Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Recently I have had a the overwhelming feeling of loneliness. Not sure if you’ve ever experienced the feeling, but it's not nice. I mean...I feel like I know exactly how Tom Hanks felt on that island on Castaway! I’m not an introverted person so this feeling although not entirely new, sparked new feelings and thoughts.
I started feeling depressed. I was mopey. I didn’t want to go to the gym. I didn’t want to eat. I was in a funk. Not knowing what was going on, I decided to sit on it. Literally...I sat down and started to meditate. I cleared my chakras and asked my body what it needed. When I got to my heart I started to cry. It felt hollowed out, empty.
I figure there must be people out there who feel the same. I can’t be the only one in this boat. I have felt a similar feeling in my early 20’s when I was figuring life out; meeting new people and discovering myself.
I started thinking about loneliness and how to combat it.
When loneliness is broken down to its root source, it comes down to connection. It’s a psychological condition which affects more than 40% of the population. If left alone it can lead to major anxiety, poor sleep and addiction problems.
Sources contributing to your loneliness:
In today’s world of cell phones and social media, we lock ourselves away while still being “in-touch” with the world. What starts to happen with a lack of personal touch - our serotonin levels decrease - that’s our happy vibe. Serotonin makes us happy and we need it to feel alive.
I mean, I am guilty of sitting on my phone beside my partner fully ignoring him or being out for lunch with a friend and as soon as my phone buzzes I look at it. Come on! Nothing is more important than the person I’m spending MY TIME with.
And THEN, I start to compare myself to my colleagues about the likes that I have. (thanks Instagram for taking that away!) … but I digress, I think you get the picture.
Being my own boss requires me to make my own schedule to ensure that I’m actually working, (or not working;)) I often find I make plans and then the day comes by and one of us “forgets” about them and I’m then stuck watching Netflix.
Being “busy” can include anything from working to doing laundry. It may seem like these menial tasks are to be done alone, but having a buddy with you not only makes them go by faster, they don’t seem as bad.
I know I shouldn’t depend on someone else for my entertainment, but I just want some connection! And when people tend to repeatedly say “I’m busy…” you tend to stop asking.
If you’ve never taken the time to get to know what makes you happy and inspired, you may find yourself being carried away and influenced by those around you. I experience this at networking events I’ve gone to on my own and it’s an odd feeling. I felt so out of my zone, with no connection to anyone in the room.Like Gavin Rossdale said, “I’m with everyone and yet not….”
This can happen on a regular basis if you don’t know yourself well. People whom you interact with like co-workers, can seem like strangers. You may not find the humour from your checkout cashier at the grocery store or bus driver. Isolation is created which leads to being alone.
What you can do:
Here are just some suggestions for new interactions. Some may require getting out of your comfort zone.
If you work from home, you can work in a public space or a common workspace so that you see and can interact with others.
Make and KEEP plans with friends
Join a Meet-up Group
Pick up a hobby that is in a group setting
Take public group exercise class
Of course, being alone isn’t always a bad thing. Choosing to be alone is a peaceful moment to regenerate and ground ourselves. It’s a time where we can reflect and accept changes, celebrate movements and make new goals.
Being alone is like anything in life, it requires balance. We sometimes need the solitude but also the community of being together. The key is know the difference in our hearts.
If you are struggling with loneliness, please reach out and talk to someone. If you know someone who may be struggling with any kind of mental health issues, don’t be afraid to ask how they are doing. Those closest to us can hide things very well and you never know if someone is struggling.
Here are some resources you can use: