Loneliness or social isolation: Causes and steps to overcome

Loneliness or social isolation: Causes and steps to overcome. Here are few things you need to take care when you are feeling loneliness or social isolation.

Humans are social by nature. They live in the company of family, friends, communities and work organisations. However, there are moments when people want their privacy and a little time for themselves. So they need staying alone for a while to experience positive, pleasurable and emotionally refreshing time.  Being alone is a state when people spend sometime secluded from other people, and this is their conscious choice.

However, sometimes people feel isolated even though staying with other people. They overly need people around them all the time; still, they feel cut off, disconnected and isolated from others. They do not have any meaningful human contact, and therefore they feel empty and hollow from inside.  Such an emotional state of mind is called loneliness, which makes the people insecure, anxious and sometimes depressed.

Lonely people need the company of other people only out of fear of being alone. A counselor always knows that a relationship that is based on fear remains unhappy and unfulfilling.

Lonely people are not comfortable in their own company; they constantly find themselves isolated. They cannot build deep levels of affinity with others. Unknowingly they even stop themselves from being good performers.

Causes of loneliness:

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1 Loneliness can occur due to sudden death or extended absence of a loved one.

2 Loneliness is a response to a divorce or breakup of any long-term relationship. In these circumstances, loneliness happens due to the loss of a specific person as well as withdrawal from the society caused by the event or associated as sadness.

3 Loneliness is also seen in the cases of marriages where there is a lack of loving relationship or communication between the couple.

4  There is a fear of being alone as people may think that they can be abandoned at some point of life or can be neglected.

5 Fear of being alone is also associated with lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. People with low self-esteem,  do not feel connected with others. They have a strong feeling that they are not liked by the people, and they are a burden to others.

6 People fear to be alone due to medical conditions, to carry out day to day activities, safety issues in old age.

7 Loneliness can also occur due to the belief that activities cannot be enjoyed alone. A person may never have a chance to live alone and enjoy private moments and the comfort of being alone. Because of the fear of being alone, people do never attempt to enjoy the company of them, and they always want people with them. However, if they try to experience being alone and then start enjoying the feeling of Independence, they become very confident.

How to overcome Loneliness:

  • There are many advantages to overcome the fear of loneliness. When you are alone, you have time to think calmly, and there is a particular kind of peace you can experience. Time spent alone is sometimes can even more enjoyable than the time spent with others. So, one thing to remember is that being alone does not mean Being Lonely.
  • People who have good relations with people do not feel lonely. If a person listens patiently and helps others, do not suffer lonely. So the person who does not maintain good relations suffers later.
  • In old age, people feel alone as they start feeling that they are worthless because usually, they do not continue to work after retirement. Therefore, after getting a retirement, they should keep some personal work. It will help them feel worthy and confident. The work can be social service, some teaching to society or related to some other skill of choice. They can meet new people by continuing some job. If a person’s presence is helpful to other people in any way, he/she will be wanted everywhere.
  • Therefore each one should always explore new options in life. Take an example of actor Amitabh Bachchan who is working despite his illness. Loneliness at any age can be handled by making ourselves wanted by others and not making ourselves dependent.
  • Relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, guided meditation and soothing self-talks are a few tools to deal with loneliness.
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File photo of actor Amitabh Bachchan. (Getty Images)

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