Stiff upper lip. Keep calm and carry on. Soldier through. Put on your big girl/boy pants. Let it go. Our society is filled with platitudes about trauma.
But while these catchy little tropes might make for a good bumper sticker, they certainly don’t make for a good — or healthy — life strategy. The truth is that, contrary to yet another popular cliche, time does not, in fact, heal all wounds.
Quite the contrary. Attempting to simply ignore or “move on” from your trauma is an almost guaranteed way to never truly heal — and the long-term effects, not only to your mental wellbeing but also to your physical health, can be devastating.
You deserve better. You deserve to live your life healed from your trauma. And it can be done.
You can be in a room full of people and still feel incredibly lonely. No one really sees you, hears what you’re trying to say, or understands what you’re going through. When you feel this way, what can you do?
People often think that loneliness and being alone are the same thing. But that’s not necessarily true. You can be on your own and have a great time, curled up on the couch with a good book, playing the piano or taking yourself on an artist date. If you’re introverted, you probably even need alone time to recharge.
That’s why loneliness isn’t so much a state of solitude as it is about feeling alone, while you crave human connection. That emptiness can be caused by having a limited social network, with little (close) family and friends to talk to and spend time with. But there’s a second kind of loneliness that’s often overlooked: emotional loneliness.
Mental health is not just determined by what is happening inside your head. Your environment plays an important role in shaping you. From a poorly lit office to a cluttered bedroom – all these impact your mental health.
The physical environment affects your psychological health directly. External stimuli like natural light and noise trigger a psychological response in your body. In turn, the kind and amount of neurochemicals that are released into your bloodstream strongly influence your mood, energy level and mental focus.
Another major reason why your surroundings matter is that we spend a lot of time thinking about our living environment. Maybe the dishes haven’t been done or the laundry hasn’t been folded in a week. And it bugs you every time you see it.
Changing your environment can improve your health dramatically. Here are some solutions that you can use to improve your environment and mental health.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mental health conditions are amongst the most troublesome health distresses in the United States, and 63% are part of the workforce. Mental health problems impact many workers, a fact that is usually ignored because the disorders can be hidden at the work place. Unfortunately, the stigma involved in having a psychiatric disorder in workers may make them hesitant to seek treatment, especially in the current economic statuses.
It’s one of the saddest feelings in the world: loneliness. Like Freddy Mercury sang: “Sometimes I feel I’m gonna break down and cry. Nowhere to go, nothing to do with my time. I get lonely, so lonely, living on my own.”
Although being by yourself can make you feel lonely, loneliness isn’t the same as having no people around you. Sometimes it can be great to have time to yourself, while other times you may feel lost in a sea of people. That’s because are different kinds of loneliness:
Social isolation, when you’re physically alone and don’t have any company. This kind of loneliness is common in the elderly, people who are housebound or when someone’s just moved to a new city where you don’t know anyone.
Emotional loneliness is the feeling like no-one understand you or what you’re going through. You feel different than everyone else due to your chronic illness, sexual orientation or world views. What’s more, it may feel like you have no one to talk to, because none of your friends and family truly listen or support you.
A lack of belonging – the sense that you have no close relationships or aren’t part of any groups. Maybe you feel left out or even purposely excluded. Social media can also reinforce the idea that everyone is having a great time together – except you.
To make matters even worse, feeling lonely has a negative effect on your physical health too. Studies show that loneliness puts you at a higher risk of becoming ill and even a shorter lifespan.
But loneliness isn’t all bad. Although the feeling definitely hurts, and you shouldn’t be lonely every day, occasional loneliness also has its upsides. Being lone gives you time to think, reflect and remind yourself what’s most important to you. It can stir your creative side – who hasn’t heard of a lonely, tormented artist who created their masterpiece during their darkest times?
Have a look at these 13 loneliness quotes below to make you feel less alone.
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