Warning: Loneliness can be bad for your health.
If you experience chronic loneliness, ironically, you are not alone.
Feeling lonely is on the rise in the United States.
Loneliness is a purely subjective experience. It’s a personal experience of whether someone feels emotionally and socially disconnected from those around him or her.
Everyone feels lonely from time too time, but you may be experiencing chronic loneliness if you consistently feel some or all the following:
- Inability to connect with others on a deeper, more intimate level
- Many acquaintances but no “best” or “close” friend
- Feelings that no one “gets” you
- Overwhelming feelings of isolation even if you’re at a party surrounded by dozens of people
- Negative feelings of self-doubt and self-worth
- Feeling exhausted when trying to engage in social activities
Guy Winch, in his TedTalk, describes the impact of loneliness:
“Loneliness creates a deep psychological wound and distorts our perceptions and scrambles our thinking. It makes us believe that those around us care less than they actually do. It makes us really afraid to reach out because why set yourself up for rejection and heartache when your heart is aching more than you can already stand.”
Loneliness is a vicious circle.
And loneliness impacts our physical health. Chronic loneliness causes high blood pressure, high cholesterol and suppresses the functioning of the immune system, increasing your susceptibility to illness and disease. Loneliness also impacts our emotional health, increasing depression and anxiety.
I do believe we are all wired to connect with others, but I don’t believe there is only one way for each of us to experience connection.
Therapy can help individuals and couples address their loneliness by addressing the negative core beliefs that keep us trapped in this loop, as well as doing deeper work and finding ways to create connections that are meaningful.
Take the next step and contact me. I can be reached by phone at 301-279-7779 or by email at BethLCounseling@aol.com or by using the form below.
Get in touch.
I'm always happy to hear from people.
If you have any questions, need more information, or would like to make an appointment, you can call me at 301-279-7779, email me at BethLCounseling@aol.com, or use the form below.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker • Over 15 years of experience • Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist and Supervisor • Member of The Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Work • Member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy • Member of Clinical Social Work Association • Member of National Association of Social Workers
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