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.