Everyone feels lonely from time to time. The feeling can be strong at the time of holidays, valentine’s day or you are under stress or you are single. Sometimes people feel lonely even if they are in a relationship. Is there any connection between our mental health and loneliness? Yes, it is connected and that’s why this year’s mental health awareness theme is loneliness. Let’s explore what are the reasons for loneliness, and how to deal with it in many situations.
First, we will understand what is mental health?
Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being all contribute to our mental health. It has an impact on how we think, feel, and act. It also influences how we deal with stress, interact with others, and make decisions. Mental health is essential at all stages of life, from childhood to adolescence to adulthood.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health issues have increased by 13% globally in the last decade. Approximately 7 to 8 % of Indian people are fighting mental illness.
Often, because of misconceptions about mental health and mental fitness, people often suffer in silence and their conditions go untreated.
Loneliness is not a mental illness but it can be a cause of mental illness and that’s why it is a very serious problem. Loneliness can be due to so many different factors and, the long-term can affect both your emotional and physical health.
What are the reasons for loneliness?
Change is one of the reasons for loneliness. Change in life situations creates tension and you need a supporting hand during the transition. People feel lonely at that time because they are having a thought that no one is there to understand them better!
Most of the time job change, retirement, relationship breakups, or moving to a new city or country without family or friends. Some certain situations like having no friends and family, single parent, and experiencing discrimination or stigma because of long-term physical or mental health issues. Even experiencing stigma because of your gender, race, or sexual orientation.
What is the impact of loneliness?
These can be impacted by loneliness:-
- Feeling sad.
- Unable to feel happy.
- Feeling low.
- Difficulty in concentration.
- Sleep illness
- Low confidence.
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling anxious
- Chronic aches and pains
How to deal with loneliness?
Firstly don’t fight with your feelings or suppress them. Accept that you are feeling lonely. Everyone feels lonely sometimes. It’s ok! And feeling lonely doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything.
1. Develop the habit of planning. Plan your weekend properly. Engage yourself with some activities like gardening, cleaning or painting, etc.
2. Connect with your old friends or colleagues.
3. Join a group or club.
4. Do some voluntary work.
5. Be a pet parent.
6. Reading is also a good habit.
7. Learn something new.
8. Engage in a hobby.
9. Be kind to everyone.
10. Try to talk with strangers.