Experiencing loneliness is the gateway to the most important relationship – the one we have with ourselves.
Realising that we are lonely is tough. Being able to say ‘I feel lonely’ – harder still.
How does it feel? At first perhaps somewhere between boredom & being left out whilst amongst others; perhaps a shrinking feeling, or an aching, pinching awareness in our chest that we don’t belong; or a cold, rising panic that everyone else seems to have their people except for us: a dawning realisation that we’ve fallen behind somehow or worse, we’re excluded from the flow of life that everyone else seems to effortlessly navigate. (Loneliness can make us delusional too).
Loneliness tells us something is wrong: not wrong with us but something is wrong for us. To find what is right, we need to allow the loneliness rather than trying to escape from it; in being with the loneliness we embrace being alone with ourself.
Learning to be with yourself changes the dynamic of abandoning yourself to fit in, rather than be left out. It prevents us shutting down and pulling away when we feel we don’t belong. Learn to know what’s right for you: to recognise what you need and want, what makes your heart sing and what crosses a line for you. Then that shrinking, hollow feeling is replaced by a sense of expansion, of confidence in your own inner wisdom.
We find our own place of peaceful respite and of motivation inside us. The relationship with ourself, the connection in, is the foundation of then connecting out: it springboards us into authentic connection with the world.
Rebecca Delaunay is an associate therapist with RightMind Therapy & Training, Sevenoaks. Rebecca works with adults and teens aged 16+. She volunteered with the Psychosynthesis Trust for nearly two years counselling adults and has worked with a wide range of client issues and has a particular focus on recovering from trauma.
To arrange an appointment with Rebecca please email email@example.com
Mental Health Awareness Week
9-15 May 2022 – Loneliness
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation
Together we can tackle loneliness
For Mental Health Awareness Week this year, we’re raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental wellbeing and the practical steps we can take to address it.
Loneliness is affecting more and more of us in the UK and has had a huge impact on our physical and mental health during the pandemic.
Our connection to other people and our community is fundamental to protecting our mental health and we need to find better ways of tackling the epidemic of loneliness. We can all play a part in this.
About Mental Health Awareness Week
The Mental Health Foundation started Mental Health Awareness Week 21 years ago and we continue to set the theme, organise and host the week. It’s an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health and has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally.
To get in touch please email firstname.lastname@example.org