Detailing the neuroscience behind loneliness, the effects it has on our physical health and four easy steps to help anyone get out of it.
Loneliness can be harsh. Not having people in your life that you can talk to, can make you feel empty and disconnected from the world.
Loneliness can be brought on by big life events or just simply growing up.
The development of modern society and technology isn’t making it any easier either. People are using social media more often, working longer hours, living alone, travel away for jobs and keep pushing each other further and further away.
The feeling that you no longer contribute to anything or don’t belong anywhere can sometimes even lead to serious health problems.
If we look into our nature and observe our behavior, we do actually need each other — a lot.
The Science of Loneliness
Loneliness is the feeling of social isolation. It can be related to being physically isolated but, more often than not, loneliness is associated with the emotional isolation.
One can feel lonely in a crowd full of people, being part of a numerous family, or even married.
Loneliness is not about the frequency and number of interaction with other people, it’s about the quality of those interactions. Being around other people isn’t what makes people less lonely, it’s feeling connected that does.
The neuroscience of social connections is a spectrum. You can have one extreme that is characterized by the lack of connections (feeling of loneliness and rejection) and on the other side you have the presence of the loved ones (feeling loved and appreciated).
Pain is an aversive signal that motivates you to take care of your body when you’re in a current potential tissue damage.