We’re all experiencing loneliness every once in a while, it is one of the things which make us human. And it can happen even when we are surrounded by people. Most of the times it can be easily managed, but sometimes it can get out of control and cause severe emotional pain. And emotional pain is not the only thing to be feared – our physical health is at risk too. Loneliness activates both our physical and psychological stress responses and supresses the function of our immune systems, which can lead to an increased risk for developing all kinds of diseases.
In order to break free of loneliness and heal, you have to let go of the feeling that pushes you to isolate yourself from your loved ones and take a leap of faith. Licensed psychologist Guy Winch proposes some tips to deal with the pain of loneliness:
- Take action: If what you’re feeling is disconnected at a social level, try going through your phone, address books, and social media contacts, and make a list of people you haven’t seen or spoken to in a while. Similarly, if what you feel is disconnected at an emotional level, make a list of five people you’ve been close to in the past and try getting in contact with them. Even if it scares you, suggest going out and catching up.
- Give the benefit of the doubt: Try not to jump to any conclusions if your friends have been out of touch lately – the reason might have nothing to do with you. Actually, in some cases, the “disconnect” you are feeling is really only in your mind. So don’t be afraid to reach out to them.
- Approach with positivity: When contacting your friends, try to put yourself in a positive mindset. Avoid accusing them of not reaching out and tell them you miss them instead.