Loneliness, A Health Hazard
Loneliness is a state of mind. A state of mind in which people feel empty and unwanted. People who are lonely often want to interact with people or make human contact, but their state of mind makes it more difficult to form connections with other people.
There are two different kinds of loneliness: subjective and objective. Objective loneliness is when a person experiences a physical state of being alone or socially isolated. While subjective loneliness, on the other hand, refers to the feeling of being alone — even though you are not actually alone. It’s an emotional rather than physical state of mind.
Loneliness can harm a person’s state of mind to the extent that it may cause damage to one’s mental and physical health. Studies show that social isolation and loneliness increase the flow of stress hormones.When a person is lonely they produce stress hormones. As a result, this can affect how you feel and can affect your brain’s ability to control behaviour and body functions.
Some of the causes of loneliness are-
* Depression and suicide
* Cardiovascular disease and stroke
* Increased stress levels
* Decreased memory and learning
* Antisocial behavior
* Poor decision-making
* Alcoholism and drug abuse
* The progression of Alzheimer’s disease
* Altered brain function
What can cause loneliness?
Loneliness can be caused by a failure to communicate, engage in discourse and be committed to each other and the community. James J. Lynch coined the term ‘toxic talk’. According to him it is the destruction of self-esteem that leads to loneliness. Criticism, negativity, lack of praise, lack of warm feeling, rejection and other factors that increase alienation and distance between people characterize toxic talk.
How do you cope from being lonely?
- Understand that loneliness is a sign that something needs to change.
- Understand how it affects your life – both physically and mentally.
- Consider doing activities that you enjoy. These situations present great opportunities to meet people and cultivate new friendships and social interactions.
- Focus on developing quality relationships with people who share similar attitudes, interests and values like you.
- Focus on positive thoughts and attitudes in your social relationships and try to nurture them.
You won’t be able to cure all your health issues by spending time with others, but making sure you have a healthy social circle may help. And if these health symptoms persist, speaking with your doctor or a therapist for help.