It doesn’t require much convincing to know that we live in a society where social media and technology are used to keep up with friends. But what happens when you’re one of those people who doesn’t have close connections? How can you find help when you feel as though a device is the only thing that makes you feel less alone?
It can be hard to find someone who understands how difficult it feels to deal with loneliness on a day-to-day basis. However, there is hope to be found with the right skills and methods for those who suffer from loneliness. If this sounds like you, don’t give up hope just yet! In this blog post, we will discuss how therapy can help those suffering from loneliness and isolation.
Why We Feel Lonely
Loneliness has become an epidemic in our ever-connected world. Even though we have never had more access to one another, we’ve never felt more alone. So why do so many suffer from loneliness?
The reason why people feel lonely is complex, but it usually stems from one of two things:
- A lack of social connections with those we know and care for
- Traumatic and ongoing rejection and abuse in interpersonal relationships
No matter where the loneliness originates, the feelings that stem from loneliness are incredibly painful and often lead to isolation as a coping mechanism.
This is why loneliness can be helped with psychological help from a Berkeley psychologist or therapist. The good thing about therapy for those who suffer from these emotions is that there’s no shame! Psychotherapy can help you learn how to cope without shutting down or pushing others away by listening to your concerns.
How Loneliness Impacts Your Health
Did you know that loneliness can impact your physical health? Not only can long-term loneliness impact your mental health, but it can also lead to a number of physical ailments.
Loneliness is a risk factor for poor health and premature mortality. The impact of loneliness on your physical wellbeing can be devastating, and many problems can arise, such as:
- Heart disease
- Diabetes and obesity
- Increased inflammation
- Changes in sleep quality
- Higher blood pressure
- Poorer cardiovascular function
- An increase in mortality rates from heart disease or cancer
Why do these negative impacts occur? Physical ailments from loneliness result from neuroendocrine responses to social isolation that activate stress-related hormones such as cortisol.
Over time, this stress has been shown to affect bodily systems, including immunity, negatively. Loneliness also impacts how genes are expressed, making it increasingly difficult to overcome the physical and mental impacts of loneliness.
Loneliness and Addiction
Loneliness can also play a role in suffering from addiction. The lonelier an individual is, the more likely they may be to engage with addictive behaviors and substances.
This is due to stress-related hormones being released in response to social isolation, which then promotes behaviors that are self-destructive and addictive.
The best way to overcome loneliness is through therapy sessions with a trained professional who can help provide insight into how the individual’s mind works and find ways of coping more effectively with emotions related to solitude.
Loneliness & Depression: A Dangerous Combination
Treating depression is an integral part of overcoming loneliness. Loneliness can play a role in the development and progression of depression. Individuals are more likely to suffer from this condition when they are not receiving adequate social contact or support.
Depression can also make it difficult for someone suffering to get out into society where they may find themselves isolated again. The more severe depression or anxiety becomes, the harder it can be to engage with individuals and reduce loneliness.
Fortunately, psychotherapy will help alleviate feelings stemming from both conditions and assist them in developing coping skills that can be used outside of sessions. Methods such as mindfulness-based therapies, and other talk therapy methods can help manage mental health issues without medication.
Therapy provides a space for self-reflection, allowing people who have been feeling lonely and depressed due to isolation to find themselves again.
Tips For Overcoming Loneliness
While loneliness may arise from deep-seated issues that require the help of a licensed psychologist, there are some steps you can take to overcome loneliness in everyday life:
Join A Club, Class, Or Group
One way to overcome loneliness is to get involved in a social group or club, particularly focusing on a hobby or activity that you enjoy.
There are various classes, clubs, and other social groups to choose from that will allow you to meet new people with similar interests as you have in common. Joining these types of groups can help combat feelings of loneliness by providing the opportunity for interaction on an ongoing basis. Not only will you grow in your social interaction, but you may find that you make lifelong connections with individuals who suffer from loneliness themselves.
Add An Online Community To Your Life
If you have access to computers or smartphones with internet connections in your area, consider joining an online community where people share similar interests as yours.
There are many groups that focus on specific topics such as books, movies, travel destinations–the list goes on. Find one that is interesting to you and join it! You may be surprised by how supportive these communities can be when dealing with feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Don’t forget about traditional social outlets like making phone calls! It’s easy enough to do so without much planning or thought involved.
Volunteer In Your Community
Engaging in volunteer work is a great way to meet people who are passionate about the same things you care most about. Volunteering with an organization or agency can be an excellent opportunity for socializing, connection, and community building–all of which can help reduce feelings of loneliness.
You may also want to consider volunteering on your own time if there’s no one particular group that suits your interests.
For example, take some time each week to visit senior centers where they have activities such as arts and crafts projects or sing-alongs. You’ll not only make new friends but experience something fulfilling at the same time! There is something unique about overcoming loneliness by helping others overcome loneliness as well.
Volunteer opportunities don’t always require extensive training either. Many organizations will teach volunteers what needs doing so all levels so that they can jump right in and get involved.
Create A Bucket List Of New Activities
Have you considered making a bucket list for your life? By making a list of activities or trips that you’ve always wanted to do, you can start taking small steps toward getting engaged with daily life and turn the tables on loneliness.
Start by brainstorming what you enjoy doing. Put them in order of preference, and then take a look at your list to see if there are any activities that can be shared with others, like hiking or listening to live music together. If you’re up for it, make sure these things will stay on the list even when times get tough, so they don’t become items added out of stress.
If you need help coming up with ideas, try searching online for “activities” and plugging in words such as family-friendly events or seasonal outdoor adventures during whatever month works best for you – this should give some good starting points!
The Power Of Sharing Your Struggle With Loneliness
When suffering from loneliness, one key to finding hope and health is to share your struggle with someone you know, trust, and love. Often, speaking about your struggle can be a crucial way to start healing.
If you’re someone who has difficulty with sharing your loneliness, the best thing to do is start slowly. Even just opening up about how hard things have been and being heard can feel like a huge relief!
This is why it’s crucial to find people in your life who are trustworthy – whether they be friends or family members. If you don’t know where to begin, think of what other secrets you’ve kept from these same people before: Did anyone ever ask for more information? What was their reaction when you told them? Remember that those in your life are most interested in helping you live a happy and thriving life.
It may seem difficult at first, but loneliness will only worsen without help, so give yourself permission to get support. But remember that this doesn’t mean giving away all control. Try looking into therapists that have experience with helping individuals overcome the deeper issues related to loneliness.
How Psychotherapy Can Help You Overcome Loneliness
One of the best ways to overcome loneliness is with the help of a licensed therapist. Therapists are educated on the best methods to help treat loneliness and the myriad of other issues that can arise from isolation.
The stigma of loneliness often keeps those suffering from seeking the help they need. By breaking this stigma, individuals can better understand why they feel the way they do and take steps to overcome the root causes of their loneliness.
People can feel embarrassed to seek help from a therapist for their feelings of isolation and anxiety. They may believe that they’re weak if this is an issue in their life, or they might be worried about what others think. Thankfully, the therapeutic process has no judgment and instead focuses on identifying root causes and creating personalized treatment plans to best suit each person’s needs.
This means you are reassured by both authentic support as well as expert guidance when tackling your challenges head-on with someone who understands all too well where you are coming from.
Therapists also have insights into how people get past those barriers so there will never be judgment but just understanding which helps them grow more confident in themselves again.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re young, old, or somewhere in between. If you are suffering from loneliness and don’t know where to start, talk to a therapist now.
How To Find Help For Loneliness
For those who suffer from loneliness and do not have a therapist yet, finding the right psychologist or therapist is key to success. Finding the best therapist should start by doing some research into therapists who offer services to those suffering from various mental health issues and have the flexibility to meet you where you are.
Many therapists will work with clients over the phone or via video-based Zoom sessions if they cannot meet in person due to fear, anxiety, or isolation.
Another option is attending online therapy groups. With group therapy, participants can discuss their feelings with other people who understand what it’s like to be lonely and get feedback and support for how they’re feeling.
If you know someone who you fear is suffering from loneliness, having the ability to come with potential help and resources is key. Make sure that you work through their experience with them patiently to ensure that you don’t overwhelm or pressure someone who may need time to process and manage their loneliness with care.
Find Hope For Loneliness With A Berkeley Psychologist
Are you interested in learning how you can meet with a trained and experienced therapist for loneliness? I invite you to contact me today. As a local loneliness psychologist Berkeley, I can show you how a professional can help you find the way forward when loneliness is keeping you from living a thriving and fruitful life.
At my practice, I utilize leading therapy treatment methods that can help those suffering from the impacts of loneliness find the hope and healing they need to get back to their fulfilling lives.
My therapy treatments move at a patient’s needed speed and are tailored to their circumstances. Even if your loneliness has forced you into an anxious or depressed state, there are still ways that we can work together to come out of loneliness and find ways to regain socialization and joy.
Together, we will find the best methods that fit your circumstances and needs and encourage you to find healing from loneliness, anxiety, depression, and more.
If you are ready to learn more, I invite you to contact me today to learn how a psychologist Berkeley can equip you to overcome loneliness and take back your life. You are not alone in your struggle. Call me today to set up an initial consultation conversation where we can start the process.