"The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness." - Norman Cousins
Loneliness is one of the worst feelings in the world. The feeling of sadness due to lack of companions can mentally destroy a person. Here, I am not just talking about solitude but also the feeling of not being able to connect with anyone in spite of being in their company. It might not be as severe as depression but it can lead to depression if not taken care of at the right time.
However, it should be made clear that there is a stark difference between feeling lonely and wanting to be alone. Loneliness is totally a forced action due to lack of feeling wanted by others while wanting to be alone is totally a voluntary action. A person might prefer being a loner over social interactions but that doesn't mean that the person is suffering from loneliness.
Loneliness can be caused by various factors. Being subjected to prolonged isolation from the companionship of family and friends can make a person feel lonely. Other factors like inferiority complex and believing that they are not good enough might prevent a person from communicating and developing social relations with others which ultimately can lead to loneliness. Troubled childhood, constrained relationships with loved ones and emotional trauma can also make a person feel lonely and unwanted.
If not dealt with properly, loneliness can take a toll over a person's mental and physical health as well. Often loneliness can lead to suicidal thoughts and self harming. Therefore this mustn’t be treated as a trivial matter and the person suffering from it shouldn't be ignored. Appropriate steps should be taken in order to bring the person back to normal state.
There are various ways as to how you can handle loneliness. You can try some of these ways if you are suffering from loneliness.
Firstly, try to understand what makes you lonely. Is it the lack of enough friends or social interactions or the presence of certain people? If any of these is the reason then try to interact with more people in order to make friends and develop social connections. Also spend more time with your family members. They can be the greatest friends. However, if certain people make you feel distraught and lonely then stay away from them.
Try maintaining a journal or a personal diary. Write down regularly, what and how you feel. The more you pen down your feelings, the better you will feel. This is one possible way to shut out your loneliness.
You should think about joining more social activities in order to keep the lonesome thoughts away. Indulge in some sports or cultural activities or hobbies. You can also learn new things and do something productive. This will help you to boost yourself and drive away negativity from your mind. The more you engage yourself in doing something, the easier it becomes to shrug off loneliness.
If you feel that you are too shy to face people and make new friends in your real life, then join social media and meet people online. This can help you improve your social life in real world too. Remember to be wary of strangers though.
If you or someone close to you is suffering severely from loneliness then you should consider consulting a therapist because a doctor or a therapist will know the best after all. Mental illnesses or problems are as serious as physical ones. Don't refrain from taking an expert's help in the fear of being termed as a mental patient by the society. Mental illnesses are being addressed as serious issues these days unlike the past times.
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