"True belonging does not require that we change who we are; it requires that we BE who we are."
- Brene Brown
Loneliness is something that we have all felt from time to time, but for some (maybe you?) it feels like a constant state of being. You feel lonely even when you are with other people. It feels like no one really sees you, that no one really understands you. You may feel like the one who is always left out, the one that does not belong. A great many people in American actually feel this way. Our society of Facebook friends, working long hours and our western ideals of individuation and self-reliance don't leave a lot of room for actual human connection. In 2015 Time magazine ran an story called, "Why Loneliness May Be the Next Big Public-Health Issue." As human beings we are meant to connect with others and if you find that this is difficult, it might be time for some professional help. Loneliness is serious, but you can make a change.
Are You Lonely? Signs of Loneliness.
Being alone - when you spend time alone it doesn't feel like needed down time, it just feels lonely.
Material Possessions - sometimes a lack of social connection can manifest as being extremely attached to material possessions like a new computer, car, favorite spendy handbag, and/or feeling the need to constantly get more 'things'.
Social Media - has Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram become your main way to connect with others? Studies show that the more time we spend on social media the less happy we become.
Pretending - Are you making things up to post online that make you look good? Pretending that you love being single? Feeling the need to portray yourself as someone other than yourself is clear sign that something needs to change.
Friends - do you feel like you have a lot of acquaintances, but no one who really knows or listens to you?
Feeling Lonely - yep, this is a no brainer, but sometimes we don't admit to ourselves that we are feeling lonely.
Therapy for Loneliness
The therapeutic relationship, the relationship between you and the therapist, can be one of the most healing ways of battling loneliness. You will have someone that has no agenda for your life, cares about your happiness and can provide tools for reconnecting with the world.
In therapy we will delve into your past so that you can understand where your tendencies come from, process trauma and difficult experiences and work to become more self aware of your feelings and emotions. We will explore your behavior and develop goals for how you would like your life to look like. Therapy often involves focusing on self worth, self compassion and boundaries, as well as going deeper to uncover the core beliefs that may be keeping you from your ideal life.
Professional Counseling in Lake Oswego, SW Portland, Beaverton, Tigard & Greater Portland