Facebook claims; it helps you to connect and share with people, Instagram says “we bring you closer to the people you love”, likewise twitter offers you to “see what’s happening in the world right now” and then Whatsapp “desires to let people communicate anywhere in the world without any barriers”. So many apps yet so little connectivity remained among human beings. We want to know what is happening in the world but not in our neighborhood. Mankind is bombarded with the most efficient and effective apps to communicate in history for the first time yet people lack connection with their closed ones than ever before. Apparently it should be an ideal opportunity for humans who are commonly known as “social animals” to meet and greet as many humans as they want but “excess of anything is bad”.Today we will be discussing ways on how to overcome loneliness and isolation.
Excess Created the Chaos
Hence this bombarded squeak for more and more connectivity and communication across the globe turned against the very essence of human relations. The more the availability for connections the weaker the bonding between relations has become. Social media apps claim to bring people closer to their loved ones but the statistics prove otherwise. According to the study conducted by Co-op and British Red Cross, more than 9 million people encompassing all adult ages in the United Kingdom say that they either constantly or frequently feel alone.
The world is facing unprecedented hollowness and futility in relationships which is not only quite alarming but also needs serious solutions to overcome it. Virtual reality has also gifted unrealistic and selfish expectations from different relations and now people are preferring isolation more than ever so we need to find out how to overcome loneliness and isolation.
Loneliness and Isolation
So let’s first differentiate the concepts of loneliness and isolation. How these two are distinct and related to each other and after that we will be discussing ways how to overcome loneliness and isolation.
Loneliness is basically an internal feeling of a person because of which he feels alone and abandoned by the people around him/her. This feeling can envelop and haunt him/her while he/she is sitting alone in the room as well as when surrounded by a lot of people like during the family gatherings or even in parties held by his/her own so-called friends because even in their presence he/she feels completely disconnected, unwanted and obscure to them. People think being alone is lonely but in reality, being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.
The second notion is “Isolation” which can be described as an external state of humanity in which a person usually disengages himself from the majority of individuals and society around him believing that those people do not understand him or lack a meaningful connection with them.
Causes of Loneliness and Isolation
Loneliness and isolation are not mutually exclusive as they can happen at the same time, depending on different reasons. For example, a person can feel loneliness because of psychological reasons like anxiety and depression or people suffering from social anxiety disorder isolate themselves for their own peace of mind. At times, people get scared of the maltreatment from their bosses and colleagues resulting in social isolation. So, the two are not interconnected always. However, isolation can lead to other problems such as low self-esteem and poor lifestyle causing many behaviour disorders in the long term.
Different types, causes, and solutions for loneliness and isolation depending on age, psychological issues, circumstances, and lifestyle are classified as follows.
Isolation and loneliness in kids
Isolation and loneliness are affecting every age group, even the kids as the changed and chaotic lifestyle is affecting every single individual on this planet. More and more need for finances to maintain a certain lifestyle and hunger for more material in day to day life has turned humans into money-making machines which is also badly affecting the family setups. Everyone is trying to be better in education, lifestyle, celebrations, and enjoyment from everybody else.
Reason for the isolation and loneliness in kids
1- Busy parents at work
There could be a kid who’s parents work and cannot make time for him/her. He/she might feel less or no connection even with the parents. There might be some situations when he/she wanted them to talk with him/her but they weren’t there for him/her so he/she decides to isolate him/herself from his/her parents in the future and not sharing anything with them. In such situations, kids get trap in unwanted isolation that could result in loneliness in the future. Kids are not that mature to realize and acknowledge what exactly is going inside in their head an how to define the problem and construct a way out to that issue. Their shady behavior should be a signal for the elders that something wrong or suspicious is going on in their lives and they need to do something to help them overcome loneliness and isolation.
2- Parents need to make time for their kids
In such scenarios where the kid is behaving strangely in his/her own home, parents are supposed to keep an eye on their kid and observe his actions if he is not asking for time and attention anymore or spending time on his own. It’s the parents’ duty to pay attention/give love to the kid and find the root cause of such behaviour to resolve it. Talking to kids is very crucial in order to know what is going on in their minds. Hence, parents must try to rebuild the lost connection by increasing the quality time given to their children and fill the communication gap that has been developed over time due to their busy schedule. Click here to learn how to improve the time and attention you give to your children
3- Bully in schools
Another reason which leads to isolation and loneliness in kids are being bullied in school oftentimes which in turn shatters the confidence in kids. They start to think that there is something wrong with them and get indulged in a victim mentality. Other spoiled kids in schools often bully kids for their appearance, accents, financial status, or the location they live in, thus kids get stuck in certain complexes believing that they are not enough to cope with the other kids or think that; what other students are telling them is the actual reality. Consequently, they isolate themselves and don’t eat or play with their fellow kids. As they keep on viewing themselves as a lesser of human as compared to others, which lead them to bad eating habits and less focus in studies and extracurricular activities as well.
How to solve loneliness and isolation problem for kids
1- Parents/teacher collaboration is the answer
In such situations, parents and teachers should collaborate with each other to precisely identify and understand the problem of the kid. Teachers should give special attention to students who are not participating in class or other activities. They should talk directly to the kids to find out what is bothering them and causing them such oblivious behaviour. Besides, teachers could ask directly to the kid that if he/she is feeling alone or why he/she has isolated himself from the rest of the crowd. Teachers and administration of the school should not only enhance the self-confidence of such kids by telling them how amazing they are but should also take steps to cope with the bullies occurring in the class or school so other sensitive kids may not become the victim of the same torment. In this way, we can help children to overcome loneliness and isolation.
2- Isolation could be a choice
There are some kids who want to spend their time on their own and do not like class participation or talking to other kids. These are kids of distinctive traits who are different from the pack. They might like spending time making their own drawing or painting their favourite landscape. And they can be the quietest in the class with the least participation and talk very less even in their homes. They might not like to talk to many friends and even siblings. For such kids, parents should try to communicate and make sure that their kid is happy regardless of the number of friends he/she keeps. They should try to arrange activities that really fascinate their child in order to make the best out of his/her time, talents and energy.
Isolation and Loneliness in Youth
Youth being at the center of the new mode of existence is getting affected the most since this technology boom with its full force has hit humanity only in the past decade. For that reason, this generation is still learning to manage this new type of socializing at a virtual level where it’s hard for a person to know that if this relationship/friendship is for real or fake. Our youth has lost interest and trust in relationships and friendships, and even in the institution of marriage as well. They have gotten fed up by people due to the clutter of phony and artificial behaviors and attitude of society around them. Therefore they choose to isolate themselves from the pretentious jumble of individuals around them. Hence, isolation for a long time may turn into a feeling of loneliness oftentimes.
Reasons for loneliness and isolation in youth
1- Not fitting in the crowd
On the other hand, sometimes teens feel themselves not fitting in the crowd of hollow and pompous people and started to feel lack of meaningful relations in their lives even while attending a party at your educational institution, or at your friends’ place or while attending a get together of your family members with which you do not feel connected at all, can also lead you to feel lonely or cause you to isolate yourself from such mob. Whatever the reason you are facing for your loneliness and isolation, there are certain steps you can take to overcome loneliness and isolation;
First of all, you need to understand your mental state before taking any step for your well being. As you have isolated yourself from the mob or your gang has rejected you to socialize with, whatever the cause might be, you need to introspect yourself within in order to recognize first and then forge a solution for your particular difficulty. To do so, you have to sit in a room and look within what is going on inside your head.
Ask yourself that if you have isolated yourself for your own good or you are not satisfied with you being alone? If you have experienced the feeling of loneliness at your workplace, at a party or a family gathering, ask for the reason that why are you feeling this way? What is it that is bothering you even in a crowd or when you are alone too? Are you not happy with your own self? Is it about your own self-esteem to initiate talks with the people? Do you feel inferior or less important among your friends? These questions will let you know the exact state of your mind and the reasons troubling you and causing you loneliness or isolation from the community.
3- Point of Realization
The foremost step to resolve any problem is to first realize that you have one. If you have apprehended the actual state of your mind, only then will you be able to forge out the precise solution for that peculiar issue. If you are at peace with your choice of isolating yourself, then it is time to get more inspired by your own company, vision, and perspective about life. Since Johann Wolfgang once said;
“One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude”
So solitude is always not a bad thing, an important thing is that you have chosen it for your own good. But even if you feel that your solitude is boring you or you felt abandoned by your own loved one’s friends and relatives, you should not worry about it, because sometimes leaving the mob behind can do miracles for you so it is the point to use your energies and time wisely. The stuff you can do to overcome loneliness and isolation are following;
How youth can overcome loneliness and isolation
1- Enjoy your own company
After realizing the fact that you do feel lonely, you need to focus on you and yourself only. When you feel lonely among people and even have decided to isolate yourself as well, then it is time to spend quality time with your own company. Usually, when you are taken by a feeling of loneliness, it is because you feel something wrong inside of you; it is your internal feeling so you need to work out inside out. You have to make peace with yourself in order to entertain yourself and to start enjoying your own company.
You can watch a movie sitting alone in a room and you still can enjoy it. Likewise, you can listen to music while walking alone on your house roof or while walking alone on the road. If you have started liking your own self, you can still sit in a room and remain at peace with your own company. it is just about turning your brain and building a specific mindset in order to achieve the serenity within you. Learn how to feel happy again.
2- Get yourself enrolled in a new course
If you feel like that even after working hours or household duties, you are still left with time and you do not want to spend alone in your house or room and want other likeminded people around you, then it’s never too late. You can always take a step forward to get yourself involved in things that fascinate you and can make you busy in a productive way. It could be learning a new language, any computer course, baking courses, interior decoration, or any other courses of your interest. This way you would be able to spend your time more happily and blissfully.
3- Initiate to make new relations
If you have found yourself to be introverted and you find it difficult to make new friends, then it’s time to reinvent yourself with new people, new energy, and a new approach towards making new relations. Tell yourself that five fingers are not equal and past experiences do not mean that you are going to encounter the same people again and again. Try initiating talks with new people and if you have approached with the right energy, you will definitely be succeeding in finding the right people for you, whose company you will enjoy and vice versa. Here is how you can improve your communication skills.
4- Start contacting your old friends
To overcome isolation and loneliness, you can also get in touch with your old buddies with whom you have great memories in the past. We usually stay out of touch with our old friends waiting for them to make the first move. But in reality, we should be the ones to start a conversation through text messages or making a voice and even video call to them. That’s how we can revive our old buddies and can spend quality time with them in order to fight our loneliness and isolation from the society we do not like. Here are some benefits to getting in touch with old buddies.
5- Spend time with nature
We unknowingly overlook the fact that nature is also a human’s best friend. We are so much entangled into gadgets and fabricated lifestyle that we never make time to spend in nature. To avoid the feeling of loneliness, you should visit forests, mountains, waterfalls, parks where you can enjoy the sound of birds’ chirping, water flowing, trees mumbling to each other. This kind of activity is quite therapeutic and you will feel an intense sense of calmness within you in such a serene and tranquil atmosphere.
6- Avoid social media
When you isolate yourself from the people who cause you to feel uncomfortable or not your favorite people, then please do not even try to see through the eye of social media. If physical isolation is proving good to you, then make sure that virtual reality also does not mess with your exuberance and composure. Getting yourself logged in to social media will indulge in a devastating comparison of your life with others. You will start to feel that few of your friends on social media are hanging out with their friends or colleagues, few are uploading the pictures with their partners, some might be getting engaged and other might be posting photos of the recent photoshoot of their wedding. These things will throw you into a feeling of more seclusion and loneliness. So avoid social media in order to maintain the peacefulness within you.
7- Transform yourself through your loneliness
When you are not with people it is time to spend quality time with yourself only. You can be fully you when you are not surrounded by people. This is the time to know you entirely as a person. You are not being judged or instructed by people rather you are observing your own self and digging deeper into your own being. Through this alone time when people have abandoned you or you have chosen to isolate yourself, find your weaknesses and start working on them. Do meditation and other mindful exercises to get more self-awareness and try your level best to evolve at your highest potential. Find the meaning and purpose of your life in isolation.
8- Spend time with less privileged
Another way to kill your solitude and loneliness is to spend time in some NGOs with people who are less privileged and still managing to live happily and there is a smile on their faces, no matter what happened in their lives in the past or what may the future brings. You should spend time with orphan kids, as they will make you realize how blessed you are and you need to be grateful for your life. Secondly, by spending time with kids, you re-learn a lot about life and their energy rejuvenate your energy and make you livelier, more fulfilled and wanted as well. You can make a schedule to pay a visit to such organizations according to your time and mood. It will definitely help you to overcome loneliness and isolation.
Isolation and Loneliness in Old Age
Loneliness is not only limited to kids and youth but is also enormously effecting the old age people. People above 50 – 90 face physical weakness, become less immune and more prone to get various sorts of rigorous ailments. After getting retirement from the work or losing a life partner, and children were busy in their lives, people above 60 face the most lonely and isolated moments in life. This is the phase most old age people have to face. This rate is also getting higher in the past years as both men and women are busy making careers and getting financial stability. Grandchildren also do not prefer to spend time with their grandparents; rather they are more into games or with their friends and age fellows. The solutions to overcome loneliness and isolation in old age are;
How to overcome loneliness and isolation in old age
1- Acceptance of the Reality
You have aged, you have retired and young people do not like much to spend time with you so accept that reality as it is. Tell yourself that; “this is what it is”. Make peace with your present condition. Resistance against reality will bring more stress and stress has major negative effects on the immune system and consequently making you sicker.
2- Start writing a Journal
Whatever you have learned in your youth and as a kid, family life and work-life, write all about your positive and negative experiences of your life. If you have some contacts in publications, try to get it published so that the whole world can learn from your life. This way you would be able to fight your loneliness in a quite productive way.
3- Try to plan a get-together
Get in touch with your colleagues, your age fellow cousins, friends from the past and arrange meetings with them. Your age fellows feel the same way you feel about your life, isolation, and feeling of loneliness, so you should initiate a step towards arranging to get together to help them to cope with their isolation as well. This way you will be able to enjoy likeminded people’s company and enjoy your life again. By gathering all the similar people, you will have the opportunity to make new memories by sharing moments with each other. This type of gatherings will rejuvenate you to live your life in a livelier way.
We are also obliged to make them feel better
It is also the duty of youth to pay regular visits to their elders along with their grandchildren if any. Being descendants of our elders we should give our time and energy to our elders so that they can confide in us and feel wanted by us. We should always show our love and gratitude to our parents and grandparents by giving them love and gratitude. This is a two-way road, we are not giving company to them only but also it is also a coping mechanism for us to beat our loneliness and isolation as well. Secondly, we can also learn a lot from our elders about life which would be hardly available in any book or search engines. All this wisdom will let you live your life more shrewdly and sensibly. Click on the following link to find some other ways to help you overcome loneliness and isolation.