The magazine, Psychology Today, recently did a feature article about loneliness. According to the article we are in the midst of a loneliness epidemic. In 2010, 40% of Americans reported regularly feeling lonely. In a 2012 study, 43% reported chronic loneliness, and more than half of the people were married.
Aside from the pain of loneliness, our health is affected in many ways. Loneliness poses a bigger risk for premature death than obesity, or smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day. Being lonely makes a person more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory illness and gastrointestinal causes. Serious loneliness causes one to be more susceptible to viruses, and it strongly correlates with cognitive decline and dementia; lonely people are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. One also has less restful sleep and higher blood pressure. Loneliness also tends to increase stress, anxiety and anger, and leads to increases in depressive symptoms. It contributes to inflammation and weakened immunity. In addition, it is painful. In fact, taking over-the-counter pain medication can actually be helpful in reducing the pain. Thus, one can see that a large number of health problems results from loneliness.
The article points out that loneliness does not mean being alone. In addition, one can be married or in the company of other people and still feel lonesome. What is important is the quality of a person’s relationships. The article maintains that the subjective feeling of loneliness is the internal experience of disconnection or rejection, and that it can affect anyone.
There are various reasons why people experience loneliness, but one of the biggest contributing factors is a feeling of low self-worth. It is extremely difficult to be your authentic self with other people when you don’t feel good about yourself. One’s self-esteem is so important. So what can be done when faced with this difficulty?
The article suggests reaching out to people and going to places where you can meet others. The problem is that if you do not feel good about yourself, you are not going to be very inclined to meet others. More than likely you’ll want to avoid being with people whenever possible. If you feel inadequate or unworthy, you certainly don’t want to share that with others.
If low self-worth is the problem, you can seek therapy or counseling. Just as beneficial, however, can be seeing a certified hypnotherapist. One of the reasons people do not feel good about themselves is because they have received very self-limiting or negative messages when they were growing up, and they have incorporated these deep-seated beliefs into their current belief system. Messages such as “I am not good enough,” “I am not worthy of success or joy,” or, “I am inadequate in a number of ways,” can severely impact your level of happiness and success and, of course, result in much loneliness. Furthermore, many of these beliefs are on the subconscious level, so you may not even be aware that you are being influenced by these beliefs.
One of the advantages of seeing a hypnotherapist is that he or she can help you identify the negative deep-seated beliefs that you are not consciously aware of, and then help you let go of these inaccurate and irrational beliefs. You can then replace these negative beliefs with much more positive and more honest beliefs, allowing you to start feeling good about yourself. In addition, hypnosis can pinpoint these subconscious issues quickly and efficiently.