Loneliness | what it feels like, how it works, and my experience
"Loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself." -Rupi Kaur
I'm an introvert, I like my own space a lot, I feel most comfortable when I'm alone without others around me, I like spending time on my hobbies without anybody disturbing me, but why does that also make me feel lonely? The loneliness epidemic - something that billions of people have experienced this year, having spent months alone with minimal contact with loved ones, is taking over the world.
An article published in 2018 in The Independent states, "Two-fifths (40 per cent) of people aged 16-24 say they feel lonely often or very often". Isn't this both shocking and upsetting? What could have caused such a number to even exist? Social media? The modern age? Technology? Or simply just the change of time? Whatever it is, there is a clear problem that not enough people are talking about. This was not a problem 100 years ago, at least not this big of a problem, and alarming figures continue to show that it's not getting any better.
So, what does loneliness look like, and how do you know if you are experiencing it? (points taken from my own personal experience, NOT professional advice):
- feeling completely alone when surrounded by loved ones
- feeling lost on a regular basis
- the need to be loved, appreciated, and praised all the time
- feeling lost in terms of where you are, what you're doing, and what the future holds
- constant negative feelings around self-esteem and self-worth
- always thinking others are better than you (in terms of body, looks, grades, jobs, followers, number of friends, etc.)
- being unproductive even thought you don't want to
This has been my experience of loneliness, and it's toxic to say the least and can lead you to have further mental health issues on top of it, unless you find the inner courage to fight your demons and tell yourself that you're not lonely. I'm blessed with a family, very close friends, a beautiful online community to talk to, and so much more - I'm not lonely, maybe just afraid? The key is to recognise and acknowledge what you're feeling, and like in my case, either vent it all out into a journal or talk to a friend/mental health organisation, if that makes you feel more comfortable. There are endless resources available online to help you overcome this feeling, and if that doesn't work, here are some of my tips for helping you overcome the feeling of being lonely:
- talk to like-minded people and share your experience
- tell your friends how you feel
- write down your thoughts (highly recommend this one!)
- make a list of everything you are grateful for, as this will show you how much you can appreciate this life
- understand that you're good enough
- keep yourself busy if you don't want to spend too much time in your head
I really hope this post helps some of you out there who may be experiencing loneliness right now. You are not alone, and if you ever need somebody to listen, you are free to message me over on Instagram.
Article mentioned can be found at: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/young-people-loneliness-intense-study-a8563056.html
Stay safe and take care :)