We are not defined to be sustained within the confinement of a man-made wonder. Solitude can be liberating at times, but it has an uncanny way of rendering pessimistic ideas or self-suggestion that can turn out to be self-depriving in many aspects. Our daily struggle is in itself a wondrous feat to overcome, but we are almost always a subject of self-doubt. No man is perfect. Life will offer us a lot of problems, in fact, a solution to a problem is most often the birth of another problem. As long as we are alive, we are subjected to rejection, failure, mishappenings and all the thing that weighs us down. Research has shown that pain is psychologically and physically equivalent. Heartbreak is a real thing. Human beings are capable of much more than our thoughts. In fact, we are a product of our thoughts. What we think. We become.
Humans are social animals, hardwired to interact with each other, on a daily basis. Though people can be irritating, they are undoubtedly also our greatest source of comfort, and an impressive amount of psychological research underscores the importance of human contact. However, when we go through a trying ordeal alone, a lack of emotional support and comradeship can increase our anxiety and hinder our ability to cope. Rejection by others psychologically wounds us more deeply than almost anything else, and studies confirm that loneliness isn’t good for anyone’s health. Loneliness increases levels of stress hormones in the body while leading to poor sleep, a compromised immune system and cognitive decline, in the elderly.
Being alone in an unchanging environment causes the sensory information available to us and the ways in which we process it to change in unpredictable ways. For example, we normally spend most of our time attending to and processing external stimuli from the physical world around us. However, monotonous stimulation from our surroundings may cause us to turn our attention inward, within ourselves – which most of us have much less experience handling. This can lead to a profoundly altered state of consciousness. We may begin to question what’s going on in our surroundings; If that sound you heard is just the rustling of leaves, or something more sinister? This ambivalence leaves us frozen in place, wallowing in unease, especially if we’re alone. When we’re uncertain, the first thing we usually do is to look to the reactions of others to figure out what is going on. Without others with whom to share information and reactions, ambiguities become very hard to resolve. When this happens, our mind may quickly race to the darkest possible conclusions.
Perhaps the strangest thing that can happen to someone in seclusion is the experience of the “sensed presence,” or the feeling that another person or even a supernatural being is with us. Sensed presences usually appear in environments where you’re by yourself in a quiet, remote place, and subjected to high levels of stress. The vividness of a presence can range from a vague feeling of being watched to seeing a seemingly real person. It could be a god, a spirit, an ancestor or a personal acquaintance. A famous example occurred in 1933 when British explorer Frank Smyth attempted to climb Mt. Everest alone. He became so convinced that someone else was accompanying him on his climb that he even offered a piece of cake to his invisible climbing partner. Although sensed presences are most frequently reported by people in weird or dangerous places, it’s not unreasonable to assume that such experiences can happen in more mundane surroundings. For example, people who have lost a loved one may shut themselves off from the outside world and rarely leave their homes. The loneliness and isolation, coupled with high levels of stress and unchanging sensory stimulation, might very well produce the same biological conditions that could trigger a “visit” from the recently departed.
The countermeasures to combat loneliness are.
- Your thoughts don’t have to be your reality.
Realize that loneliness is a feeling, not a fact. Your thoughts have the power to alter your state of being, but only if you let them. Reality is easier than how it appears in our heads. Trust me.
- A friend in need is a friend indeed
Best way to combat loneliness is to offer company to someone who is going through a tough time. Many a time, our problems aren’t as bigger than someone who is just beside us. If we can listen to somebody else’s problem and help them, we feel a little complete inside.
- Be vulnerable
Everybody needs a handful of people with whom we can be vulnerable with. But be sure to find people who are worth it.
Listen, call home.
What might all of this say about the way we’re hardwired?
It’s clear that meaningful connection to other people is as essential to health as the air we breathe. Given that prolonged periods of social isolation can crack even the hardiest of individuals, perhaps in the absence of actual human contact our brains may manufacture social experiences – a last-ditch attempt to preserve our sanity