A warm welcome to our guest blogger, James Crook, who is a frequent visitor of Anxiety Boss and wanted to contribute his article to our platform.
Foremost, let’s begin by clarifying the difference between social isolation and solitude. Being in a state of solitude is different in a sense that it is by choice. The purpose is having a short break from the chaotic routine to rejuvenate oneself. Social isolation is a state where one feels completely separated or cut off from social relationships. This is typically unhealthy.
Unfortunately, social isolation is a growing epidemic which needs to be taken care of!
Considering the fact that a human’s basic need is to socialize, the effects of social isolation could be quite adverse. It ends up making an individual feel physically and mentally drained and unstable. A constant rate of social isolation can lead to problems like depression, which itself is a big concern.
Naturally, a human brain is built primarily to socialize and interact. And when it does not get what it is made to do, it is only natural for it to function abnormally. As a result of such a circumstance like losing human contact, it resorts to unnatural stress elements. Consequently, it is one’s mental health which suffers badly.
Speaking of this, one of the most disturbing effects of social isolation are hallucinations. For ones exposed to prolonged social isolation, hallucinations allow them to escape the emptiness and boredom. But in turn, it actually deteriorates the functionality of the brain gradually.
Besides this, another most overwhelming effect is that of ascribing features to non-living or inanimate objects in pursuit of comfort and self-worth. For example, one may start talking to a basketball. Moreover, individuals tend to have higher blood pressure and can end up with dementia.
In this blog post, we try to provide some of the best solutions to combat social isolation. Whether it is momentary or at a constant rate, this is how you should deal with it.
Work In/Visit A Public Place:
Being around people can be effective in killing social isolation as one feels a part of what is happening in the world. The ideal place for this purpose would be a cafe or a library. It would be full of people, yet with a serene environment, perfect for work.
If you are a book lover, you can join a book club which carries out a weekly book reading and discussion sessions.
We recommend switching places as it is always a good idea. You never know where you come across someone you can call your friend. So, go out and about!
Here, “them” refers to that one friend who makes you smile in even the gravest of the moods. One phone call can do wonders! It can lift your mood in a minute and help you feel better. That friend of yours would know you how you are as a person and will give you exactly what you need.
Therefore, even if you feel a pang of isolation, just call your 4 a.m. friend away and kill it. It is rightly said that sometimes all you need is a best friend therapy!
Visit Mother Nature:
This can be super refreshing. In fact, getting fresh air gives you an instant boost of energy and happiness to beat stress. Whenever you feel isolated, put those shoes on and head out. Even a little walk in a garden would do the deal for you! Or you can pay a visit to a local park. Through this, it is exercise, fresh air, and social interaction, all in one.
We recommend you to take that 4 a.m. friend with you for a walk. It would only enhance your experience and help you unwind.
Seek Professional Advice:
We mean it when we say this! It is important to consult an expert and not take such a condition lightly.
Consulting a therapist can cleanse your mind. Going to an expert can help address the emotional and psychological issues that may be unknowingly leading to isolating behaviors.
Often it is the case that some people look forward to forming new friendships, but cannot carry it out due to some underlying fear or inability to proceed with all the emotions accumulating inside. This is where a professional’s advice gives an opportunity to an individual to talk about the fear building up inside and cope with it.
Sweat It Out:
Exercise can definitely make you feel good! Joining a yoga or meditation sessions can be quite empowering and a good source of social interaction. It is another outlet to get that social connection that one might crave for when going through a condition like social isolation. It can be therapeutic and revitalizing. You get to meet like-minded people and vent out all the tensions going inside your body.