What does it mean to feel alone in life? Well, it’s a significant question. We are humans and we do have this void within us that we endeavor to fill numerous times in our lives with unfavorable substances.
What does it mean to feel alone in life? It is a rather deep and philosophical question that many of us try to crack with our personal emotions and experiences.
I feel the reason behind loneliness is both objective and subjective and so is the solution.
I have already mentioned in my previous article about 15 types of loneliness and you’ll find existential loneliness at the top of the list, it is a kind of existential crisis in which a person fails to find one’s sense of purpose in life. This type of loneliness will be faced by every soul who reflects and contemplates about self and the Universe.
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What Does It Mean To Feel Alone
The question, “What Does It Mean To Feel Alone In Life?” is very rightly posed because there are so many things attached to loneliness and desolation that one seems to find oneself perplexed while dealing with the areas of this question.
We can very obviously see that even individuals who have dozens of people around them feel terribly alone let alone people who haven’t got any. While we still have some who are nevertheless at peace by not being surrounded by people.
Even losers and failures are not always unhappy and alone ones rather George Bernard Shaw rightly said that “it’s a lonely thing to be a champion.”
To an extent, our apparent position in life doesn’t define our loneliness index.
After all, Quality is all that counts above quantity.
“Quality delights the soul while quantity deludes the eyes.”
If you have trod the path of dealing with your loneliness you must be ready to learn and unlearn a ton of things.
Primarily, we have to take the first solid step regardless of the condition to enhance our mental territory in life.
Our desired state can never be acquired by stagnating at a place and phase. We have to commence the process to get into the loop of the upward cycle or else by stagnating, the only place we’ll reach is the step beneath.
Ironically enough, you are not the only lonely person experiencing loneliness.
Okay, so that was a background to prepare us for the discussion on disturbing reasons, upsetting consequences, and uplifting remedies.
So let’s get started.
Why Do We Feel Alone In Life?
The question that sort of become the million-dollar one lately. The reasons behind feeling alone are often subtle enough to escape our eyes but deep enough to leave an impression.
Particularly, Generation Z is digging the internet to find the answer because they are the “loneliest generation.” But they actually have to explore within themselves to find their answers.
Below are the most common reasons and causes for feeling alone.
1 – Feeling Hard To Connect
You will find it extremely difficult to link and associate with people on an emotional level. You are scared to open yourself up to others. There is this vacuum between you and others in your life because of your perhaps introversion or fear but in the long run of life, it will leave you at the crossroads of loneliness.
This is probably the reason for feeling alone in life.
2 – Growing Individualism
The infusion of individualistic idealogy and culture impacted our lives heavily. They made us more reserved and reticent. It’s fine unless it makes us selfish and indifferent.
Individualism talks about the intrinsic worth of individuals and individuality. It focuses on the individual rather than a collective group.
You might be mentally and emotionally vulnerable and need people on whose shoulders you can lay your heads and breathe.
This is most probably the hidden reason for you feeling alone.
3 – Bullying
Being subjugated or pointed out in a group because of having a distinct race, caste, creed, sex, and religion mostly makes us all feel alone.
Due to the prevailing discrimination and bias in the head of the bully, you pay the price with your mental sanity and peace.
Cyberbullying is one of the leading kinds of harassment nowadays.
A 2018 Pew Research study found that a majority of teens (59%) experienced some form of cyberbullying.
Sufferers of cyberbullying experience lower self-esteem increased suicidal ideation, and various negative emotional responses, including being scared, frustrated, angry, depressed, or lonely.
4 – Lost A Loved One
One of the primary reasons to feel alone in life is losing a loved one to the mercy of the cold arms of death. Dying is unavoidable and the only thing that can help us is to accept the fact and have patience.
“Everyone on the surface of this earth has either lost someone or something dear to them or will lose them.”
You might also be going through the same phase of your life perhaps, by losing your family members or friends who once shared a big portion of your life.
5 – Getting Separated
Separating and parting ways with your near and dear ones is also painful. It can either be for good or for bad, nevertheless, it will impact you. Like separating from your pet, spouse, parents, friends, neighbors, house, toys, jobs even, from your routine for that matter.
Separation landed you up in alien territory by compelling you to leave your comfort zone. It definitely is scary and lonely.
6 – Confusion And Indecision
All kinds of uncertainty, disarray, chaos, and bewilderment are also causing loneliness.
You are all messed up in your head perhaps regarding the career you should pursue, the life you should build, the hobby you should pick and it can be any major or minor thing that has snatched your peace of mind.
It will even make you feel secluded because you see your peers confident and committed to their life goals.
7 – You Feel Different
Your mental, physical, emotional health can also make you feel, unlike others. You might be mentally or physically challenged which makes you count out of the group.
Your difference is working as a catalyst of feelings of aloneness for you.
This is again a general reason for feeling isolated.
8 – You Are Not In The Picture
Okay, so you feel as if you are invisible to people’s eyes. You don’t feel seen, heard, felt, or understood anymore. As if you are not in the picture.
You feel neglected and your needs and wants are overlooked.
This is sensitive to you and will hurt you.
9 – You Feel Lost
You anyhow feel as if you don’t have a strong acumen of self and find yourself in a situation you have never been before. While standing on a brand new track of life you are seeking your worth and looking for your place in the Universe.
10 – Trapped In A Cut-Throat Competition
You are wildly involved in a cut-throat competition even when you don’t want to but you have to. People want to outperform and outgrow each other and you have a fear of lagging behind. You might fear joblessness because you doubt your own capabilities.
All this breaks self-esteem, confidence and pushes you towards depression, darkness, and, loneliness.
“What Does It Mean To Feel Alone?” Probably, the above list of instances would have hinted you towards more prominent reasons behind your feelings of loneliness.
What Are The Consequences Of Feeling Alone In Life?
So there are some adverse effects of isolation. We have seen some general but profound reasons for loneliness, now, we’ll look at the grave consequences.
1 – Soaring Stress Level
This is one of the most prominent effects that can be seen as a byproduct of loneliness. All the pressure will drain your senses.
And stress encompasses a hell of a lot of things like a racing heartbeat, jaw clenching, aches, pains, and a lot more.
According to Psychology Today, “lonely individuals report higher levels of perceived stress even when exposed to the same stressors as non-lonely people, and even when they are relaxing.”
2 – Sleep Inconsistencies
It is one of the common symptoms of loneliness. You might suffer from insomnia. Your loneliness wrecks your sleeping patterns.
Author Lianne Kurina, Ph.D., said in a press release, “What we found was that loneliness does not appear to change the total amount of sleep in individuals, but awakens them more times during the night.”
Sleep is such a need that it can’t be overlooked so you have to pay attention to your sleeping patterns and should consult an expert.
3 – Changes In Appetites
Your psychology definitely decides and defines your physical self. There will be an unusual increase or decrease in appetite.
It often prompts you to put on weight by hogging on food just to compromise and compensate for your mental illness.
It in turn makes a person vulnerable to other health problems like high cholesterol levels, imbalanced blood pressure, and blood sugar level.
4 – Social Media Addicted
You have made digital media your escape. You lack real people in your real life and to recompensate for that you look towards social media with eyes full of aspirations but they usually turn out to be doom for your mental health.
5 – Cravings For Warmth
You feel a yearning for warmth, affection, and kindness so you fulfill your longing by sufficing yourself with physical or external warmth.
Like having lots of hot chocolate, staying mostly in your bed, surrounding yourself with layers of blanket and prolonged steamy showers.
You try to alleviate your mental cold by becoming physically warm.
6 – Reduced Concentration
Your power of focus suffers severely if you are lonely. You can’t commit yourself to one particular activity at a time. It becomes fragmented and haphazard.
Your concentration power decreases.
7 – Substance Abuse
Lonely people often turn towards substance abuse “to feel good momentarily.” It affects your behavior and brain negatively.
This will ruin your life in the long run and will further make you feel lonelier.
8 – Panic Attacks
You might also experience panic attacks as a consequence of feeling alone. They will be very terrifying. They will make you lose control over yourself.
Some of the symptoms are shortness of breath, hot flashes, abdominal cramping, chest pain, and dizziness.
Panic attacks can take over anytime and anywhere.
9 – Depression
You are bound to get into depression if you are frequently feeling alone. Depression will be very hazardous for your mental health and will prevent your psychological growth in one or the other way.
It negatively affects your thoughts, feelings, actions, behaviors, motivations, and feelings of well-being.
10 – Suicidal Tendencies
Suicide is a prominent issue occurring out of loneliness. Several studies have proved how feeling lonely can become a catalyst for suicide.
Recently even Japan appoints a ‘Minister Of Loneliness’ after seeing the increasing suicide rates for the first time in 11 years.
Japanese National Police Agency reports, in the month of October 2020, more people died from suicide than the COVID-19 in Japan due to increased isolation.
Okay, so it’s not the end of the story yet because we still have the protagonist missing. Below we’ll see how effectively we can prevent and escape the feelings of aloneness in the first place.
How To Prevent And Control Feeling Alone In Life?
The answer to the question “What Does It Mean To Feel Alone In Life?” will remain incomplete without mentioning superb ways to manage your feelings of loneliness.
Janet Fitch, an American Author, says, “Loneliness allows your soul room to grow.” So make sure you replenish your space with something positive and wholesome.
Underneath will be 10 significant points that will not only help you contain and handle loneliness but also helps you to grow as a person in a time of adversity.
1 – Say Yes To Your Condition
Admit! Admit! Admit! your lonely condition. Stop running away from it. The more you run away from reality the faster it’ll chase you.
Acknowledging is your first step because it will provide you with the more mental strength to fight it out.
Stop sulking over your solitary state of affairs. Admitting is difficult but it is also essential to cure any form of disorder you have.
So give yourself some time to ponder over your condition and accept the problem.
The best thing you can console yourself with is by saying this to yourself, “dear, you are not the only lonely person.” That means you are not alone in your loneliness, millions of people across the globe are going through the very same feelings.
2 – Write It Down
You have to establish the habit of penning your thoughts and feelings down if you do not already write much.
Vaile Wright, a senior director at the American Psychological Association, calls journaling thoughts a form of self-directed cognitive behavioral therapy that can be effective in reducing symptoms of depression or anxiety, particularly if it’s a mild case.
Wright further says when people use writing to express themselves they, “increase emotional regulation, clarify life goals, find meaning and give voice to feelings, which can help construct a meaningful story.”
Maintain your journal daily.
3 – Reach To The Loved Ones
Approaching the ones who understand you and care for you gives you strength as you know someone is having your back.
Having a heart-to-heart with your close ones can heal you faster.
Open your heart to them, tell them your issue and you’ll feel as if someone has put that burden off your chest.
You can also indulge in other healthy activities like playing games, having meals, bonfire nights, and so on and so forth.
This will not only uplift your mood but also strengthen your bond that in turn will make you less vulnerable.
4 – Find Solace In Nature
The natural environment can really impact our lives. Stying under the big blue sky, over the lush green carpet, and around the cheerful lively creature can give us a new way of thinking.
It is effective in eliminating our stress and feelings of isolation by making us actualize about different lives and the function in the vast Universe.
It gives us agility, hope, and confidence.
Several pieces of research show how nature can positively influence an alone person.
5 – Practise Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a practice of consciously focusing on your present physical and mental states like your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and sensations. It is literally “living in the moment.” It improves your mental and physical well-being.
Practice mindfulness as much and as better as you can. Live in the moment.
This is employed in the practical treatment of depression, loneliness, anxiety, and stress.
6 – Healthy Food Is The Key
Everyone is trying to satisfy their taste buds by sacrificing their health and wellness.
Several studies tell us that the kind of food we eat does impact us. It can definitely alter our mental frame and mood.
Mental Health Foundation of United Kingdom, mentioned, “What we eat doesn’t just affect our physical health: it can also affect our mental health and wellbeing.”A Mediterranean-style diet (one with lots of vegetables, seafood, fresh herbs, garlic, olive oil, cereal, and grains) supplemented with fish oil can reduce the symptoms of depression.
7 – Join A Community
Our surroundings do influence us. Drew Houston has said, “You become the average of the five people you hang out with.” Make sure you hang out with purposeful and happy people.
Join a class or club such as a library, art club, or any kind of recreational class. It will enable you to meet with people who share your interest and they might be able to share your feelings too. Give your interests a fertile land and grow them amongst like-minded people.
8 – Work Upon Self-Help
Read self-help books, listen to self-help podcasts and go for every opportunity that revolves around self-help. They are a great window that will let you meet your better version.
It will prepare you mentally for your personal growth. They will give you an insight into your strengths that you otherwise overlook due to your loneliness and depression. This is a great way of killing loneliness and depression and giving yourself a chance.
You are not only learning, but you are also preparing yourself for a better tomorrow.
9 – Practise Gratitude And Generosity
Whenever you feel lonely and depressed remember all the things you show gratitude towards. Make a gratitude journal list down all major and minor things you are grateful for.
Trust me if you know the art of gratitude, you are at peace and no one can snatch it. Being grateful for the things, people, opportunities, events, senses, and for yourself will assist you to combat loneliness and depression. Don’t forget to be generous to others.
10 – Seek Professional Support
When you feel alone frequently you should go to a counselor. You need someone to listen to you. You need to vent out the emotions that you are suppressing.
Counseling or psychotherapy can help. They can also teach you ways of dealing with stressful life events and circumstances that you can’t change yourself.
In a worse case, maybe they recommend you to a psychiatrist and they will prescribe some medications like antidepressants or something.
Medicines work as a complement to your psychotherapy also.
This article discusses ” What Does It Mean To Feel Alone In Life” in 30 major points. It highlights a wholesome background of feeling alone, their probable reasons, their grave consequences, and last but definitely not least, their awesome preventions.
I hope you people will like this piece.
Kindly share it with everyone and don’t forget to leave your valuable comments down in the comment section.