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Here’s The Truth About Feeling Lonely

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The world is more connected than ever. Think about this, a mere click connects us to the other side of the globe. Social media buzzes with constant chatter, and we are just a plane ride away from the most remote places on earth. 

Yet, a strange irony persists: feeling lonely now seems more common than ever. Rates of loneliness, anxiety, and depression have been rising consistently. Recently, the WHO has declared loneliness to be a “global health threat.”

There is a missing piece in this puzzle- we need to understand why we feel alone even while we are right in the middle of connection. 

In this article, we dive into the roots of loneliness, trying to seek solutions, not just to stop feeling lonely, but to truly understand the deeper meaning behind it. 

What is Loneliness?

Loneliness is a complex emotion, and each individual has their own meaning around feeling lonely. Feeling lonely is more than just being alone, it’s the pain of disconnection even when we are amidst others. 

Feeling lonely can be transient, or can even be stretched to a life time. Chronic loneliness can weaken our immune system, fuel depression and anxiety, and even affect our physical health. 

Loneliness can be confusing feeling and it can be complicated to identify. We may feel left out out of the fun of life. We might feel excluded from life’s joys, wondering why others seem to effortlessly connect while we feel like a puzzle piece that just doesn’t belong. These feelings can create a vicious cycle, pushing us further away from others as our mind whispers doubts about our ability to connect meaningfully.

Loneliness feels like a dark cloud that follows us around. It makes us feel lost and alone, even when we’re surrounded by people. We try to ignore it by connecting with others in unhealthy ways, but that doesn’t make it better. The real solution is to find deep and meaningful connections with others. These connections will help us feel happy and fulfilled again.

We are not alone. Everyone at some point or the other feels lonely. It is a shared, human condition. 

The Truth about Feeling Lonely

The tendency to feel lonely has been deeply embedded into our systems since the wake of mankind. As a social creatures, we needed others to survive. We moved in packs, fought predators, found food, and thrived. 

Therefore, moving away from the pack meant that we are more exposed to threat. So the ache of loneliness served as a alarm system to remind us to reconnect with our pack, as being alone would result be a threat to our existence. 

Fast forward to today, where wild animals aren’t the immediate threat, the same pain of feeling lonely persists. When we feel excluded from our social circle, that ache might seem like a personal failing. However, it’s simply an echo of our evolutionary past, a reminder of the importance of connection.

The discomfort of loneliness can be a powerful guide, a gentle nudge towards building a deeper connection with ourselves. 

Look Inward when you are Feeling Lonely

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Our minds are wired for pleasure, seeking what feels good and avoiding discomfort. But sometimes, exploring the “not-so-good” areas, like choosing healthy food over junk or facing difficult emotions like feeling lonely, opens doors to deeper self-awareness.

Feeling lonely can signal the need for social connection. However, seeking one-sided connections or isolating ourselves due to feeling like a misfit can be counterproductive. Both behaviors can prevent us from enjoying our own company and finding joy in solitude.

This avoidance of feeling lonely might stem from a belief that we are not good company for ourselves. But remember, loneliness is a normal human experience, and it can also be a valuable guide. It can signal a need for inner connection, a time to simply “be” without external stimulation.

Sometimes, just embracing our own company can lead to incredible self-discoveries. We learn our likes, dislikes, values, and what we truly desire in relationships. Being content with ourselves doesn’t mean shutting others out. Instead, it’s about deepening our connection with our authentic self, nurturing relationships that feel safe, reciprocal, and fulfilling.

Two Ways to look at Loneliness

We tend to believe how loneliness can only be resolved by seeking more relationships. However, looking inward, being with oneself can also lighten the burden of loneliness and help you view your relationships in a better light. Thus, the key to managing loneliness is to find a balance between the relationship we have with ourselves, and with others. 

Here are some ways to manage loneliness by reaching out and looking within:

Connecting With Yourself:

  • Doing your favourite hobbies, exploring activities you enjoy, or pursuing interests by yourself
  • Practicing mindfulness can help you turn inward and manage the negative emotions that come with feeling lonely 

Connecting With Others:

  • Be a part of clubs, groups, or organizations
  • Explore online communities
  • Try volunteering for a social cause

Feeling lonely doesn’t diminish your worth. It’s a shared human experience, a signal that something within needs attention. Embrace this feeling as an opportunity to explore both your inner and outer landscapes, building a richer, more fulfilling life in the process. You are not alone on this journey, and both self and social connection can play vital roles in finding your way back to belonging.

Feeling Sad Book A Counseling Session

Is your Loneliness holding you back?

Counseling can be a great tool for you to manage and overcome your loneliness and lead a happy, fulfilling life.

We are here for you.

About the Author

This article was written by Parvathi Ganesan, Counselor at Inner Space. This post was consulted & approved by professional therapists practicing online therapy and counseling. 

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