by Kim Johnson
Loneliness is another common feeling we experience while going through separation and divorce. When we are so used to having someone around, coping with being alone can be very difficult to handle. While there are a lot of definitions, loneliness is really a state of mind. It can cause us to feel empty, alone and unwanted. Even though we so desire human contact when we are going through separation or divorce, our state of mind makes it more difficult to reconnect with others.
Loneliness, according to many experts, has very little to do with being alone. Instead, it is our perception of being alone and isolated that causes the problem. It has a wide range of negative effects on both physical and mental health. Some of the health risks associated with loneliness include:
- Depression and suicide
- Cardiovascular disease and stroke
- Increased stress levels
- Decreased memory and learning Antisocial behavior
- Poor decision-making
- Alcoholism and drug abuse
- The progression of Alzheimer’s disease
- Altered brain function
There is nothing wrong with feeling lonely. It is how we learn to deal with it and heal through it that matters.
Scriptures for Encouragement
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
“. . .I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
I Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.
Suggestions for Dealing with Loneliness
- Tell God your feelings: He can use our times of loneliness to forge a new intimacy with Him that will sustain us. Be honest and open with Him. Allow Him to help you. James 4:8 “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
- Recognize that loneliness is a sign that something needs to change.
- Understand the effects that loneliness has on your life, both physically and mentally.
- Develop a new outlook about your loneliness: Every circumstance that comes our way is an opportunity to learn something new. Focus your thoughts on something positive about being alone and enjoy it. (For example: no demands on your time. You can take a class, read, get your nails done, go to a movie, etc.)
- Contact Others: Make a list of people you feel comfortable enough to contact on a regular basis. (Family and friends who are a positive influence)
- Get Involved: Find an outlet for your help. Helping others is a sure way to start feeling better about yourself.
- Eat Properly: Low blood sugar or improper diet can magnify negative feelings.
- Learn the difference in being lonely and being alone: Learn how to embrace your own company. (Sabrina Black)
“You are only lonely if you don’t like the person you’re alone with.” (Wayne Dyer)