Loneliness……That feeling of disconnect

22 Aug

We humans have an instinctual need for social connect. These connections that we have both with ourselves and others are a lot like the air we breathe. We need it to survive.

Strong relationships give us that feeling of belonging and help us give and get support.

Yet many a time we feel as though we are in one end of a long dark tunnel. On the other end we can see people laughing and having a good time, but we feel far removed with no means of knowing how to get there.

Lack of close relationships can be distressing. Feelings of emptiness and loneliness begin to creep in, gnawing at every cell in your body. You slowly get sucked into a terrifying cocoon that you’ve spun for yourself.

Loneliness is an inner experience where the person does not feel a connect with the people around him. This is draining because humankind is hardwired to feel the need for affiliation with others of his tribe. There is a large proportion of people today who live day by day with this agonizing feel of disconnect and isolation.

An awareness that they do not have anyone with whom they can connect, make them pessimistic, tightly wound and difficult to get along with . Without anyone to confide in or share their daily experiences they detach themselves from others, feel that life has no purpose and are swept away in the current of despair.

Loneliness is pervasive; its not restricted to any one age group or gender. A school going child with no friends, a youngster with no one to share his feelings , a retired person who feels no one cares, all feel alone and dissatisfied.

Neither does being alone make us feel lonely, nor does  being in the company of others protect us from it. It could be nature or nurture that make us predisposed to loneliness.  It could be the competitive  society we live in that promotes the feeling of independence over interdependence. Or perhaps our growing reliance on social media make our relationships less nurturing and rewarding.

Whatever be the cause, our unmet social needs take a toll on both our physical and emotional wellbeing.

The good news is that this feeling of forlornness can be overcome with conscious effort.

  1. Find ways to connect with others

Think of things that you are interested in, join a forum where you meet like minded people like a book club or a dance class

  1. Consider community service.

Focusing on the needs of others steers your mind away from feelings of despair. Its impossible to feel lonely while reading to the elderly or singing along with little children

  1. Look for similarities in people

Loneliness sometimes presents itself as judgmental, which make us look only at the difference between us and the others. Practice looking at similarities between people. Just as many differences there are between us; there are as many common emotions like joy, love sadness we all feel. Talk about them

  1. Be vulnerable

If you want to make a connect, share parts of yourself with others. That’s how people will get to know about you, your feelings, your opinions. That will help you develop a bond.

  1. Strengthen existing bonds.

Scroll down your phone list, call a friend you haven’t called for a while and chat up or meet up for coffee.

  1. Adopt a pet

A sprightly little pet can do wonders to your mood. The time invested in taking care of your new companion keeps you in a cheerful mood.

  1. Social Media can hurt

It’s a fine way to stay connected but social media also envelops us with feelings of gloom when we see all our friends holidaying and having a great time. So stay away from it.

  1. Address underlying issues.

Assess the reasons behind your feeling isolated – shyness, low self esteem etc can be addressed with the help of a therapist

By now you’ve surely realised that there is no instant way to overcome loneliness. Putting in place an action plan and then courageously moving ahead through the fog of loneliness is the first step towards dealing with it in an effective manner.

 

 

 

 

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