How lonely will you be?

By David Joel Miller.

Will loneliness cause you problems?

loneliness

Loneliness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Loneliness can result in significant emotional problems. While loneliness isn’t considered a specific mental illness, it plays a role in creating and worsening several mental health issues. Loneliness can undermine self-esteem by making people feel, empty, worthless and unwanted. Loneliness is both a cause of and a result of social isolation. If you are feeling lonely, you probably feel that you lack something in your life. Loneliness coupled with anxiety and depression increases your risk of feeling threatened and may result in paranoia.

In its milder forms, loneliness can be a motivator for you to seek out human contact. Stronger versions of loneliness result from feeling you have too few social connections or the relationships you have are one-sided and unhelpful.

Researchers have discovered strong connections between loneliness and depression. Lonely people are at an increased risk to think about suicide or to even attempt suicide. Lonely people are more likely to use and abuse drugs and alcohol resulting in alcoholism and addiction. The combination of substance use disorders, feeling lonely and depressed, and believing that others are rejecting you, increases the risk of violent behavior. Loneliness has also been linked to physical health problems and poor emotional development.

The very young and very old are at increased risk for feelings of loneliness. Particular life transition points also increase these risks.

Your thinking can make your loneliness better or worse.

How lonely you feel is less likely to be the result of how many friends you have or how much time you spend with others, and is more connected to your attitudes about the quantity and quality of your social connections.

Your feelings of loneliness are primarily the result of your beliefs about four separate factors. When you’re feeling lonely, it is important to look at both the facts and your beliefs in these areas. One way to reduce the feelings of loneliness is to develop the skills you need to change your situation. The other way to feel less lonely is to reconsider your beliefs about things. Often negative emotions are caused not by the situation, but by the beliefs you have about your circumstances.

What do you think about your friendships?

Loneliness is reduced more by having close, true friends, than by the number of casual friendships you have. It’s not how many friends you have, especially your social media friends, but how close you and your friends are.

True friendships should be reciprocal. You care about them, and they care about you. You should be willing to do for them, and they should be equally willing to do for you. If you find that your relationship is all about that other person, that you must do what they want to keep their friendship, that’s not a healthy, positive friendship.

It’s wonderful to have a BFF (best friend forever.) Having only one close friend limits the ability of your friendship to be supportive. No one will be able to devote every minute of their life to meeting your needs. If you call that one best friend constantly about your problems, you are likely to burn them out.

Recovery programs often recommend that you have at least five separate people in your support system. Your friends should have other people in their lives beside you. If you’re in a relationship where you can’t have other friends or where you resent the other people in their life, these are not healthy relationships.

Emotionally healthy people belong to a group of friends rather than being dependent on only one person. Having only one person to meet their emotional needs is a large issue for couples. When there are difficulties in your relationship, you will find it hard to turn to your partner for emotional support. It’s risky to turn to friends with whom you might be tempted to develop a close sexual relationship. For heterosexual people, this is the time you need to have friends of your own gender.

Are you isolated?

Feeling socially isolated causes loneliness. If you feel like you have no friends and no one you can talk to, this should prompt you to reach out and make connections. For some people, this means professional counseling, which can help in the short-term. In the long-term, you need to put yourself into situations where you can make friends, and need to learn the skills necessary for creating and maintaining friendships.

Is being alone a bad thing?

Your attitude towards solitude will magnify or reduce your feelings of loneliness. Ask yourself how you feel about spending time with you? Some people find that when they are alone, they don’t know what to do. Are you bored when there’s no one else around?

Being alone shouldn’t make you unhappy. Alone time is an opportunity to find out about yourself. Focusing on the negative will increase your loneliness. Feeling negative about being alone will cause the time to drag. Filling the alone time with things you enjoy doing turns loneliness into happiness.

Can Solitude be a good thing?

When you are alone, look for the positives. Your time alone should be an opportunity to get to know yourself better. Develop a friendship with yourself. Throughout your life, the one constant will be you. Everywhere you go, every minute of your life, you will be there. Work on enjoying the time you by yourself.

Life can get hectic at times. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from it all. If when you get that chance to get away from life’s hassles, you discover you’re getting lonely, consider developing a stronger friendship with yourself.

Other posts about feeling lonely will are found in the category – Loneliness.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two 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.

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

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. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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Shy.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Shy

Shy.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Shyness.

“I wondered how many people there were in the world who suffered, and continued to suffer, because they could not break out from their own web of shyness and reserve, and in their blindness and folly built up a great distorted wall in front of them that hid the truth.”

― Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

“I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness.”

― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

“Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people.”

― Andre Dubus

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Loneliness can make you ill.

By David Joel Miller.

Loneliness has been linked to many illnesses.

While loneliness is a common human emotion, and happens to most people at certain

peron feelng loneliness

loneliness,
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

points in their life, for most people, it is a very negative emotion, with significant consequences. Untreated loneliness can become a debilitating condition, which results in isolation, feelings of emptiness and worthless. People with severe loneliness can feel personally threatened, rejected, and that they lack control of their lives.

Loneliness is often described as the difference between the quality and quantity of the social relationships you have, and the ones you wish you had. Some people experience loneliness only a few times in their life, while other people may experience high levels loneliness throughout their lifetime. Despite loneliness not being a specific mental or emotional illness, feelings of loneliness play a major role in physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral illnesses.

Loneliness is a risk factor for physical illness.

The health risk from loneliness equals the risk from smoking. (Gerst-Emerson, Jayawardhana, 2015.) Feelings of loneliness make physical health problems worse. Feeling lonely increases blood pressure. Feelings of isolation play a role in eating and sleep disorders. Among people with obesity feelings of loneliness interfere with their ability to lose weight.

Among the elderly, increasing levels of loneliness results in increasing numbers of Dr. visits. While this is believed to be partially caused by a need for more social connection, it may also reflect the way that emotional symptoms are often misinterpreted as signs of physical illness. Fortunately, high levels of loneliness in the elderly do not also translate into more hospitalizations. Among people over the age of 80, more than 50% report being often lonely. Among middle-aged patients, those between 40 and 60 years of age, those who report higher levels loneliness see their medical doctor more often than those do not report being lonely.

Loneliness makes emotional problems worse.

Feeling lonely has been linked to depression. A common cause of substance use disorder and a relapse trigger for drug and alcohol use are feelings of loneliness. Feelings of isolation can increase stress. Not having a support system makes personality disorders worse, and it has been associated with psychosis, cognitive decline, and dementia. Loneliness can seriously undermine your self-esteem.

Behavioral problems are made worse by loneliness.

Feeling lonely along with binge drinking or drug use increases the risk for suicide attempts. This feeling is also connected with self-harm, such as cutting or other Nonsuicidal self-injury. Loneliness has also been associated with relationship violence and other impulse control problems. Being lonely can make you feel more vulnerable resulting in more vigilance to keep yourself safe, the result is more difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Poor sleep results in an increase in grouchiness and irritability.

Cognitive and thinking problems are made worse by loneliness.

People who are isolated and lack a support system are prone to an increase in irrational decision making. When you feel all alone, your mind can fill with unhelpful thoughts. Sometimes loneliness becomes a positive emotion when it encourages people to look at their lives and seek out more connections with other humans. It’s important to connect with people who will have a positive impact on your life. Don’t become so desperate for human connection that you allow negative, abusive people into your life.

Loneliness damages relationships.

Among couples heading for a breakup, we often find that both parties report being lonely. The higher the feelings of loneliness, the more likely the couple is to break up. If you’re in a relationship and feeling lonely, don’t automatically think you need a new partner. Begin by working on yourself, becoming your own best friend, and learning to not feel lonely when you’re by yourself. Also, work on improving the emotional connection you and your partner have.

If you’re suffering from loneliness and it’s starting to damage your health and your relationships now is the time to reach out for help. Consider getting involved in activities where you can make friends and seeking professional help.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two 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.

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

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. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Introverted.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Introverted.

Introverted.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Introverted.

“I’m an introvert… I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.”

― Audrey Hepburn

“He was left a good deal to himself. He had been inclined to talkativeness, but gradually he became silent. He began to think of the difference between himself and others.”

― W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage

“There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum.”

― C.G. Jung

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Bashful.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Shy Boy

Bashful.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Bashful

“I’m a bashful individual, though I can’t get anyone to believe it…”

― Louisa May Alcott

“Have you got a brook in your little heart, Where bashful flowers blow, And blushing birds go down to drink, And shadows tremble so?”

― Emily Dickinson, Poems by Emily Dickinson, Three Series, Complete

“A certain shame or bashfulness attached itself to whatever one deeply and privately enjoyed.”

― C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Shy.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Shy Person

Shyness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Shy.

As an adolescent, I was painfully shy, withdrawn. I didn’t really have the nerve to sing my songs on stage, and nobody else was doing them. I decided to do them in disguise so that I didn’t have to actually go through the humiliation of going on stage and being myself.

― David Bowie

“I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness.”

― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

“Shyness is only the effect of a sense of inferiority in some way or other. If I could persuade myself that my manner were perfectly easy and graceful, I should not be shy”

― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Ways to overcome shyness.

By David Joel Miller.

Here are some suggestions to get past your shyness.

Shy

Shy
Photo courtesy of Flickr (Andreas Kollegger)

Shyness can keep you on the sidelines and out of life. Some people have been shy since early childhood and others are only shy in certain social situations. Whatever your personal issues with meeting or being around others these tips can help you get past that shyness and get into a fuller, richer life.

Some people have been shy since early childhood and others are only shy in certain social situations.

Whatever your personal issues with meeting or being around others these tips can help you get past that shyness and get into a fuller, richer life.

1. Positive self-talk – keep telling yourself you can.

Keep telling yourself that you can do this. Have a personal mantra or affirmation that helps you keep your fears at bay and maintains your focus on meeting others and making new friends. Repeat the self-affirmation silently to yourself. Concentration on your coping slogan takes your mind away from your fears.

Remember the children’s story about the train engine that kept saying it could. When you are repeating positive thoughts there is less room for self-doubt.

2. Slip into character.

Some performers, actors, musicians and even public speakers, are shy people in their personal life. But when they get on stage they think of themselves as filling that role. When you think of yourself as a “rock star” there is no room for shyness.

Create a person for yourself. Become the leader of the group, the den mother or some other role. When you realize that you are here to represent something it is easier to get into that role and be that outgoing extrovert. Pretend to be extroverted a few times and you will find yourself being transformed from shy to confident.

3. Take a friend along.

A friend is reassuring. You can introduce them and they introduce you. Having someone there as a cheerleader can give the confidence to tackle challenges you might otherwise find impossible.

Two people challenging their fears may be just the strength you have been needing to take that step towards being more outgoing.

4. Play to your strengths.

Engage in activities that make you feel comfortable. Do you like to garden? Join a garden society and you will have like-minded others to talk with. Like to read? Join a book club.

Make it a point to attend activities that you enjoy and feel good about engaging in.

5. Do your homework.

Going somewhere new? Try to learn something about the people you will be meeting and their interests. Attending a charity function? Look up the charity and see what they do and who the leaders of the group are.

Knowing a little about your host’s interest or the place you are going helps you feel more confident in conversation.

6. Ask lots of questions.

Feel embarrassed when talking about yourself? Ask the other people lots of questions about themselves. Most people are delighted to talk about themselves and if you give them the chance they will carry most of the conversation. Once the conversation ball starts to roll you can add value to the conversation as the chances present themselves.

7. Make technology your friend.

Stay connected in between face-to-face meetings by emailing or texting. With email, you get extra time to think about what you want to say and to proofread to get your message right.

Give yourself time to compose your reply. You are not required to engage in Ping-Pong emails.

8. Put your hand out and introduce yourself.

A simple Hi my name is — will go a long way towards breaking the ice. Be the first one to say hi and you will become the sought-after friend of others.

There are 8 short ideas to help you overcome your shyness in positive ways without having to resort to drugs, alcohol or other negative behaviors. Which one of these suggestions will you try first?  Have you found other ways to overcome your shyness?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two 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.

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

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. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.