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As social species, humans crave closeness. We are wired for connection with others. Nevertheless, everyone does feel lonely from time to time. Feelings of loneliness are personal, so everyone’s experience will be different. It’s important to keep in mind that this is natural, and it happens to everybody, but there are things you can do to make it easier.
Before we continue to go through what we can do to make it feel better, it is essential to understand what this feeling of loneliness is. It occurs when we crave social and emotional needs that are not being met. It is when we miss mattering to others. But loneliness is not the same as feeling alone, because you can be alone and not feel lonely. Some people can be alone and live happily without much contact with other people, while others may find that lonely.
Feeling lonely is common, but that doesn’t mean it might not feel overwhelming to you. You’re not alone! According to a recent report by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, 36% of surveyed people report feeling lonely frequently or all the time. However, this is an emotion you can overcome by understanding why you’re feeling that way in the first place.
You may feel lonely even when you’re in a relationship or even when you’re surrounded by people, but that doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. Trauma, loss, depression, and stress can exacerbate feelings of loneliness. On the other hand, loneliness can also impact your mental health, causing depression, anxiety, low-self esteem, sleep problems, and stress.
It may be quite difficult to take action to feel better when you’re lonely since loneliness can be extremely stressful and have a significant negative influence on your general wellness. Consider how the following may be influencing your feelings and whether you can take any action to alter them:
If you’ve tried different strategies to feel better and had no success, consider reaching out for professional help. As with anything, balance is key. Feeling lonely is common and even necessary from time to time. If you’re aware of what this emotion is trying to communicate to you, then you’ll be able to identify what you can learn from it. Loneliness doesn’t need to be a constant in your life. Making a few changes can restore the joy, connection, and friendships that are waiting around the next corner.