Loneliness can affect every one of us and may have already at some point in our lives.

Loneliness does not only mean feeling lonely when you are alone. A person could feel lonely even when you are amongst friends or family.

Loneliness is often associated with lack of connection and intimacy.

Suffering from loneliness , if it lasts a long time can have a toll on a person’s mental well-being. You don’t have to be on your own to experience loneliness. Your circumstances can lead to a lonely mindset such as losing a spouse, starting a new school or finding yourself alone when your children leave home.

Loneliness symptoms and signs can differ depending on person to person and the individuals personal situation. If a person is consistently feeling some or all of the following as listed below , they may be suffering from chronic loneliness

  • If they fail to connect with others on a deeper level. They may have friends and family in your life, but they only manage to engage with them at a surface level and don’t feel connected with them in any way.

  • They have no close family or friends. They may have casual friends or acquaintances but they feel that no one truly understands them.

  • They suffer from overwhelming feeling of isolation regardless of where they are and who’s around. They can be surrounded by a lot of people you yet they feel isolated and disengaged.

  • They have negative feelings of self-doubt and self-worth. They feel that they are useless and cannot do anything of any significance

  • They feel that they are not heard or seen.

  • They feel Exhausted and burnt out when trying to engage socially.

One of the best ways to avoid a sense of loneliness is to keep yourself busy. This is especially important if you are feeling depressed

Taking on a new hobby or joining a walking group, taking up a voluntary role in a charity shop to begin with can be a good idea. Helping yourself develop a positive mindset can be very useful.

Studies have found that people with mental health problems who take part in a meaningful activities help themselves to start living a meaningful life again.

Some of the things that can help towards having good mental well-being include

· Make social connections especially face-to-face

· Stay active

· Talk to someone

· Take up a relaxation practice

· Take up a new hobby

· Find a purpose and meaning

· Get help if you need it

Namita Bhatia

Cognitive Behavioural Therapist