Feeling lonely is becoming increasingly common in the modern world. Many people can hardly remember the time when they had a meaningful meeting with their friend, rather than a fast, incomprehensible Facebook chat.
However, is loneliness really that terrible? Are there any good sides of it? And if yes, to what extent feeling lonely is a benefit, rather than a detriment?
Why Is It Good for You?
The truth is that sometimes a bit of solitude can help figure things out and come to a reasonable solution. In the fast-paced world of today it is extremely hard to carve out some alone time to re-evaluate life and deliberate about changes.
Moreover, it has long been proven that solitude can boost creativity. Many writers and artists admitted that in their most prolific periods they actually were on their own. Some even made loneliness a way of life (cue Emily Dickinson and Jerome Salinger).
Finally, it is simply a necessity for introverted people. They are constantly overstimulated by the world around them. Therefore, in order to relax and restore their emotional stability, such people need to spend more time alone than others.
How Can It Be Bad?
Despite the obvious positive aspects of loneliness, it can also affect the life of an individual in an extremely negative way. This feeling has long been linked to many psychological ailments including depression, anxiety and all kinds of seasonal disorders.
The thing is that loneliness often stunts the production of such important hormones as dopamine and serotonin. Those are responsible for the general feeling of happiness. If a person lacks those in their organism, it can lead to extreme mood disorders and even suicidal thoughts.
Chronic social withdrawal is never a good thing. So, unless loneliness is a choice, rather than a life circumstance, it generally makes a person miserable and even depressed.
What Are the Overall Results?
There are many disastrous outcomes which could accompany the feeling of social isolation. First of all, it is aggression. In the experiment with mice it has been revealed that those mice which were left alone for a long time expressed a higher degree of violent behavior towards its counterparts. Thus, a lonely person may experience aggressive outbursts more often and often for no apparent reason not because they are terrible people, but simply because this is how a human brain functions.
However, this feeling is just a sign which indicates a need for social reconnection. Therefore, unless a person stayed lonely for too long, all they need to do is call their friends or even random acquaintances and spend time together. It is not wrong or weak to feel this way. Humans are social creatures, and they need others to feel safe and accepted. The fear of loneliness was a prerequisite for people’s survival for a long time, and it is just as typical of a modern yuppie like of a prehistoric caveman.
It is crucial not to let this feeling slip out of your control. Loneliness, if not tamed, can lead to many poor decisions on your part. Granted, eating a random burger is not going to kill you, but breaking up with a lover or getting into a severe argument with the best friend can have a more serious outcome. Thus, it is important to ration the alone time with profound social interactions.