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5 Reasons Why “Lonely” Seems To Be The Hardest Word (And Why We Should Be Saying It)

5 Reasons Why “Lonely” Seems To Be The Hardest Word (And Why We Should Be Saying It)

We’ve all felt it. That empty feeling in your stomach. The thought of hours or days ahead of you with no company but yourself. That restless feeling, like you’re in a little bubble that you’re afraid might implode at any minute. You may even have felt it when you’re surrounded by people. No matter how hard we try and fight it, we all feel alone sometimes. So why do we find that so hard to admit to each other? Even to ourselves?

The answer is important. Loneliness has been shown to be very significant in the deterioration of our physical and mental health, and it can have a huge impact on lifespan. In short, being lonely for extended periods of time does no good for you or for society as a whole. So let’s bust some loneliness myths right now. After all, no man (or woman) is an island!

1. We think it shows weakness (but it doesn’t)

This is one of the biggest reasons we suffer in silence from depression, from loneliness, from anything that life throws at us that we “should” be able to handle. We seem to have a need to soldier on through feeling low, and a lot of us would rather carry on in silent misery than face the shame of admitting it to another person.

The fact is you don’t need a right to feel lonely. It can happen at any time in your life. Whether you’re young, old, whether you’ve just had a child or whether you’re at college surrounded by people, you can still feel alone. To admit it can make you feel weak and unworthy at the time, but the truth is it will actually make you stronger. Admitting that you’re going through a tough time is a strength, not a weakness.

2. We don’t want to burden others (but we won’t)

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    Photo credit: Loneliness via photopin (license)

    When we’re feeling lonely, we assume that everyone else has more exciting stuff going on in their lives than us. Whether this is true or not, we convince ourselves that we shouldn’t hassle them. The last thing we want is for people to spend time with us out of pity. So instead of reaching out and asking someone over for dinner or a glass of wine, we hide behind pride and make ourselves lonelier.

    But hang on one second — if you think about it, how many times when a friend has called us have we thought “oh no not them again?” Most of the time, we are delighted to hear from that person because we’re feeling the same way ourselves.

    It’s easy to assume other people have these exciting lives and are too busy for us. Most of the time, it’s just not the case.

    Having said that…

    3. We’re living busy lives (so slow down)

    In our fast-paced society, it can be easy to be lonely even when you’re surrounded by people. Yes, it’s true that you are working with people all day, but how often in your day do you make meaningful connections? How many times do you open up about yourself to another person rather than letting them just see the surface version of you?

    Going through the motions and hiding behind a mask can make you feel like a living ghost. Not taking the time to really listen or contemplate conversations and the people around you is equal to walking around in a bubble. No wonder you’re feeling lonely. Slow down and take the time to listen and connect with people. It will make the world of a difference.

    4. We live on our keypads (so give someone a call!)

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      Photo credit: Communication Centre via photopin (license)

      With all the technology at our fingertips, it can be easy to rely on our phones and laptops as the sole form of communication with our friends and family. After all, it’s easier to send a quick Whatsapp or update our Facebook status than it is to pick up the phone and call someone. But in keeping everything digital, we are losing out on a vital part of human connection. Being able to hear someone’s voice and reactions or see them in person goes a long way to helping you feel less lonely. It reminds us that someone cares about us and wants to know how our day has been. It allows us to feel connected to another human in a much more natural way than looking at words on a screen.

      5. We are scared of it (but it shows we’re human)

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        Photo credit: Christophe Leung via Flickr

        The biggest reason we don’t want to tell anyone we’re lonely is because we don’t want to admit it to ourselves. Sometimes, it’s easier to mask it by being really busy, and then when we are alone finding any distraction we can — movies/the internet/drinking. The thing about that is it will always catch up with you eventually. It is far more helpful to admit it to yourself — “Oh hey, yep, I think I’m lonely.” — and work out how you’re going to deal with it.

        How to deal with loneliness

        Step 1: Just accepting it is a big step. It’s okay to be lonely. We’re human and we all get lonely sometimes.

        Step 2: Know that it will pass. Although it may feel like it, you won’t be lonely for the rest of your life. Feelings come and go, like people, and sometimes loneliness is a natural emotion signaling that you need to change something to move onto the next stage.

        Step 3: Do something about it. Even if it’s something small like making a dinner date with a friend or joining a local club. Doing something about it will make you feel more positive and in control of the situation. Remember that there are millions of other humans out there that want to make connections too. This proves that you should never feel ashamed to feel lonely.

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via hd.unsplash.com

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        Last Updated on August 15, 2018

        7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

        7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

        Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

        Video Summary

        Why is it important to train up our core strength?

        There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

        This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

        Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

        In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

        One Exercise, multiple benefits

        There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

        By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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        When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

        Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

        In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

        What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

        What will happen when you start doing planks every day

          1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

          Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

          • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
          • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
          • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
          • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

          2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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            Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

            Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

            3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

              Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

              4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                5. You’ll improve overall balance

                  Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                  6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                    Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                    7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                      Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                      How to hold a plank position

                      1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                      2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                      3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                      4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                      5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                      6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                      7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                      Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                      Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                        How to improve your plank time gradually

                        1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                        2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                        3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                        Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                        Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                        You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                        • Prolapse
                        • After prolapse surgery
                        • Pelvic pain conditions
                        • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                        • Previous childbirth
                        • Overweight

                        Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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