Loneliness is a phenomenon that can interfere with a young person’s life at least once and it seems like our generation is the loneliest. It varies in stage, duration, and intensity.
How many of you had friends who have confessed their loneliness to you over the years?
I’m convinced that the answer is “many”. I too, happen to have people dear to my heart, confess these harrowing feelings. Now think about how many of us had a moment of awareness regarding loneliness. How many spiraled down the emotional abyss of this poisoning feeling? Again, overwhelmingly many.
You may be expecting this phenomenon to be most common in the case of the elderly. But things are not exactly that predictable.
When those questions were asked, I discovered something interesting. The surveys conducted on this subject revealed that 25 to 60% of respondents feel lonely more often than not. Ages? Between 18 and 24.
But how can we explain all of this?
Loneliness is like an epidemy. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Prolonged exposure to it is toxic and won’t go away if left untreated. It’s especially strange how it disseminates between us. We are young and more privileged than humanity has ever been throughout history. We can attribute this to the fact that we live and grow in the most technologized society. Contact with others is inevitable, activities are especially numerous. To put it differently, the chances of a young person not being involved in any shape of social activity should, in theory, be null. However, we are the loneliest.
There are moments in which the root of our feelings is obvious to us. Other times we blame anything else because it simply feels like the universe is scheming against us. We feel like we deserve self-destruction.
It’s just as true that in our states of vulnerability, we are not sure what to do next. We know that we are having a rough time, and out of loneliness, we reach out to someone, but we get stuck at this point. Together, we will try to find the most efficient way to escape loneliness and move from the state of being, towards a state of doing.
We can understand it from an emotional, physical, or social perspective. It’s characterized by shortages in all those areas. For example, most of us spend time communicating with our friends on the internet, instead of actually seeing them. The more friendships we have online, the harder it is to keep the connection going. We are probably going to end up ignoring some of them, transforming others into actual chatbots, and forgetting a few altogether. The ones who get to see us in real life are few and far between. This is a cause of the sentiment of loneliness. Spending too much time on social media hoping not to feel alone is a trap in which we often fall.
Another cause is low self-esteem (or low auto-efficiency, in scientific terms). This can manifest before or after loneliness appears. A lot of young people feel this way because they can’t build human connections. They can’t get a boyfriend or girlfriend, respectively.
Loneliness is a phenomenon that can cause depression. If you want to know more about this illness, check this article!
Researchers found out that the physical aspect is a big issue.
I hear a lot of “Nobody likes me.” Technology, which should be a remedy for loneliness, becomes a double-edged sword. It becomes a menace when it puts on pedestal beauty ideals that you see only during commercials and advertisements. Fashion magazines and so-called influencers pump out aggressive beauty. Technology and mass-media create huge standards because they portray shallow love. We’re talking about beautiful people, with major achievements in life and a superior living condition.
When you feel lonely and take the issue inside of you, you start looking for answers. Of course, you’ll probably say that your relationship with others is flawless, your behavior exemplary and the way you tackle situations correct. Naturally, the only thing left to correct is your physical appearance. “I can’t because nobody likes me. I’m not beautiful enough. Not like the others.” That’s how a lack of belief in yourself creeps its way in. It makes matters worse, but there’s a chance you had issues before as well.
We make a big mistake if we consider loneliness something trivial. Researchers at King’s College in London say that loneliness links to premature death. So, loneliness becomes a major issue in the eye of public health, in line with obesity and smoking.
The studies’ findings show that young people are more susceptible to develop anxiety and depression. They also show a greater predisposition towards self-inflicted injuries and even suicide. It’s clear that you don’t need to be in the final stages of depression to lose yourself and need help.
The best recommendation is for young people to participate in group activities.
It’s true you can feel alone even in a group. So that’s why you need to participate alongside close friends or family, to eliminate that anxiety and lack of integration. Loneliness is inevitable. You can’t always maintain a perfect relationship with the surrounding world. It depends a lot on how you evaluate yourself and what you do to push forward. The most important thing is to not fall into the abyss of hostile feelings.
You need to always find your balance. The first step afterward is to discuss with someone. Meet up with people dear to you. Get a pet so that it may comfort you. Do something that makes you feel satisfaction, that fulfills you. If you have a passion, use it! Exploit your potential and everything that satisfies you. You won’t feel any negative emotion while doing something that captivates you. Things that can cause pleasure include singing, painting, writing, taking photos, traveling, and many others. This way, content takes loneliness’ place.
Loneliness offers you the opportunity to set goals and look introspectively.
We’re young and we’re the loneliest, statistically speaking. But it’s not all that bad to feel like this at least once in your life. Surround yourself with people and quality activities and you’ll notice that it will help you a lot.
Reduce the interaction with people that look at you in a quantitative way. They will intensify your negative feelings. And, as ironically as that sounds, have some time for yourself. Get out and walk through a pleasant environment. Do solo activities. Create a balance between what you do with you and what you do with others. You’ll see that the options when you’ll feel lonely again will multiply. You’ll fight off loneliness more efficiently.
Don’t beat yourself over anything. Accept what’s happening, but don’t blame yourself. It will destroy you from the inside. Find yourself every time you get lost because loneliness will show you who you really are. Believe me, you’re stronger than a feeling!
Author: Robert Udrea