Turn Loneliness into a Deep Connection with Your Inner-Self
Do you ever feel disconnected from the world?
Do you feel cold, alone and helpless in the middle of a crowd?
Do you feel like no one is interested in hearing your stories?
It is true that loneliness feels draining, upsetting and distracting. It triggers our mind to dwell on undesirable thoughts and leads us away from happiness. But loneliness can be a good thing too, as it gives us an opportunity to reconnect with the person within us…
With the popularity of the social media, getting ‘connected’ seems as easy as hitting ‘enter’ on the computer keyboard or ticking on the ‘Like’, ‘Tweet’, ‘Post’, and ‘Share’ buttons on the screen. More and more people say they are lonely and have no one to talk to with regards to their personal problems. In fact, many experts believe that the country could be facing a loneliness epidemic.
Social connection is among things we value
Research has told us that there are a few things in life that we value more than anything else. These are love, intimacy, and social affiliation or connection with friends and family. That’s not really surprising knowing the fact that humans are ‘social beings’.
It is by building relationships with others that we get the motivation, energy and will to survive our day-to-day challenges and pursue for our dreams and aspirations. There’s no wonder also that without social connection, we become incapable of achieving happiness and fulfilment.
But why is it that despite the advancement in technology, such as the availability of mobile phones and the internet, many people still feel alone? Is it not true that these technologies have taken away the geographical boundaries that separate millions of people from each other?
Is it not true that today, it simply takes one text message or a 140-character status online to reconnect with friends and the rest of the society? Whilst all these are true, the modern way of communicating has deprived many of us from advancing our ‘heart skills’.
What are these skills? They are the qualities such as listening, observing, inspiring, serving and loving that foster joy and compassion. They are the skills that we can practise only through ‘human moments’ – the actual face-to-face interactions that sadly, are becoming very rare nowadays.
Although having a large social network does have plenty of benefits, it is not the quantity of friends that makes us feel connected, but the quality or the kind of friendships we create. It is also possible to be alone but not lonely.
As long as you are connected to your inner-self, it is possible to bust loneliness even without needing someone else by your side. This is what many people usually forget. They forget that deep within them is another person who is willing to be their friend, their guardian, and protector.
Embracing Loneliness and Reconnecting with Your Inner Self
Many people try to deal with loneliness by keeping themselves busy. Some engage in exercise, reading, or engage in sport while others resort to ‘unhealthy’ activities like drinking, smoking, and drug use.
Whilst these options may provide temporary relief, they do not, in any way, alleviate loneliness. And the more you try to avoid the feeling of loneliness, the more its effects become profound, it’s known as the ‘Law of reversed effect’. Sure you can find temporary relief, but you can never run away from the root cause of your loneliness.
Embracing loneliness is the key. Embracing means acknowledging and accepting the fact that something is not right, that something needs attention and that something needs to be fixed. So how do we embrace loneliness?
First of all, let the emotion take the centre stage. Let it flow through your system. Feel the rush of emotions and don’t be afraid if they suddenly feel overwhelming. You may find yourself crying in the end but the pain is going to be temporary. You have to feel comfortable with loneliness. Only then it starts to become your friend.
Taking time to be alone, without the distraction from the social media, TV, radio, or mobile phone, can help you recognise your emotions. Incorporating mindfulness meditation makes it easy to embrace loneliness.
Another way to connect with your inner self is to connect with nature. Nature gives us a comforting feeling that we may sometimes miss from the people around us. A recent study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders shows that taking walks in nature can increase well-being, even in the case of depression.
Another research by the University of Rochester reveals that reconnecting with nature increases our value of connectedness and closeness, and helps us become more caring and ready to share with others.
Self-Love to Ease Loneliness
Being friends with ourselves gives us a sense of connection that is far deeper than making friends with others. Just as the old saying goes, you can’t give something that you don’t have in the first place.
To share love, we must feel that we are loved and to share happiness, we must exhibit happiness. Self-love is the ultimate way to create a deep, meaningful and strong relationship with your inner self. Many people fear being alone.
But being alone actually gives us an opportunity to be ourselves and do things that please us. Being alone gives us enough time to recognise our emotions, figure out what we really need, plan for the future, and regain our energy.
Loneliness hurts. It is something that many of us are afraid to experience. Loneliness could mean being alone and having no one to turn to especially during difficult situations. But loneliness can serve as an avenue to establish a deep connection with our inner self.
By embracing loneliness and doing ways that make us closer to the person within us, such as giving time for silence, meditating, reconnecting with nature, it is possible to be alone without feeling lonely. Once you are able to free away the loneliness inside, you become more capable of establishing connections with others and the rest of the society.
Have a great day,
Part of the Core Health Centre