In 2019, 2 in 5 Americans reported feeling lonely or isolated. They also reported that these feelings contributed to poor mental health. These figures only increased in 2020.
If loneliness is weighing on you, you’re not alone. Managing your emotions can make a huge difference when it comes to combating loneliness. If you are starting to feel lonely most of your time, we are here to help.
The Loneliness Epidemic
2020 has seen a dramatic shift in how we live and socialize with strict lockdowns imposed, and social gatherings limited.
Although these measures are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Humans are social creatures. The effects of isolation have been devastating to our mental well-being. Even before COVID-19, levels of loneliness among American adults were at an all-time high. This led researchers to declare a “loneliness epidemic” in the United States.
Loneliness is a common feeling to experience but it shouldn’t be ignored. Feelings of loneliness can worsen existing mental health issues and be damaging to both physical and mental health.
How to Deal with Loneliness
Loneliness can feel overwhelming, but there are a few things you can do to deal with your feelings. It involves techniques for managing your emotions, ways to connect, and recognizing when to seek professional advice.
Managing Your Emotions
It’s important to recognize that you control your thoughts, they do not control you. This is why the first step to tackling loneliness is to change your thought patterns around your state of being.
First, accept your emotions and recognize their presence. Denying your loneliness only suppresses it and worsens its effects. It might help to say to yourself, “I’m feeling lonely, and that’s okay!”. Becoming aware of how your thoughts shape your reality makes managing your loneliness a lot easier.
Once you’re fully aware of your feelings, counteract emotions with verbal or written cues. Keep reminding yourself that you are not alone in your loneliness. Remember that this emotion is natural. Tell yourself that every feeling is temporary, even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time.
Finding connections doesn’t have to mean leaving your house and hanging out with friends. A great way to develop new connections is through online communities. Try taking up a hobby or joining an online fan community.
Online communities provide socialization and are a great way of finding people you have something in common with.
If this isn’t your thing, reach out to your social network and set regular video chat dates. Regular interaction, even over Zoom, can do wonders for your emotional well-being.
Depression and Loneliness: Recognizing the Difference
If you’ve been isolating alone at home, feelings of loneliness are to be expected. However, if this feeling is prolonged and accompanied by other symptoms of depression, it might be time to seek professional help from a psychologist.
Managing your emotions and making connections can only get you so far. If you’re battling to cope with feelings of loneliness, it’s definitely time to reach out to a professional.
You don’t have to have a diagnosed mental illness to seek counseling. Speaking with a therapist is the best way to counteract feelings of loneliness and develop a personalized plan for coping. To make an appointment or find out more about the mental health services on offer, get in touch today.