Loneliness: Your Body and Mind Reactions

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200119735It is not uncommon to spot people often eating alone at a restaurant with a smartphone on one hand. They no longer get the stares because this phenomena has subtly settled in our individualistic culture. These people often post their daily lives on social media suggesting to others that they are “having a blast” or “I am better off being alone.” This is the method in which these people who spend a lot of alone time comfort their loneliness and assure others that they are doing just fine, and in certain circumstances, that may actually be the case. However, there are still those who writhe in loneliness. These people eat just for the sake of eating and spend their pastime in front of the Television wishing they had someone to talk to.

Everyone feels lonely occasionally. However, it is up to the person whether to embrace the loneliness and develop the alone time to a time of worth and self development or waste another day over-capacitated by the feeling of emptiness.

social-media-488886_960_720 (1)Mr. Park (31) was attracted by the fun of using social media. He recorded every part of his life on social media from the time he opened his eyes to preparing to go to bed. As the number of ‘likes’ went up, his happiness level went up. He was the man living an ideal life that everyone was jealous of. Social media was the only friend that comforted his loneliness ever since he started living alone ten years ago. However, recently, he started having the feeling of uneasiness because he found himself fretting over the number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares.’ He came to realization that the guy on social media was not the same person as who he really was in real life.

When people feel lonely, they long to be with someone who cares about them or start a warm, fuzzy relationship. Just as the feeling of hunger flushes when thinking about food and appetite, when you feel lonely, your body and mind respond. In a highly individualistic and competitive society we live in today, social isolation is often an inevitable. However, it puts the body on constant alert for a threat.

University of Chicago’s psychologist and researcher John Cacioppo released his findings on the relationship between loneliness and physiological responses. His study of 141 subjects between the ages 50 and 68 proved that loneliness led to less production of white blood cells, weakening the immune system, and ultimately making one more prone to getting sick. Moreover, it was proven that the sentiments gained by forming relationships with other people influenced health in a positive way.

Loneliness is not synonymous with being alone. Many people live solitary lives but are not lonely. Conversely, being surrounded by others is no guarantee against loneliness. With every positive increase in social relationships, researchers in North Carolina and
China saw improvement in blood pressure and body mass index. The 12107440775_86a9c04264_olargest positive effect was associated with those who had a variety of relationships such as friends, romantic partners and co-workers.

What are some ways that you can
imposingly stand against loneliness? First and foremost, embracing the fact that you are alone and understanding it. As one focuses on their loneliness and use the feeling to reflect upon oneself, you can truly reach self enlightenment and develop oneself. As you get used to the feeling of loneliness and the time spent alone, you will eventually find the meaning behind the times and be able to use it wisely.

Being alone does not always mean isolation from society and other human beings. If you encounter a time when you feel lost or are shaken by a traumatic event, finding someone who walked through the same path helps. As you communicate and form relationships with those who live similar lives, you will be able to relate and overcome the hardships.

In order to enjoy your alone time, as ironic as it sounds, you need to have a balanced life habits. This means, having a designated time for meals and sleep and exercising regularly. If you cannot cope with your loneliness, you are prone to losing your physical and mental health. Thus, it is to your benefit to develop the time you spend alone and turn it into an opportunity of self realization and development.

Original Document Available at: http://www.koreadaily.com/news/read.asp?art_id=4048249

Edited by Sooahn Ko

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