The Science Behind: Loneliness
Loneliness happens to everyone. Whether you are ever the social butterfly, have only a few close friends, or are surrounded by people every second of the day, chances are you’ve felt lonely. Especially with self-isolation orders, mental health has been hit hard.
So literally, what is feeling lonely? First off, loneliness is a feeling, not a state. I’ve heard the words “alone” and “lonely” being interchanged so many times, and let me tell you that is not true. Being alone means you are not surrounded by anybody, and it is just you by yourself. Being lonely means even though you could be surrounded by people, you have nobody to talk to or confide in.
One key factor that plays into feeling lonely is social media. We talk to people day after day on our phones, texting and snapping and doing whatever it is with our friends. Yes, we may be talking to them, however there is no face to face conversation. It can leave you feeling as if something hasn’t been fulfilled. Because we are not able to see or hear them, it makes us feel a disconnect. Not being able to see their facial expressions or hearing the tone of their voices can make us feel like we’re alone and isolated.
So now that we know what the true definition of loneliness is and why we feel it, here’s the million dollar question.
How do you stop feeling lonely?
Loneliness isn’t something that’s just gone when you wake up one morning. Okay, sure for some people it might be, but usually that’s not the case. So if you’re ever feeling lonely, do these things.
Call someone. Even if you’re not able to talk to them face to face, hearing their voice can make you feel like they’re here with you, even if it’s just through a tiny metal device.
Go outside and meet new people. Yes, talking to strangers may seem daunting at first, but the simplest of smiles to a stranger can leave you feeling a lot less lonely and a lot more fulfilled knowing that people see you.
Get off social media. Texting, emailing, any form of communication that is online counts. Instead, see if you’re able to go out and talk to people face to face.
Loneliness isn’t a good thing. Ever since the pandemic, people have been lonelier than ever. If you know someone, reach out. The best thing you can do for them is let them know you see them, let them know they’re not alone.