17 Signs That You’re Lonely

Brainy Dose Presents: 17 Signs That You’re Lonely Loneliness is on the rise, and with more people
reporting feeling socially isolated or anxious, it’s turning into a widespread issue. It’s important to mention that there’s
a big difference between being alone and being lonely – they are not the same thing. Introverts, for example, value alone time
– seeing it as central to recharging mentally and emotionally. Chronic loneliness, on the other hand, leads
to feelings of isolation – of having no one there to talk to, turn to, or be with when
you want to. So, are YOU lonely? And how can you tell? If you have the following signs, loneliness
could very well be the culprit. Number 1 – You’re Constantly Tired It turns out that sleep and loneliness are
closely linked. One study revealed that feelings of loneliness
and isolation led to higher instances of disrupted sleep, as well as exhaustion during the day. As of now, it’s not clear why this is. One reason may be that loneliness contributes
to other issues like depression, which impacts sleep. Or, it could be that a lack of genuine social
interactions affects how the brain operates. Number 2 – You Take Long Hot Showers Ok, this may sound a bit odd, but let me explain. Current research shows that physical warmth
can generate feelings of social warmth. And much the same, physical coldness can create
feelings of coldness, and vice versa. People often self-regulate feelings of social
warmth by using physical warmth, whether or not they realize it. And so, if you ‘re obsessed with long, hot
showers, or stay in a warm bath until you look like a prune, you could be unknowingly
leaning on physical warmth to counteract the effect of social coldness. Number 3 – You Feel Down In The Dumps While those with depression often isolate
themselves, low mood and sadness are also closely connected to loneliness. Social support makes us feel like we are valued,
that others care about us. But if you cut yourself off from people, you
can lose sight of this, damaging your self-esteem – as you doubt people’s opinions of you. If you’re isolated from others, you can
drop into a cycle of negative thoughts – feeling less and less engaged with the world. Number 4 – You’re Always In Pajamas Have you ever made it to the end of the day
and realized that you don’t need to get changed because you’re still in pajamas? Well, if this happens a lot, it could have
more to do with loneliness rather than laziness. When someone is dealing with chronic loneliness,
their motivation is negatively affected; This includes simple things like looking after
themselves or their appearance. Not caring about things like ‘appearance’
reflects how isolated a lonely person can feel; if you feel disconnected from others,
you are less likely to put in the effort. Number 5 – You Feel Anxious In Social Situations Loneliness enforces cyclical feelings of isolation,
which is what makes it so damaging to your mental health. When we feel alone and cut off, we’re less
likely to feel the drive to go out and actively socialize. As a direct result of this, social anxiety
begins to build up when we think about social events in the future. Socializing is a skill – like driving. If you drive every day, your skills stay sharp,
and you feel confident in your ability. But if you fall out of practice and suddenly
need to rely on these skills again, you may find yourself consumed by panic and doubt
in your abilities. Number 6 – You Are Hooked On Social Media These days it’s hard to find someone who
is NOT on social media – as it’s so ingrained in our lives. But if your phone is glued to your hand all
the time, this could be a warning sign. Social media addiction and loneliness seem
to be tied together. Social media is a virtual source of recognition
and validation, causing lonely people to gravitate toward it. According to studies, people who spend two
hours or more a day on social media are twice as likely to feel lonely, compared to those
who spend thirty minutes or less. Number 7 – You’re An Excessive Shopper For many, shopping can be a great way to de-stress
and relax. Yet, overdoing it could point toward a deeper
issue. Buying something new often gives you a rush
– which, of course, is not a bad thing. But some people use this rush to try and fill
the empty feeling that loneliness brings. Research reveals that lonely people tend to
amass material goods to try and ‘make up’ for the necessary social interaction and experiences
that are missing in their lives. Number 8 – You’re Eating A Lot Of Junk Food Loneliness and craving junk food often go
hand in hand. Socializing boosts oxytocin and dopamine – which
cause a positive emotional response, so when we’re lonely, we miss these ‘Happy Hormones.’ Junk food gives an artificial pathway to some
of these hormones, but in the long run, this isn’t sustainable – and it only leads to
health problems caused by poor eating habits. Number 9 – You Gained Weight Turning to food to make up for our moods means
that loneliness tends to correspond with weight gain. Loneliness can also rob us of our motivation
– turning an active person to a couch potato – in no time. The lack of motivation also means that loneliness
could become a contributing factor in future health troubles, like high cholesterol or
high blood pressure. Number 10 – You’re Aging Prematurely Loneliness is a potent stressor, impacting
the natural flow of various cellular processes that occur in the body – making you disposed
to premature aging. Loneliness doesn’t just cause you to turn
to comfort food; it can also push you to overdo it when it comes to alcohol or other substances,
leading to dehydration – another factor that impacts cell function. As a result, fine lines and wrinkles appear
prematurely, making signs of aging more noticeable. Number 11 – You Experience Physical Pain With
No Logical Explanation Have you ever experienced physical discomfort
that occurred alongside feelings of loneliness? Well, it’s not in your head. Emotional pain can crossover into real, physical
pain. New evidence is coming to light that speaks
of how going through emotional distress and times of social isolation rely on some of
the same neurobiological substrates that underlie experiences of physical pain. Lonely people’s brains register feelings
of ‘threat and pain signals’ that are similar to real physical pain and danger. Number 12 – You Have Frequent Headaches While headaches are not all that uncommon,
they CAN be another side-effect of loneliness. Loneliness causes feelings of depression,
and this poor emotional state leads to two-thirds of lonely people experiencing headaches. When dealing with depression, your threshold
for pain drops; and the negative emotions brought on by loneliness means that migraines
and headaches can become more exacerbated. Number 13 – You Always Seem To Be Sick Your physiology can be negatively impacted
by loneliness, in shocking ways – the most surprising being how it weakens your immune
system – making your ‘immune response’ focus on bacteria instead of viruses. The result is a higher risk of getting viral
sicknesses, an example being the common cold. However, scientists don’t have a specific
answer as to why this happens. Talk about adding insult to injury! Number 14 – You Are Canceling Plans Those who are socially isolated have a much
lower likelihood of sticking to plans or appointments. The more time you spend alone, the harder
it is to find the drive to push yourself out of the same routine. When the only person you spend time with is
yourself, it gets harder and harder to push for change, even becoming a self-fulfilling
prophecy. If you expect to stay at home all day, you
probably will, and this enforces a negative pattern. Number 15 – You Are Overworking Burnouts at work could be pointing to deeper
feelings of loneliness. Whether you overwork can depend on the current
situation at the workplace, and the decisions you make while working. However, many people push themselves to keep
working, even when it’s clear that they need to rest and manage their workload. Why do you need to work so much? The truth is, you don’t; work is likely
a distraction to keep the underlying feelings of loneliness and isolation from really taking
hold. If you are sacrificing your health just so
you can put more time or effort in at work, you need to take a step back and look at why
that is. Number 16 – Your Memory Is Fading Away Loneliness not only negatively impacts your
emotions but your memory too. For some, loneliness arises from depression
– with research showing that being confused and having a weak memory both link to depression. If loneliness impedes memory, it can undermine
your overall focus. Your decision-making skills and your ability
to think clearly can also suffer as a result of this. If you’re all by yourself, your interactions
are limited – you don’t meet new people, and therefore do not need to remember names,
birthdays, or other personal details. The less social interactions you have, the
less you talk. As a result of this, your brain’s receptors
aren’t sending or receiving signals, which impairs your memory skills as time goes on
– raising the risk of dementia. Number 17 – You Hang Out With Other Lonely
People Loneliness can spread through a ‘contagious
process’ just like a cold. Even if you don’t directly feel lonely,
your social network could change that. Although it seems hard to believe, if the
people around you feel lonely, you could ‘catch’ these feelings of loneliness as well. Research suggests that if someone you have
a connection with is feeling lonely, you are 52% more likely to experience loneliness yourself. Loneliness can happen for a multitude of reasons
– maybe it’s because you lost your job, a relationship ended, or you feel like you’ve
hit a plateau in life. Remember, you CAN fight back against loneliness,
but first, you need to address it and keep your eyes open for the warning signs. Staying positive, assessing your emotions,
and not getting overwhelmed by ‘negatively inclined thinking patterns’ will help you
stand firm against loneliness. And if you find that feelings of loneliness
are enduring day after day, don’t be afraid to lean on others for support, or to seek
professional help. Now that you’re aware of some of the warning
signs of loneliness, is it possible that maybe you’re lonely? If so, check out a video we made about the
10 types of loneliness and how to deal with them – the link is in the description box. And as always, let us know your thoughts in
the comments below! If you found this video helpful, give it a
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