Loneliness and Health
There is an innate need for us, as humans, to interact with others. Feeling like we are loved, cared for, and supported is essential. We want - and need- to feel that we belong,
An article I recently read tries to describe some reasons for why being lonely makes us feel worse. In simple words, feeling lonely induces a 'stress response' in our bodies. Hormones, like cortisol, get released. Cortisol is also known as the 'stress hormone'. It is important for many functions, like lowering inflammation. However, high levels of cortisol are harmful because it weakens our immunity. The theory is this: loneliness activates cortisol release, which dampens our immune response, makes us susceptible to illness, and affects our mood. Put it together, and you have an individual who is not feeling well physically, mentally, or emotionally.
Think about what happens when you feel 'lonely'. You likely feel isolated and alone. You want to feel as though someone is there to listen to you, comfort you, or simply be present. We are social beings. Having someone who cares for us is critical. This is especially important when we are faced with troubles, but we need to feel that we belong even when we are not in distress.
One thing to take away from this is that it is okay to ask others for support. It is normal and healthy to want to have 'alone time' sometimes, but when you are feeling down and need comfort, do not be ashamed or reluctant to ask a loved one to be there with you. They might not solve your problems or remove your pain, but feeling surrounded by love and support can empower you and make you feel safe.
Remember: you are worthy and deserving of love, respect, and support. Whatever you are going through, you are not alone - and you don't need to be. Find someone who you know genuinely wants and is willing to support you, and take comfort in knowing that this feeling of belonging, of having someone around you, is normal and healthy. Your body, mind, and soul will thank you for it.
P.S. Also remember that God is always there, even if you cannot find a physical being with you! God is watching you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He will NEVER leave you in isolation or despair, so do not hesitate to call on Him - He is literally a prayer away! Whenever I feel that no one understands or is around to help me, I turn to God. I know that He will always understand what I am going through, and His peace is unlike any other! Turn to the Bible for words of comfort, and ask God in prayer to fill you with peace, love, calmness, and strength. His love never fails!