What You Should Know About Loneliness
Loneliness is a universal human experience, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it an ongoing reality for millions of people. Living through lockdown, working from home and adjusting to a new normal has caused many people to realize how small their social circle is or to lose touch with people they thought they knew well.
If you feel alone, you might think there is something wrong with you. You may even feel guilty for your loneliness because you have family and friends who care about you. But being around others does not automatically mean you feel supported or understood. Loneliness can also be a sign of other problems, but all of them can be handled through therapy with a counselor you trust.
Here are a few things to know about loneliness and what to do about them if you’re struggling.
It Can Trigger Other Mental Health Problems
Lack of social connection and support can put you in a negative headspace with no way out. You may feel trapped in your own life, desperate for someone to talk to but at a loss for where to turn. Loneliness can also fuel feelings of insecurity, low self-worth and failure. Naturally, this can make other conditions like depression and social anxiety even worse.
It Can Take a Toll on Your Physical Well-being
Lonely people have a higher risk of health problems and physical health complications. Adults 45 and older who are socially isolated have a higher risk of heart attack, heart disease and stroke. Immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community and minorities are also at a higher risk of experiencing chronic loneliness.
Getting connected to a community can reverse these effects, lower your risk and help you start to move forward in life.
You Don’t Need a Lot of Friends to Be Happy
While people may go online and seem to have dozens of people always wanting to talk to them, most don’t live that way in reality. You only need two or three close people in your life to feel loved, supported and accepted. Even one friend can make a world of difference for a person who is working from home or living socially isolated.
Rather than base your social life on numbers, focus on quality. Finding people who you can relate to and genuinely trust is most important.
Therapy Can Help
Therapy can help you overcome loneliness by building social skills, finding new opportunities and building self-confidence. Even just talking to your therapist about how you feel can make a world of difference because you know someone out there cares and wants to help.
Foundations Family Counseling can help you work through isolation and reconnect through individual counseling. Contact us anytime if you would like to know more or schedule a therapy session.