Loneliness

To feel lonely is natural and loneliness is something that anyone and probably everyone can experience at some point in their lives, being able to recognise loneliness and being able to speak about it is key to finding a solution. 

In addressing loneliness the first step is being able to identify that you are experiencing it. Often we recognise our feelings by speaking about how we feel and so if you are isolated and do not have people to speak to then identifying loneliness can of course be difficult. One solution can be to write a journal where you explore each day how you are feeling; so to have a conversation with yourself and see what words best fit your experience.

Another way of identifying whether you are lonely is to see how you answer the following question:

Do you feel sad and do you think this might be connected with the number of people in your life?

One of the difficulties with loneliness is that other difficult feelings often and quite naturally co-exist. For example it is natural and common for people to feel embarrassed or ashamed that they are lonely and this can make it feel harder to sort out.

The important thing is to know that your feelings are entirely natural but that there is always a solution.

It is also worth thinking about there being two types of loneliness the first is about not having enough social contact, the second is about having something you are struggling with that you don’t feel you can talk about with anyone.

As counsellors and psychotherapists, people often tell us they have felt great loneliness before coming to therapy. Being able to talk through something difficult and find ways of coping often enable people to find the required confidence and energy to start making or re-establishing connections and friendships.

 

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