What Makes Us Lonely and How It Changes Our Body and Mind
Every person has probably felt lonely, at least at some point in their lives: maybe some people had nobody to go to the movies with and others had no one to talk to. All of us are different. When we face loneliness, we don’t even know what to do about it. As a result, people start overeating, they have insomnia, and they begin to believe that loneliness is their fate.
Our body also reacts to the changes in our lives. The Bright Side team was amazed by what the body and mind can do when we are lonely.
You are always hungry.
Most people on the planet eat a lot when they have problems or when they feel anxious. They usually eat a tasty donut, chocolate bar, or a pizza. They can’t control it and they feel better for a short period of time, but after that, they experience an even stronger hunger. At a subconscious level, what they’re doing is trying to make their lives seem easier by eating something tasty. And at that moment, the body produces the hunger hormone — ghrelin. Scientists conducted a study in order to look into the connection between the hunger hormone and loneliness. They found that people who consider themselves lonely have an increased production of ghrelin in their blood.
You spend way too much time shopping online.
The signs of loneliness don’t have to be obvious. A study showed that people who are in this state often want to buy something. They are really focused on material things in order to fill their void. By the way, your friend who buys a lot of things might just be lonely and not actually addicted to shopping.
You don’t have dreams and you can’t feel happy for others.
Long-term loneliness can be accompanied by a depressive state. People just don’t feel happy anymore. They should do everything they can to get out of this state. People who have been through this recommend learning to feel happy for other people, which can make you happy too. Think of the people who are now somewhere that you would like to be: the ocean, in the mountains, or at a party. And imagine that you are with them. Or just try to feel happy about a scientific discovery. Thoughts like this can make you feel better.
You start thinking that loneliness is your fate.
When you have just broken up with your partner, you might feel as if you are the only person in the world and you will never ever meet anyone else. What happens here is that you start sinking deeper into the problem. And you shouldn’t do that. Today you are lonely, but tomorrow everything could change. Remember this phrase, “Not a single feeling is final.”
You are never relaxed.
People who are always lonely have a funny ability to be extremely attentive. The theory that when people are alone, they are less cautious is completely false. When a person is used to being alone, they only rely on themselves. This creates a scenario that makes the brain act extra cautious, which is bad because this usually means that you cannot relax.
You can’t fall asleep fast and you suffer from insomnia.
Lonely people have a big advantage — they don’t need to fight for space in the bed or for the blanket. But there is a different problem. They don’t sleep as well and they often suffer from insomnia. Feelings of insecurity may lead to these issues. When we are scared, our body produces cortisol, and lonely people have a high level of this hormone in their systems.
You spend all your free time watching TV.
One more non-obvious sign of being lonely is the eagerness to watch TV. This is sort of an escape from real life. By spending a lot of time watching movies and TV series, people dive into a different world that shows them a full and interesting life. Movie characters overcome their challenges easily — and this is something that lonely people would like to be able to do. But they should concentrate on the real world and on their actual lives.
You don’t want to spend time on yourself.
People who are lonely actually don’t know how to do this. They suffer because of it and it makes them feel depressed. What they should actually be doing is the opposite. They should try to make their free time as busy as possible. First of all, in order not to have enough time to think about the bad stuff. And also, they need to learn to feel happy about the free time they have.
You don’t feel needed.
You feel hopeless, you don’t know why you’re alive, you feel useless... If you are experiencing something like this, you have to make an effort to call an old friend. They know you better than anyone. Talking to someone close to you will help you express your feelings and make you feel much better and not as lonely.
You haven’t tried anything new for a long time.
Taking the first step toward change is very hard. But the longer you refuse to take this step, the more you will fixate on your problems. It’s hard to leave your comfort zone, but it’s also exciting. By trying new things, you learn about the sides of yourself that you didn’t know you had. And this knowledge is useful. If you feel that you are not ready for a change or that everything satisfies you, you should be alone with yourself for a little while. Maybe, you are the type of person who is actually okay being alone.
Have you ever felt lonely or is it a feeling that you don’t know at all?