While most of us tend to use the concepts of 'being alone' and 'feeling lonely' interchangeably, fact remains that one does not necessarily have to be alone to feel lonely. While solitude can, at times, feel soulful, loneliness can be painful and emotionally draining for the one undergoing it. Loneliness is as much a state of mind as it may be a reality, and feeling so may instil a sense of helplessness within us, and lead us to experiencing a kind of unexplained sadness.
Loneliness strikes an individual when they tend to experience a lack or an absence of something that we refer to as a 'true connection'. This may include a connect that a person forms not just with another being, but even with an activity or situation that helps them to feel a sense of belongingness. Irrespective of the number of people we have in our lives in the form of our family and friends, there is always a possibility that we might still feel lonely if we are unable to establish strong bonds of companionship with them, or fail to feel heard, understood, and cared for. This may further lead to feelings of unwantedness, helplessness, and self-blame; thereby making us impulsive decision makers while getting into relationships due to lack of people presence. Loneliness has the tendency to impact the way we begin to perceive things around us, and promotes insecurity and poor self-esteem and confidence within an individual.
Through identification of what makes us feel lonely, positive self-talk, initiation of contact towards people who we believe will help us, as well as productive utilisation of our alone time to facilitate self-discovery will help us feel stronger than before. Other ways such as - finding new interests, pursuing one's passion, as well as investing conscious efforts into building strong, lasting, and worthwhile interpersonal relationships can largely contribute towards countering loneliness.