For The People

Companionship & the dangers of loneliness

We all know the saying, “No man is an island,” there is great reason behind that saying, it’s pretty simple really. You cannot go about doing life in the world on your own. With over 7,4 billion people in the world, it is a rather strange phenomenon that people are still lonely. Or is it?

What is loneliness? And is it a temporary thing that is normal for us to go through as we go about life or is it a feeling that does not necessarily happen to all people. Better yet, how do you go about achieving such fulfillment with oneself that loneliness does not become a common feature in your life.

It starts with the self. Loneliness is a sadness caused by not having any friends or company. It is a state of feeling like you do not have anyone in your life to go through your feelings and experiences with you, however temporary those feelings and experiences may be.

Loneliness becomes a problem when you do in fact have people around you that care and love you but you are not at peace with yourself and therefore you cannot allow them in and enjoy their presence and support in your life. The problem is not necessarily them not wanting to be in your life, it is you associating the feeling of abandonment or even anticipated abandonment distress with loneliness. All of us have experienced some degree of abandonment, if only for a short time, and remember the painful and scary feeling that goes along with it, therefore when we think about it happening again, we get abandonment misery and we find ourselves feeling lonely.

It is very important to note that loneliness is a feeling and not a fact. When you experience the feeling of loneliness, it is because a memory has triggered that feeling, and not always because you are actually isolated and alone. Our brains are programmed to respond to experiences like pain, fear and danger. Loneliness is a scary, fearful feeling and therefore our brains reacts to it as it gets our attention. The first step in overcoming loneliness therefore, is to understand and accept that is a feeling and not a fact. If you do not do that, you end up over thinking what you are feeling and results in thoughts about self-doubt, pessimism, feeling of being a failure and rejection.

The danger with loneliness is that the way to rescue yourself, is the hardest thing to do once in that state. You need to reach out to family and friends, you need to make an effort to be in good company and to contribute to conversations and experiences. Your optimism needs to outweigh your pessimism. This can prove to be quite challenging when all you want to do is withdraw from people into yourself and your negative thoughts, but in order to beat the consequences of the loneliness bug you need to find the mental strength from deep within and save yourself.

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