: What Factors Affect It?
The feeling of loneliness comes at the moment of realizing one’s separateness and distinction from others. Often people can feel lonely in a family because there is an emotional distance between its members. And as a result, the lack of mutual understanding, empathy, and support can lead to a feeling of loneliness. But there are also objective circumstances. For example, moving or changing the place of study, or work- when old social connections are lost, and new ones have not yet been formed.
Psychologist John Cacioppo and popularizer of science William Patrick in their study identified three factors that influence how lonely a soul may feel.
- Vulnerability to lack of communication. Everyone has a genetically determined need for social inclusion, so your required socialization level will differ from anyone else’s. That is, the greater the need for communication you feel, the more difficult it is to satisfy it, and the higher the risk of starting to feel lonely.
- The ability to manage emotions. And not only externally, but also internally. Any human being faces suffering when his demand for communication is not satisfied. And if loneliness continues for too long, it can turn into a real depression. How well you manage to deal with your feelings influences your emotional state.
- Your expectations and ideas about others. Just because you feel unwanted doesn’t mean you don’t have the ability to communicate. Although, of course, in this case, both the desire and the ability to use them will be miserable.
What to Do When You Are Lonely and Single
Firstly, stop judging your feelings. This is the main thing. Blaming and scolding yourself for them is completely ineffective and wrong. Remember that feeling alone without having a serious and meaningful relationship is normal.
Secondly, realize that your problem is not unique. Today’s society is in constant change and this makes it difficult to establish and maintain relationships. The very acceptance that loneliness is part of the human condition will help you find a way to overcome it.
What’s more, remember that being alone isn’t always your communication skills. Even if you are great at communicating, sometimes the very thought of going to meet people can be unbearable.
Finally, analyze your childhood. The loneliness that we experienced in school or kindergarten is closely related to what we experience in adulthood and how we relate to it.
However, there is no single right way to quickly get rid of loneliness. But these general rules work. And the most important of them is to accept yourself and your feelings.
What to Do When You Are Depressed and Lonely: How to Stop Being Afraid of It
First of all, formulate for yourself what exactly you are afraid of. After all, the fear of loneliness, like darkness, frightens the unknown, with the fact that it hides a variety of troubles. And when you understand what scares you so much, then it will be easier to defeat this “inner enemy”.
Maybe you are afraid of loneliness because you are afraid of not coping with everyday difficulties. But you can always call a plumber to fix the sink. Or are you sad without company? But after all, like-minded people for going to the cinema, to an exhibition or to a hike can be found on the Internet. Or you can go yourself and already on the spot try to get acquainted with the same enthusiastic people.
The Internet in modern life is a real salvation for those people who are afraid of loneliness. Hundreds of thousands of dating blogs like datewise.org can provide you with useful recommendations for finding the right match. Social networks open up the scope for finding people with similar hobbies or tastes. According to the Business of Apps portal, in 2022 the number of active users of dating blogs exceeds 330 million people. Today, with a click of the mouse or a swipe of a finger on the touch screen of a smartphone or tablet, you can find a guy or girl from Mexico or arrange a date in Dubai, Toronto, or Zurich when you are soon flying there for work. All in all, there is plenty of foreign women dating sites you should try, and the result will surely impress you.
A passion or hobby can relieve the fear of loneliness. It is especially good to do something that requires interaction and physical activity. So, firstly, it will be easier for the body to cope with stress and negative thoughts. And secondly, it will provide an opportunity to meet and communicate with new and interesting people regularly. In addition, an enthusiastic human is overwhelmed with positivity, which means that there will be no time for sadness and fear. Try to see your friends more often. After all, you are hardly alone. But what if your friends or family are far away? Well, then it is worth becoming a support for someone who needs it.
What to Do When You Are Bored and Lonely: Conclusion
To feel comfortable, it is important to understand what exactly in this state causes the greatest discomfort. Find the answer to the question: “What are my needs that are not being met right now?”. And try to think in the direction through which they can be satisfied. It also helps to describe what good the situation of loneliness gives you, and what opportunities you have thanks to it.
If, after such reflections, you have come to the conclusion that loneliness is still destructive for you, then please seek the help of a psychologist. A specialist will help you cope with this condition, and you will feel alive and real again.
Psychotherapy helps in two ways:
- Make friends with your loneliness and learn to benefit from it.
- Find and eliminate blocks that prevent you from getting to know each other and entering into relationships.