What loneliness is trying to tell you?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Lonely person

Loneliness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

There is more than one type of loneliness.

As many as one in five people may be experiencing harmful Loneliness. Like other emotions, loneliness can sometimes be a good thing and other times be a significant emotional disturbance. Recently researchers examined harmful loneliness, its impact on psychological health and its connection with early childhood trauma.

Loneliness is not one of those disorders for which we have a test. The only way to measure loneliness is by personal report. While loneliness can cause significant mental health issues, the way the professional knows the client is lonely is when the client says they are lonely.

People who are low in loneliness.

Some people report little or no Loneliness. These people are generally satisfied with both the quality of their relationships and the quantitative of relationships they have. In a survey of the general population, close to 60% of people reported that they rarely felt lonely.

Social loneliness is a result of not enough personal contact.

Approximately 8% of people report having social loneliness. They are satisfied with the quality of the relationships they do have but feel they don’t have enough close relationships. Social loneliness is sometimes seen as a helpful thing. It tells you that you don’t have enough contact with other people and you need to expand your social circle.

Emotional loneliness is the result of poor-quality relationships.

Approximately 25% of people report being emotionally lonely.  They have enough friendships and other social relationships but are frequently dissatisfied with the quality of their close relationships. How supportive your close relationships are, determines whether feelings of loneliness may result in emotional issues.

Some people are both socially and emotionally lonely.

About one in eight people report that they are unhappy with their close relationships and that they also do not have enough friendships and other social relations. People with both types of loneliness are also more likely to have been the victims of trauma and to report Trust issues.

Who suffers the most from loneliness?

A little more than half the people in one survey reported that they were rarely lonely. They were neither socially nor emotionally isolated and lonely. Loneliness had the least impact on these people.

People who had good close relationships, but not enough social contact were slightly bothered by their loneliness. People who had social relationships but were unhappy with their close personal friendship were more likely to suffer from the ill effects of loneliness. Those people who were most likely to report suffering because of their loneliness were those who are both socially and emotionally lonely.

People who were either emotionally lonely or both socially and emotionally lonely are much more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and were more likely to have another emotional disorder. People who had been the victim of an early childhood trauma were far more likely to report poor quality personal relationships and resulting emotional loneliness.

Having high quality close emotional relationships is most likely to buffer someone from the ill effects of loneliness. Not feeling close to your romantic partner or your family is most likely to create the kind of negative loneliness that is harmful to your mental health.

If you are bothered by loneliness, ask yourself whether it is the result of too few friendships or not feeling close to your partner or family. Improving the quality of the relationships you do have is most likely to reduce your loneliness. If loneliness is dragging you down, consider getting professional help. Professional counseling can help you improve your part of the relationship and couples, or family counseling may help improve your close relationships.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

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Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Insight.

Insight.

Insight.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Insight.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“A stumble may prevent a fall.”

― Thomas Fuller

“I used to say to my classes that the ways to get insight are: to study infants; to study animals; to study primitive people; to be psychoanalyzed; to have a religious conversion and get over it; to have a psychotic episode and get over it, or to have a love affair with an old Russian. And I stopped saying that when a little dancer in the front row put up her hand and said, ‘Does he have to be old?”

― Margaret Mead

“I’m simply interested in what is going to happen next. I don’t think I can control my life or my writing. Every other writer I know feels he is steering himself, and I don’t have that feeling. I don’t have that sort of control. I’m simply becoming. I’m startled that I became a writer.”

― Kurt Vonnegut

“Special insight arises from its cause, correct view, which in turn arises from listening and contemplation.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, Stages of Meditation

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Humor.

Humor.

Humor.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Humor.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”

― Mark Twain

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

― Groucho Marx

“Two wrongs don’t make a right, but they make a good excuse.”

― Thomas Szasz

“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

― Mark Twain

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”

― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Giving.

Giving

Giving.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Giving.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“For it is in giving that we receive.”

― St. Francis of Assisi

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

― Winston Churchill

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

― Mother Theresa

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

― Charles Dickens

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Friendship.

Friendship.

Friendship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Friendship.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”

― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

― Elbert Hubbard

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Encouragement.

Encouragement

Encouragement;
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Encouragement.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Thirty years ago, my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

“The noble-minded encourage what is beautiful in people and discourage what is ugly in them. Little people do just the opposite.”

― Confucius, The Analects

“For the rest of his life, Oliver Twist remembers a single word of blessing spoken to him by another child because this word stood out so strikingly from the consistent discouragement around him.”

― Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

The Paths to a Happy Life.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Happiness

Thoughts to make you happier.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The Pursuit of Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

There are many paths that may take you to happiness. The trail that takes one person there may not work for someone else. One of the surprising things about happiness is, it’s less about the specific road you’re traveling and more about the way you take the journey.

You don’t reach happiness by traveling the road of misery. Those people who enjoy what they’re doing and do what they enjoy collect happiness along the way. If you spend your life wallowing in misery, don’t expect to arrive at happiness.

Learning to recognize happiness makes you a happiness expert.

Every day has little happy moments that come and go. People walk right past a beautiful flower in bloom and never notice it. If you want more happiness in your life, you need to become an expert at recognizing those little happy moments.

You can increase your happiness in life by practicing recognizing happiness when it is in front of you. Rushing from place to place looking for happiness is probably taking you right past the thing you’re looking for.

Belonging matters more than belongings in creating happiness.

Acquiring things, ownership for its own sake generally results in a short-lived burst of pleasure. Then the joy fades quickly. Relationships, healthy and happy ones, maximize your happiness over the long run. When you look back on your life, you’re more likely to fondly remember the experiences you shared with others than the things you bought.

Accumulate emotional wealth to expand your happiness.

Too much emphasis on accumulating financial wealth results in you becoming an unhappy miser. Grow your financial assets for what you can do with them. People who use their time and money to create positive experiences accumulate emotional wealth, the kind that isn’t taxed.

Late in life, when people reflect on what they remember and what they regret, most common regrets are the things they always said they wanted to do but never did.

You must give it away to keep it. Being selfish reduces happiness.

Doing things for others can bring you great joy. Being selfish emphasizes what you lack not what you have. Do what you can for others, and their happiness will be added to yours.

Doing for the joy of it multiplies happiness.

The most delightful job on earth is the one where you do something you absolutely love, and they pay you to do it. Whatever you do try to find positive in everything you do. Happily doing the simplest task with a positive outlook can increase your happiness.

The happy life stays in balance.

A little water quenches thirst; too much will drown you. The human body needs exercise, but it also needs rest. The happy life is one that strives for balance rather than believing that a large amount of one item will make up for all the other deficits. Balance your work and your leisure. Take care of your physical body. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat a healthy diet. Balance the time you spend with others and the time, you reserved for yourself.

Happiness requires doing, act.

Reaching happiness requires a journey. Try each day to do one thing worth doing. You can think about what you’re going to do forever, but it’s only a fantasy. To make your dreams come true, you must act. Avoid excessive judgment and give yourself credit for things done.

Maximize your contentment by wanting less.

Wanting is a mirage. The more you want, the less you value what you have. Happiness that comes from contentment has a long shelf life. Satisfaction comes from appreciating what you have and limiting your wants to those things you’re willing to work for.

Cultivate gratitude, and you will become happier.

People who are grateful find it much easier to be happy. Gratitude is the kind of tree that requires nurturing. The more you grow your gratitude, the more fruit it will bear. Focusing on what you don’t have can lead to depression. When you are grateful for what you have you then you will feel energized to continue along the paths which lead to permanent happiness.

Stop comparing yourself to those with more.

If you constantly compare yourself to those who have more than you do, you will always come up short and unhappy. The more you feel empathy for those who have less than you the more you will appreciate what you do have.

I realize those directions are a little sketchy, but I believe that if you follow these paths, you will have a productive life full of opportunities to pursue happiness.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.