IS LONELINESS AFFECTING MY MENTAL WELLBEING?
Loneliness is described as a growing epidemic in this country. It is a deep feeling of isolation and disconnect. It is experienced by all age groups – adolescents, adults, and the elderly.
For some people, loneliness is a lack of connection and meaningful relationships. For others, it is not having people around who understand you. It can also feel like not having anyone to turn to, even though there are people in your life.
The Link Between Loneliness and Mental Health
People who are lonely may be more at risk for experiencing depressive symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deeply lonely people are also more likely to have anxiety and even suicidal thoughts.
If you have an underlying mental health condition, it can make you feel lonely and isolated. In the same way, loneliness can have an adverse effect on your mental wellness.
Loneliness can put you at risk for certain mental health conditions, e.g., depression. It can also add to anxiety, low self-worth, and sleep disturbances. Feeling lonely can also make it harder for you to cope with and manage stress. Other effects of loneliness include a cynical outlook, negative thinking, and impaired concentration.
When you are having feelings of deep loneliness, your state of mind can make it difficult to reach out and connect. Read on to learn simple things you can do to ease your feelings of loneliness.
What You Can Do to Feel Less Lonely
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to be proactive about your loneliness. This means reaching out, even though it can seem hard. Find groups on Facebook that are centered around something that interests you. Join the group and you will automatically be in touch with people who have similar interests.
Get back into an activity that you once enjoyed. This could be a sport like swimming or tennis. It could be painting, reading, jogging – anything that lifts your mood and makes you feel good.
Spend time with your pet. Animals are loving and constant companions. Research has shown that being around animals lowers stress levels and makes people feel good. If you do not have a pet, consider getting one! If that is not possible, see if you can volunteer at a local animal shelter.
Try your hand at volunteering. Volunteering is a good way to meet people, get involved in a project, and find fulfillment. Check out local events and projects in your community.
Look after your physical health. This means taking the time to indulge in some self-care practices. These can include a warm bath, watching a show, treating yourself to something, etc. It also means getting some form of exercise and physical activity. Try and eat in a balanced and nutritious way. Avoid processed foods and sugars. Finally, make sure you get enough sleep. For good sleep hygiene, stay off all devices in the hour before bed. It also helps to go to sleep and wake up at regular times.
Spend less time on social media. Please keep in mind, what most people put on their social media platforms are the ‘highlights’ of their lives. You are only seeing moments of their lives. These moments are usually curated and do not present the whole picture. Spending too much time on social media can add to feelings of loneliness. It can make you feel left out, or like you are missing out on something. Comparing your life to what you see on social media is unhealthy. It will not make you feel good.
Get out into nature. The restorative power of nature is fantastic. It is a balm for your eyes, ears, and soul. Spend some time walking barefoot in the grass. Go for a walk, sit amongst trees and flowers. It is so simple yet it can make a difference in how you feel. Nature is good for you.
Play music that you enjoy. Music tends to fill up a space. Pick something that makes you feel good. It should have a positive affect on your inner energy.
Remember, you will not always feel this way. If you are proactive about your feelings of loneliness, you can get some relief. With time, you will find the energy, space, and motivation to seek out company. It will become easier to reach out and connect.
Talking to someone about your loneliness can have a positive impact on your mental health. If you feel like you need extra support, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. Therapeutic treatment, such as depression therapy, can help you change your mindset and behavioral patterns. Shifts in your thought processes can change your perspective on your circumstances.
Trust Mental Health has an experienced team of therapists. Our mental health professionals are from a variety of backgrounds and speak more than 10 languages between them. If you are interested in seeking help, contact us today. Take our free 15 minute consultation and get matched with a therapist that will understand and help.
How can therapy help me?
Therapy shows you how you can change and improve your situation. It gives you a regular, safe space to talk and share. Your therapist will develop a treatment plan for you that is best suited to your individual needs. Through therapy, you will learn to recognize your unhealthy thought and behavioral patterns. You will learn strategies to cope and better manage your emotions. Eventually, you will be able to apply your learnings to your daily life and enhance your enjoyment of it. The benefits of therapy last through the long term.
How can I tell if I need therapy?
If you are struggling with something that is severely interfering with your life and daily functioning, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. Some signs that you may need to seek the support of a therapist include increased anxiety, withdrawal, intrusive thoughts, fatigue, feelings of indifference, constant low mood, and feeling overwhelmed or like you cannot cope.
What are the benefits of depression therapy?
The benefits of therapy for depression include feeling better emotionally. It also can help build back your self-worth and reduce anxiety. It reinforces your coping skills and improves your daily functioning.