Last update: January 25, 2015
Loneliness doesn't always have to do with having other people around you or not. Rather, it is about the perception of being alone or isolated, accompanied by feelings of sadness.
For many, these feelings are caused by not having found a partner, while for others it is difficult to make new friends or even maintain relationships of any kind. And the truth is, loneliness can be really distressing ...
Consequences of loneliness
Recent studies have shown that loneliness can have repercussions not only on mood, but also on physical health. People who feel empty, lonely and unwanted are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, increased stress levels, decreased memory and learning ability. Feelings of loneliness can also lead to depression or even suicide.
What can you do if you are feeling lonely?
The solution is not to start a random relationship with anyone for the sole purpose of not feeling alone. Although it is a very common strategy among those suffering from loneliness, the truth is that, in the end, rather than solving the problem this attitude complicates it and can create conflicts. And so it goes from the pan to the grill. The secret is to learn both the art of being alone and the art of being accompanied.
Suffering from loneliness or taking advantage of it?
If your personal situation has recently changed, due to the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship or, for example, the departure of a friend, and you are now alone, think that you can take advantage of this new situation. to gain positive experiences.
The art of being alone
Use this phase of your life to get to know yourself better. When you are living with another person, you always have to compromise, and if your partner had a stronger personality than yours, it may be that most of the time you ended up giving in. Enjoy the moments that you can now reserve only for yourself.
Reaffirm your identity. It may be useful to "refresh" your memory on very simple things, such as: what are the foods you like best? How would you like to decorate the house? What programs do you like to see on TV? It sounds like nonsense, but in reality you will find that your tastes have changed, or that for a long time you have deprived yourself of something you liked.
Become self-reliant. This is your chance to acquire new skills and knowledge. Learn to keep accounts or to fix the leaking tap. Find out which routine works best for you. Knowing that you can take care of yourself in the best way will give you an unrivaled sense of satisfaction.
Give yourself time. Remember that if you have just ended a romantic relationship, you will need time to heal yourself emotionally, and it would not make sense to start another one right away. Space will allow you to understand what is really important to you, what you want to look for in a future partner and what you want to improve about yourself.
In short, it is a time to grow and mature. If you don't know how to be happy alone, you won't even know how to be happy as a couple. Nobody can give you the "magic wand" and resolve your inner conflicts.
The art of being accompanied
After experiencing the art of being alone, you need to be able to experience the art of being accompanied. An important first step is to establish good relationships with your family members. Try to recover relations with your distant relatives: it is an excellent practice, also to test yourself. You may not be able to ensure that the relationship is perfect, but at least it will take you to reopen the lines of communication. If your goal is to start a stable romantic relationship, remember that your partner will also be your closest family member.
Strengthen your friendships. If you find it difficult to manage social situations and you tend to avoid them, make it your goal to do something with friends at least once a week. Try not to isolate yourself. You can expand your circle of friends by joining a readers' club, going to the gym, or taking lessons on something that interests you. Knowing how to keep good friends is essential in order to be successful even in a romantic relationship. After all, marriage is theunion of two friendsdon't you think?
Finally, remember that the feeling of loneliness does not come from being alone, but from how you perceive the situation. The serious thing is that its consequences can be devastating, both emotionally and physically.
Do not suffer from loneliness, do not be overwhelmed: learn from it and exploit it. Set yourself the goal of learning both arts: that of being alone and that of being accompanied.
Image courtesy of Hartwig HKD