You Don’t Have to Feel Lonely: Counseling Can Help With Loneliness and Social Isolation
Loneliness is the feeling of being alone. It is sometimes caused by social isolation – being physically separate from those around you – but often occurs even when a person has people around. It can be a devastating feeling that leads to physical aches and pains, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. It can lead to insomnia, sleeping too much, or changes in appetite. Thankfully there are steps to take.
Acknowledge your loneliness
One of the first things a person who’s feeling lonely can do is to accept that they’re feeling lonely. It can be difficult to make this admission. Sometimes it feels ridiculous because there are plenty of people around, or there are many things a person is grateful for in their life. They feel that they shouldn’t feel lonely. But they do.
There are many ways to acknowledge loneliness. A person might write in a diary, write a letter to a friend, paint a picture, write a song, or talk about it directly with their counselor. When the feelings are expressed discoveries can begin and a person can find out what is connected to their loneliness, whether it’s anger, frustration, sadness, or another emotion.
Loneliness is a passive emotion
Put simply, that means that it’s a feeling that is likely to continue until something is done about it. It is not something that needs to be maintained – it will simply stick around. One way to do that is to become more active. Get together with friends or family members, write letters, call people on the telephone, or send an email.
Get involved in the community
While it’s good to reach out and re-build up relationships that have been in their lives, people can also establish new ones by getting involved in activities or clubs in the area. Some people don’t feel ready to do this but often find if they push through their fear that they start feeling better much quickly.
For other people, some work needs to be done before they can put themselves out there in the community. At Thriveworks Westminster Counseling & Coaching we can help assess your specific needs and find you the help you need.