My loneliness is killing me for the past 18 months. What do I need to do? Well, you are not alone. There are many people like you who have been going through the most difficult test yet for their collective mental health, emotional stability, and general mental health. We panicked when the pandemic struck us unexpectedly in February 2020.
It was followed by a worldwide travel ban and shutdown. We were suddenly cut off from many external resources, such as entertainment, friendships and support groups, that would normally help us deal with a situation like this or at least distract us from harsh realities.
The number of cases of loneliness has been on the rise over the past decade. It is no surprise that they have increased during the pandemic.
According to the Harvard Gazette article, teens and young adults seem to be more affected than the older age groups.
They are on the brink of leaving their inherited families, but they have not yet joined their chosen family. Most of them remain single and don’t have the companionship of a spouse.
However, loneliness can be overcome by those who are unattached and single. Many adults feel lonely even in committed relationships and marriages.
Because there are expectations of intimacy and emotional fulfillment, each person would feel lonely and disappointed if they weren’t on the same page. This scenario will likely increase loneliness.
It is evident that loneliness does not stem from a lack of companionship with others. Some people are more comfortable with loneliness than others due to their mental health.
As society grows, our ability to sense the body-mind and spirit connections becomes more apparent. This can have an impact on our emotional state as well as our physical health.
The good news is that we now have the ability to overcome loneliness and other emotional and mental distresses. You can learn it through practice.
My Loneliness Is Killing Me But I Don’t Know What Type Of Loneliness I Am Suffering From
Before we can get into the how and why of dealing with loneliness, it is important to understand why we feel alone.
It is important to do some self-observation and reflection because the level and complexity of loneliness will vary from person to person. Understanding ourselves and our situations will help us understand and fulfill our needs.
The simple definition of loneliness is — Feeling alone or sad because you don’t have friends or a partner.
Anyone who has ever felt lonely for more than a few days can attest that it is not as easy as it seems. There are many reasons to feel lonely. Each trigger can trigger a different emotion.
It can vary from one person to the next. A single person may feel sad when they see a happy couple walking by. This can lead to depression and make them feel depressed.
However, someone else who is single might feel anxious and want to find companionship. It’s equally important to be aware of how we react to loneliness triggers.
1. Physical Loneliness
This is a common form of loneliness that has a strong desire for physical connection. The other side of this spectrum could be the desire to have another body nearby — someone with whom we can share our moments.
Another side of this spectrum is physical affection, such as kissing, hugging, and sex. Years of neurological and psychological research have shown that physical affection from another person releases oxytocin (the stress hormone) and decreases cortisol (the anxiety hormone). This encourages relaxation and trust among others. The healing power of physical touch is profound.
Based on how many interactions you have with others, physical loneliness is often short-lived.
2. Mental Loneliness
People crave intellectual connections. This could be chatting about the day, sharing our thoughts, or discussing the world.
This is a crucial aspect of getting rid of any unresolved worries and thoughts, given the upheavals that have afflicted the world over the past 18 months. Unable to do so would cause frustration, anger, and confusion.
The quality of interactions can make it possible to experience mental loneliness that is both short-term and chronic.
3. Emotional Loneliness
Empathic relationships are important for those who operate on an emotional level. We all feel the need for emotional expression in response to events in our lives. This is where we don’t process external information logically but feel it on a primal level, emotionally and intuitively.
No matter how rational a person is, there will always be an occasion where emotional response is required. Neglecting to receive positive emotional feedback can lead to feeling lonely, sad, and disconnected.
While emotional loneliness is often temporary, it can become a chronic condition if it is sustained. If we don’t recognize it, it can become a part of our daily lives.
4. Spiritual Loneliness
This type of loneliness is not commonly discussed. It is more difficult to pinpoint and is located in our deeper psyche. Many of us have had moments when we sense something, but can’t pinpoint it.
Some people believe that spiritual alignment is essential. This can be achieved through belief, practice, and purpose. It can be difficult to feel fulfilled and satisfied if we don’t have someone who shares our spiritual pursuits.
Spiritual loneliness can be either chronic or short-lived. However, it all depends on the individual’s spiritual pursuits and level.
How To Stop Feeling Lonely
This can be frightening and overwhelming for someone who is new to the loneliness. Don’t worry. Everyone has felt some form of loneliness at one time or another. It is part of our DNA to be connected with other people and all life forms.
You don’t have to worry if you are suffering from chronic loneliness. There are tools that can help you cure yourself. Sometimes, the idea of permanence can keep us in a cycle of self-pity that perpetuates loneliness. Let’s get out of that trap!
1. Increase Social Interactions
If you feel lonely, you should try to increase social interaction and form new relationships.
Adults often leave college after graduating and find it difficult to make friends or maintain friendships. Our priorities and goals may have changed as we transition to a new lifestyle.
To attract more people to your life, you need to have a good set of social skills. Although this sounds simple, it is important to be able to communicate well with others. Relationships are all about being able and willing to get along with one another.
These are some tips to help you welcome new friends into the fold.
- Share your loneliness with others and let them know that you are open to making new friends.
- Accept invitations by saying “yes.”
- Be open to new ideas and activities
- Instead of focusing on differences between friends, look for commonalities.
- Plan to meet up and then follow-up
- Respect others’ boundaries, and be honest about yours
- Do not force it
2. Surround Yourself With People Who Listen To You
Feeling ununderstood can lead to a lot of emotional isolation and may even affect your mental health. Each person’s emotions are unique and don’t always make sense. It usually takes more than just a few casual gatherings to get to know that part of you, especially if it’s shy.
There could be many reasons why you feel alone or that no one understands.
- People around aren’t listening or hearing you.
- People around you can’t relate because they lack experience.
- You don’t have the ability to express your feelings to others.
- Fear of resentment and judgment has prevented you from being open and honest with others about your feelings.
- Because you are accepting and expecting that “no one will get it”, you’ve stopped letting yourself be known.
You can do the following if you are able to identify with any or all of these:
Change your environment. You can create a safe environment for yourself. You should surround yourself with people who are open to listening and offer genuine support.
Practice expressing your emotions accurately and your feelings as often as you can to improve your communication skills. You will find people more likely to relate to you and get your point of view.
Practice vulnerability. Do not be afraid to share your own experiences, past, and struggles. You can only make deeper and more meaningful connections if you are willing to share your personal experiences, history, struggles, etc. You can also filter out others who aren’t on the same page.
3. Establish A Routine That Is Inward-Focused
Your quest to feel less lonely will be made easier by continuing your self-discovery journey. You may feel lonely if you’ve felt this way for a long time. Routined, inward-focused practices will help you face the parts of yourself that you haven’t been willing to confront in the past.
Anyone can find liberation in journaling or free writing. Start by writing down everything that comes to your mind every night. A small journal can be carried with you wherever you go throughout the day so you can write when you need. You can end each session by taking a few minutes to reflect on how you feel.
Establish a regular practice of meditation, breathwork, and yoga. These practices improve body, mind and spirit connections. They allow us to take a moment to be still and to pay attention to what is happening inside. You will experience more calmness, focus and presence if you keep practicing.
Every day, practice gratitude. You will find more love in your life if you can count on one person to be there for you. Recognize those people. These relationships are important and you should show your gratitude to them as often as possible. This will allow you to open up the possibility of inviting more of them into your lives.
4. Mental Conflicts And Obstacles Can Be Overcome
Sometimes we feel lonely only in our heads, but in reality, there may be people around us who are willing to listen and spend some time with us.
A childhood or ancestral trauma could affect our self-esteem and make it difficult to receive love from others. The so-called social norms that we live by can cause us to feel isolated and trapped.
If this sounds familiar, you can reprogramme your mind and bring positive thoughts to your social and romantic lives.
Recognize your fears and insecurities. Fear of rejection and fear that they will be judged are two of the most common barriers. Fear of being rejected and judged harshly can cause us to hide our true feelings and keep us in our shells.
We can gradually be freed from the prison we have unintentionally created by confronting and acknowledging our fears.
It doesn’t always have to be about you. If you do encounter rejection or judgment from others, as we all will, it doesn’t always have to be about you.
Each of us is responsible for our own peace, balance, and boundaries. You are not responsible for how others react. It’s possible that not everyone will agree with you.
That’s okay. If you are open to the possibility, the universe will provide for those who want it.
Let go of control and let relationships unfold naturally.
Sometimes, we become so focused on the type of relationship we want that we block their potential to blossom and become something amazing. Don’t let the negative aspects of your relationship get in the way of the connections you have.
Three times per day, use affirmations and mantras. Use a positive phrase that resonates well with your current work, such as “I welcome new relationships into mine without resistance” or “I feel alone right now, but it doesn’t define my life or my future.”
No matter what your circumstances are or how severe your loneliness is, once you realize that feeling lonely is just feeling disconnected, it will be easier to navigate your current situation knowing there is always an escape.
Although it may seem impossible to achieve a fulfilling and meaningful life right now, it is the only way we can reach it.
We have always had the option of inviting others into or keeping them away from our lives. If we choose, we each have the ability to make as many meaningful connections as we want in our lives.