One recent study by Hayes et al. concluded that emotion regulation and social identity uniquely contribute to loneliness. The research was published in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Shivani Sadhoo, says, loneliness is a universal human emotion that is both complex and unique to every individual. Because it has no sole common cause, the prevention and treatment of this potentially damaging state of mind could vary dramatically.
For instance, a lonely child who struggles to make friends at school has different requirements than a lonely older adult who has recently been breaking up with his partner.
In recent times, you might have all heard about the news related to a television actress who committed suicide and her accused lover. Often, cases like suicide happen due to loneliness, as those who commit suicide are not able to share and discuss their grief and hardships of daily life with anyone. This, the situation of loneliness expands, an individual often sees himself/herself as helpless, and unfortunately, they decide to end their life.
Shivani Sadhoo, says that it is very important to have close friends or family members as their presence can help combat loneliness and help you to share your thoughts with them.
Loneliness vs Solitude
Certain, research clearly indicates that loneliness and isolation are harmful to both mental and physical health, being alone is not the same as being lonely. Actually, solitude has a number of important mental health benefits, including letting people to better focus and recharge.
Loneliness is marked by your feelings of isolation despite wanting social connections. It is mostly perceived as an involuntary separation, rejection, and abandonment by other people.
Solitude, on the contrary, is voluntary. Individuals, who enjoy spending time by themselves continue to maintain positive social relationships that they can return to when they crave connection. They still spend time with others, but these interactions are well balanced with periods of time alone.
Reasons or causes of loneliness
In this blog, India’s top psychologist and marriage counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo explores the top reasons that lead to loneliness.
Contributing factors that lead to loneliness include situational variables, like physical isolation, moving to a new location, breakup, or divorce. The death of someone significant in an individual’s life can also lead to feelings of loneliness.
Also, it can be a symptom of a psychological disorder like depression. Depression mostly causes people to withdraw socially, which could lead to isolation. Research also says that loneliness can be a factor that contributes to symptoms of depression.
Loneliness can also be attributed to internal factors like low self-esteem. People who lack confidence in themselves mostly believe that they are unworthy of the attention or respect of other people, which might lead to isolation and chronic loneliness.
Personality factors might also play a role. Introverts, for instance, might be less likely to cultivate and seek social connections, which could contribute to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Some of the health factors associated with loneliness are altered brain function, antisocial behavior, cardiovascular disease, increased stress levels, depression, and suicide.
Close friends help counter loneliness
As stated above research also suggests that having few closes is sufficient to ward off loneliness and reduce any impact of negative health outcomes.
Tips to prevent loneliness
You can overcome loneliness. It only needs your conscious effort to see the positive changes. Some of the ways to overcome loneliness are:
- Consider community service or other activities that you love to do. These situations provide great opportunities to meet people and cultivate new friendships and social interactions.
- Expect the finest. Lonely people mostly expect rejection, so instead, try to focus on positive thoughts and attitudes in your social relationships.
- Focus on fostering quality relationships. Seek people who share similar sort of attitudes, interests, and values with you.
- Identify that loneliness is a sign that something requires change. Never expect things to change overnight, but you can initiate taking steps that will support relieve your feelings of loneliness and form connections that support your well-being.
- Understand the impacts of loneliness on your life. There are both physical and mental repercussions to loneliness. If you identify some of these symptoms impacting how you feel, make a conscious attempt to combat them.
- Join some group or start your own. For instance, you might try creating a social group where people from your area having similar interests can get together. You may also consider taking a class at a community college, joining a book club, yoga or meditation club, or taking an exercise class.
- Boost your current relationship. Forming new connections is essential, but improving your existing relationships is also a great way to combat loneliness. Try calling a friend or family member you have spoken to in a while.
- Talk to someone you fully trust. Reaching out to someone in your life to talk about what you are feeling is vital. This could be someone you know like a family member, but you may also consider talking to a professional like your doctor or a therapist. Online therapy could be a great option since it lets you contact a therapist whenever it is convenient for you.
Psychologist Shivani states that loneliness can leave you feeling isolated and disconnected from others. It is a complex situation of the mind that can be caused by life alterations, mental health conditions, poor self-esteem, and personality traits. Loneliness could also have serious health consequences including reduced mental wellness and physical problems
Shivani Misri Sadhoo is an internationally recommended relationship Counsellor by world’s biggest and most trusted study and research-based foundation for couples therapy – Gottman Institute. She is trained on specialised key relationship counselling Skills from AIIMS, VIMHANS and various other reputed institutions. Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo, is also Certified for Emotionally Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.
Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo is also a Certified Neuro Linguistic Practitioner with specialised training and experience in the field of affairs/betrayals, trust issues, difficulty communicating, conflicting values, bereavement, grief and loss (affairs, separation, divorce, childhood) and emotional health issue (anxiety, social anxiety, fear, depression, low mood).
Currently, Shivani Misri Sadhoo is one of the top counsellors with the HIGHEST Success Rate with over 17,000 happy couples and individuals (based in India and abroad), who has benefited from her therapy. Psychologist and Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo not only practice independently from her clinic in Greater Kailash, Delhi, India but also listed on the panel of eminent hospitals like IBS Hospital – Institute of Brain & Spine, Express Clinic, Fortis (formerly) based in Delhi.