In 2020, the world had gone through immense change. Not only was the world ravaged by COVID-19, but our social interactions and dynamics changed too. Loneliness is unhealthy–and became the unwanted reality of our lives. We were told to stay indoors; socially isolate, and be responsible for not spreading the virus.
Weeks turned into months. Months turned into a year. And we are still experiencing the devastating effects.
In today’s article, I want to dive into the 7 reasons why loneliness is unhealthy…and what you can do about it.
1. Loneliness Is Unhealthy Because It Ruins Our Perception Of Self-Worth
When we are alone, we are forced to be alone with our thoughts. Thoughts in themselves are not bad—depending on which thoughts we attach to, believe, and put action behind.
However, our minds have evolved to survive. And survival depends on protecting us from the bad. In doing so, our minds see the negatives as a means of self-preservation.
And when our mind shifts its focus on ourselves: we can easily go down avenues and spirals of attacking ourselves, with negative thoughts. Skewing our reality and perception of the world.
Therefore, loneliness is unhealthy because if we haven’t mastered being able to fully love ourselves: being alone—with thoughts reflecting rudeness; self-hate; self-criticalness; etc.—weakens our inner strength and vitality.
2. Loneliness Is Unhealthy Because We Are Social Beings
This is not to confuse comparing the worth between introverts and extroverts. I’ll save that for a future article. For now, let’s agree that we have evolved to be beings that are meant to connect.
It’s not about how many people you know: life is about the quality & meaningful connections you have.
Whether that be a loving partner; a loving pet; a best friend…you don’t need an infinite supply of people filling those positions. You only need quality people who invest in you as much as you invest in them. Every person we meet on the journey of life adds to our story and personal development: mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually.
When we lack meaningful connections in our lives, we lack a sense of purpose. The belief of purpose is what often gives people the strength of will to overcome and be resilient.
3. Loneliness During A Pandemic Makes Us Fear Not Being Missed
Many have lost their lives due to the current state of the world. Some have been pushed into poverty and passed away from indirect ways from COVID-19. The topic of death has been the very forefront of our lives: daily numbers of lives lost saturate the news every day.
What is this doing to our mental health? It’s a constant and very real reminder that death is indiscriminate in who it takes: the young, the elderly, essential and non-essential workers.
Before the pandemic, the idea of death seemed so far away…an experience left for the extremely elderly, sick, or freak-accident.
Not so much anymore. Now, it can happen to anyone. And perhaps, you know someone who has passed away the past year.
Loneliness during a pandemic highlights how we’ve lived our lives. Hopefully, it has made you reprioritize what is truly important in life. Who and what is important in YOUR life. And emboldens you to express gratitude to those who need to hear it—or living in a state of.
4. Loneliness Is Unhealthy Because It Puts Us In A Victimized Position
Loneliness is unhealthy because many of us feel personally victimized by the current state of the world. Plenty of life goals had been put on hold or delayed for the foreseeable future, because of what had happened. I want to remind you: it’s NOT your fault.
Out of all times in history, NOW is the time to be the most compassionate and understanding. Do not victimize or blame yourself. Making choices from a victimized position isn’t helpful—it only invites more pain and suffering into our lives.
Why? Remember the value of confirmation bias: we search and make choices from beliefs by what we CHOOSE to see in the world to confirm our biases.
5. Loneliness Remedy: Reach Out
I can’t express the number of clients who are totally afraid to reach out to connect: whether that be out of fear; shame; seeking personal support; and even professional support. Usually, a catastrophic event is what led to them reaching out to me in the first place. I operate on the belief of prevention—including increasing your emotional and mental resiliency.
The greatest advocate you can be is advocating for yourself. Because when you help yourself, you are able to better help others.
If your social circle has shrunken: let me be the first to tell you—so has everyone’s. This is not meant to reduce what you’re feeling. Instead, it’s to remind you that life has not singled you out.
Reach out. In all ways, you see reasonable, responsible, and considerate: to your wellness.
6. Loneliness Remedy: Touch
Loneliness is unhealthy because we lack the ability to touch in consenting and loving ways. If you live with others, consider yourself blessed and wealthy. Many right now are under isolation completely isolated. You can reach to your family, friends, or roommates living with you to create a deeper bond & connection.
When we touch, we release oxytocin—which is the most powerful chemical in the human body to protect against stress hormones.
And if you don’t have access to anyone, while being mindful of social distancing and doing your part to “stop the spread”, look into companion animals. The love from a pet is as valid as the love between others.
Pets have a beautiful way of showing us love and needing our love. While they each come with their own personalities, there is incredible evidence showing the health benefits associated with companion animals.
7. Loneliness Remedy: Invest In Yourself
The current state of the world is temporary. Vaccinations are happening and more importantly, economies are reopening and rebounding. Therefore, be reminded that humans are incredibly adaptable. Time is always a component of healing and progress.
Moreover, during this time you can invest in yourself: read a book; discover a new hobby; try a new skill; etc. And as you explore different likes and experiences which speak to you—indirectly you are:
A) Transforming yourself into someone evolved & new.
B) Gives you the opportunity to connect with different communities and people who share this newfound hobby & interest.
There is a purpose to be found in exploring new avenues of our being. Perhaps it breathes in new life to the stagnation and doldrums we are feeling currently. Remember, movement is the key of life. Never allow yourself to get stuck on one side of emotion…including the emotions that make you feel heavy, weighted, and down.
Invest in yourself. Because: you are worth it. Loneliness is unhealthy because sometimes our clarity of our worth gets blurred.
Loneliness* is unhealthy, and yet, it’s not remedied by having an assortment of many and varied meaningless attention. Furthermore, notice my suggestions and recommendations never applied social media as a sufficient way to address your loneliness.
While social media can be helpful, especially in business, it doesn’t do much for mental health. In fact, it can actually do the very opposite: as we correlate our worth in likes; comparison; followers; adds; etc.
You are so much more than a like or follow. True worth is not found in app algorithms or comparing to highly edited and curated content. Nor is it found in how many comments or thirsty attention.
Because there will ALWAYS be someone out there who has something more than what you have right now. Focusing our attention on that, only highlights our lack. And lack: leads to loneliness.
Instead, focus on gratitude. You’re alive. And that’s something to be entirely grateful for. Because you can make effective choices now…that will influence the outcome of your most immediate future up ahead.
Be strong out there.
Stay Well & Vibe Well,
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