Ep. 6 The Epidemic of Loneliness and How to Cope


Have you been feeling lonely whether you're single or in a relationship loneliness epidemic that is now grown so large we're not even sure how to deal with it so this week we're going to be talking about loneliness and ways you can cope this is contributes to so many levels of distress and the interesting thing with loneliness is that to how prevalent loneliness is and the need for us to begin to act loneliness in their twenties and thirties they're experiencing loneliness too loneliness doesn't have just a particular demographic so many people still feel lonely when they have all of that a recent study showed that particularly amongst elderly but more and more studies are showing that in relationships plenty of people are feeling alone and disconnected this subjectivity can grow and that feeling can just be our baseline but it's important to know nick it doesn't have just a particular target loneliness can affect us all I know Oh that loneliness is not just being alone and I really say that because I do think that oftentimes in my first show I began to talk about all of these factors that can influence and really bring down our sexuality but one of the most important things to keep in mind is that loneliness is a subjective experience meaning that it is L. Lonely it's challenging there's not a lot that it can feel like actually we'll make the loneliness go away lonely this is now an epidemic the surgeon last surgeon general really began to open up the world's eyes but I know I felt only notes can be really scary dark moments in working with clients and supporting my friends when we pretty and challenge us as individuals and one major factor two that is when we feel lonely it actually doesn't matter if your inner relationship or if you're single or if you have a lot of support or not individuals loneliness in relationships amongst individuals who are living with a partner rates can vary from twenty five to sixty percents between what we know and what we actually do when it comes to sex relationships and health thanks so much for joining me this week me I'm I consider myself one of the most let's just say I'm pretty extroverted and in pretty gregarious and and that in general loneliness increases with age that doesn't mean that teenagers and individuals and young adulthood is your experience and it's based on your reality in the Lens you're feeling in that moment and unfortunately the uh-huh when we think about loneliness we tend to think of it just as for people who maybe don't have export networks or who are single and one of those things is that you end up seeing that they're not dissatisfied dissatisfied with their relationships but they're satisfied with themselves and their lives that's why loneliness is such an overwhelming feeling one of the things we know about our feelings is that our motions we're going to come and go and they may be lots of waves and we can feel so out of control but there is help because while we can't control those emotions what we can control is actually sitting with them and moving through them then beginning to control the thoughts and how we respond to these emotions and that's where we can then begin to see mood lifting and begin to actually not feel so lonely so that's really what I want to talk about today is I know that when we think about our sexuality and we think about these things and relationships and how are we navigate these this existential reality of how we are alone and only reliant on ourselves actually can feel really overwhelming and some people think oh well that's just awful to think about but it's actually can be empowering because we are only in control of ourselves is up to ourselves to choose how we want to live and doesn't mean we have to feel lonely that means that we can feel empowered so one of the things that I'd like us to begin to to talk about is I just actually acknowledging acknowledging that loneliness exists and I want you to take some time if you have your part of a pretty big crowd and hopefully those moments of in passing but for those of you where loneliness has actually that's been the pervasive experience that you felt and that's where you kind of been living your humanity acknowledging that loneliness is awful how does it feel for you how does your experience of think about winning your life have you felt lonely because it's probably a reality that sometime maybe you have this is your chance to actually begin to just slowly pick yourself back up and that starts by I just acknowledging ah you are feeling lonely embracing that loneliness and actually just labeling it an acknowledging cleaness feel what is that experience for you loneliness may actually look different by different people and the number one what often happens is is that individuals will feel like I've so much to be lucky for why how could I potentially seem completely counterintuitive now the next step is actually to learn to sit with that loneliness oftentimes what happens when individuals are lonely as they withdraw they start distancing themselves from loved ones or don't minimize it acknowledged it because it's there and again you're not alone so start by just acknowledged us that loneliness and and end up feeling needy and attaching themselves thinking Oh if I just have this or do that thing is for you to actually just begin to acknowledge it and not judge it particularly if you are in a relationship and or or your unrealistic or you can't handle life once you've been able to do that now the next step is it wand over and over again through this what you need to be doing is actually just sitting a dreadful feeling of loneliness but actually never really giving it space and actually dealing with it moving through another way again generally it it will feel more like extremes is that sometimes individuals will over engage try to suppress react and then over time unfortunately those reactions become habits and that just ends up being the way we continually response feel less lonely well what ends up happening is is that there's this urgency this urgency to escape that ching that you're feeling lonely try not to judge it try not to say that you're being weak or that this is another excuse for you to your wanting more that's right when you get to that edge that what you'll find is that moment will pass and you'll actually start building strength going to some type of meditation or listening to one actually just experiencing and feeling that loneliness I want you to you're from work or from their daily activities because they're feeling powerless and they're feeling alone and they feel like they that becomes a coping strategy and with that emotion beginning to put some boundaries around how you're sitting with it and whether that means doing this on your own or even that is where you are beginning to heal yourself and beginning to access those emotions so that you can actually work on the thoughts love as you begin to sit without emotion you will actually begin to notice how it evolves but then you lost of how you just have to sit and tolerate that emotion I mean this is what a lot of mindfulness and meditation techniques really it's in my relationship or find this relationship or or focused more on my children or focus more my work and and maybe that will help me the process that automatic process the next thing I want you to do once you begin to actually are able to sit and acknowledge without judging and sit with that feeling of loneliness now let's begin to observe the thoughts so it's but this is where you begin to actually have a self practice of pausing and sitting without how we act so by beginning to just sit when you are feeling overwhelmed and lower you begin to trust that it will evolve again we don't have control over our motions what we have control over what we think and begin to address is that sitting that increasing your distress tolerance in that moment in building up that muscle to tolerate it I'm not worthy of or I don't deserve to actually be fully unconditionally loved oftentimes it's these messages not feeling lonely when their allegations is that again loneliness is your experience so first thing is to just acknowledge it but begin to actually shift your body change the way you're breathing to actually begin to stop that and how you're able to just sit with that raw scary emotion an overwhelming sense of loneliness but that emotion will that feeling so your body begins to learn nope I can't feel this once I feel that emotion what I feel only I gotta do this I got it any by beginning to just pause and sit with those emotions and observed them and acknowledge and give them space feel this for thirty seconds or a minute and then move if you need to if your reaction to when you're feeling lonely is to actually try so begin to just try to sit with that emotion for even thirty seconds or a minute and then is that actually tell us I deserve to be alone so once we begin to actually observe our thoughts embrace your authentic self the things that make you you rather than starting to seeing those as out that's what because again it is not easy so begins short start with when you feel it okay just commit to saying okay you know what I'm actually just going to shoe okay this is why this happens whether it be messages that you grew up with from your family or in your current relations senior actions around them and I know that that can feel really easier said than done and I'm sure that perhaps you've heard to try to sit with those feelings because what you're gonNA find is that it's going to keep pushing that loneliness is going to keep pushing you pushing you and pushing you and ocean and beginning to actually work with so just start small even if your reactions have been to actually isolate and withdraw so when you're feeling that again now maybe do the opposite in that moment where maybe you're not necessarily to the point where you want action engage with others as you begin to sit this where oftentimes breath work and and mindfulness really can come in and we can certainly we're going to be exploring that more another nation ships have been challenged and I know that I have control and that I've also am a loving person I know that I do support others with love and so today this then opens up the opportunity for us to then begin to actually control them begin to actually challenge this is why I think this but then you gotta balance that out this is where challenging comes in because okay what's the evidence against it tried to distract yourself okay that is a strategy that's worked for you don't necessarily feel like you got to get rid of it so quickly but begin to challenge this her identifying in highlighting some of your strengths and working from strength based place a place that where you begin to actually people will feel or is that no one loves me I'm not loveable they generally is an either I'm not worthy of love I'm not worthy of a good relationship need that actually make me special that these are the things that make me me that begins to challenge the goal control that negative thought and actually feel that control and then bringing it to the present moment of what Mexico going to move through the slowness and I'm going to take care of myself in this moment by doing water see what's coming up in your head as far as what are the thoughts surrounding this loneliness some common thoughts and then lastly if you're in a relationship share your loneliness with your partner and actually tell them this is where he begin to control your thoughts and it is not easy and it takes a Lotta practice so just start slow start with the thoughts that are the and then just keep practicing this is where oftentimes in therapy you're actually going to be working through just practicing it is not easy ship this is where you begin to build up that evidence acknowledge it say okay yeah this is what's happened to me this is where I learned this for myself you're doing in this moment to actually challenge that loneliness to gain control over it analyzes across all aspects of our live Matt didn't happen overnight it's important tactfully begin to control it just overwhelming those overwhelming negative thoughts to then just neutralize them to begin to actually say okay you know what I've had it rough my take time be patient with yourself be gentle with yourself and expect that this will be a process Saddiqi because that strategy is telling you nope you can't handle it gotta go gotta gotTa move on gotta get the emotional way but the loneliness is still there okay you're feeling lonely even if part of the reason you're feeling lonely is because there's tensions or disconnect in your relationship step-bystep taking it really slow and managing expectations that I'm doing the work but it's GonNa be whether that whatever it is that you need to do for your own self care de powering that negative thought that overwhelming negative thought so getting yourself to a place where you can actually our partners but it's actually really important to talk to your partner so try talking to your partner and telling them Start with the least threatening ones where those thoughts are triggering these feelings of loneliness start there partner the other thing is also get and building on that community is is really inherent in building your social support Komo leads to why I feel rejected why I feel alone actually starting to begin to say well what they're these sides about serves thoughts looking at okay you're not crazy there's been things that have been happening that have brought you to a place and time aren't healthy so if you're in a relationship share with your partner that you're feeling alone and ask them to

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