Loneliness is something that can consume a persons life, but being alone and feeling lonely are two very different things. We always need time to ourselves to rest and unwind, but loneliness can have a huge impact on your everyday life, especially if its linked to mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.
There are two types of loneliness; emotional and social.
Emotional loneliness is something we get when we miss the company of a particular person, such as a significant other, sibling or best friend.
Social loneliness is lacking a wider social network (group of friends, colleagues)
Who is affected?
It can affect anyone, in completely different ways:
- Loosing a loved one
- Moving away from family and friends
- Loss of contentment or enjoyment in work
- Having health problems that limit your ability to socialise or leave the house
How to cope with loneliness
Feeling lonely isn’t in itself a mental health problem, but the two are strongly linked. Having a mental health problem increases your chance of feeling lonely, it can then have a negative impact on your mental health.
Some strategies of learning how to overcome the problem is perhaps identifying the problem, it will then be easy to make changes that will truly help you. For example, say you assume that you are lonely because you do not have enough friends and you go out and make more friends, yet you still feel lonely. Take these questions into account:
- When do you feel the most lonely?
- Do certain people make you feel more lonely when you’re around them?
- How long has it been this way?
Practise meditation, research has shown that meditation may ease feelings associated with loneliness and depression. Go and join a meditation class in your area, if you want to know how to start properly, or do it in the comfort of your own home.
As hard as it is, you have to realise you’re not alone. I am here to help you build on relationships with the people around you to help you feel less lonely.
We can also explore ways to remedy the loneliness you are experiencing or to feel more connected while you’re alone. This can be anything from getting a new pet or doing some gardening, to taking up a group activity such as dancing or a team sport. This can be a big step if you have been isolated for some time, so you will be in control of if and when you are ready to start trying different things then you will be able too.
What to expect
Counselling for loneliness can help you to overcome the feelings of detachment or isolation that may be dominating your daily life. It’s a chance to look at the causes of your loneliness and identify situations that exacerbate it.
If you’re seeking therapy for loneliness and associated issues, my sessions will give you a secure, caring environment in which to open up. It can be challenging to talk about your feelings, so I’ll allow you to set your own pace with no pressure or judgement.
I will look at healthy friendships people that you have in your life, that you are able to build up a resilience to be able to ask for help within their own ability and i’ll help you recognise your not on your own. I also use the analogy of the ‘Nanny McPhee’ form of therapy session, so when you need me I’m here and when you don’t I slowly disappear. My clients have benefited a lot with this process. I will build up a healthy attachment with you to do weekly sessions and then when you’re in a good space, I will suggest fortnightly, if the client is ready for that, I will work with your needs and your expectations and look at your attachment patterns t help you move forward.
Mental health and loneliness
Depression is a common mental health issue that causes an individual to experience low moods, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy and poor concentration.
If you constantly feel isolated and like you have no one around, it can lead you to become depressed, because you do not talk to anyone around you and you feel like no one really cares, it can take a huge toll on your mental health, you’ll be upset, loose interest, feel low self-worth and hardly sleep because you feel so isolated and then you could begin to think its your fault, when its not.
Anxiety is another problem that occurs when you become to feel lonely, because when you do get asked to come out later down the line and join in, in social activities, you’ll be nervous and anxious too because you spent your time alone for so long that the slightest bit of social interaction will make your anxiety flare up, I will help you overcome them feelings of anxiety and depression as best I can, to help you feel better when you feel beat the feelings of loneliness.
Benefits of counselling for loneliness
It can help you feel connected with someone and supported. By talking to someone that is away from school and family, it can maybe help you open up more and feel more comfortable. Its ok to feel this way, its not your fault and there is support available.
I will do what I can to ensure that we work through your problems together and what we need to do to make you feel better in the long run.
The information you disclose during our sessions is kept confidential and if it is necessary to pass on details to a third party, I will always ask your permission first.
If you’d like to receive counselling for loneliness or other issues, contact me today on 07510 495791 or email email@example.com. I’m always willing to listen.