Why we feel more lonely and isolated

Depression, Heart Diseases, Inner Peace, Mind-Body Connection

The festive session is around the corner- it is a season of joy and celebration but it is also the time of the year where many people feel extremely lonely and isolated.

This is the continuation from the previous article, Reversing heart disease- through lifestyle changes (scientifically proven).  The following would be appropiate and perhaps could serve as comfort for those of you who may feel especially down during this time of the year.  We can be with groups of partying friends and yet feel empty and hollow. On the other hand, we can be alone and yet contended and at peace. Why do we feel that way- sometimes up and sometimes in the dumps? Why is it so that no one seemed to understand us or that we don’t seemed to know what we want anymore?

Perhaps it is this increased feeling of isolation and loneliness that goes largely untreated and unaddressed that explain why heart disease remain one of the main killer in many developed and affluent countries.  When I look into the eyes of many people, I could see the deep unhappiness in a number of them. Being loss and don’t know what to do…. just going to life in motions and reacting to situations. The joy of success wears off in a while- to be replaced soon by stress, self-imposed expectation and eventually it brings to more feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Below  (in blue font) is quoted from Dr Dean Ornish’s book, “Dr Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease“. I am quoting fully from his book because many people would be able to relate to what he is saying- no one could say it any better than him. Below is taken from Chapter 4 “Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous” (pages 98-100).

 

I hope it will offer you some comfort if you are feeling down….

Providing someone with health information is not always enough to motivate changes in behavior. We’re all going to die sometime, but if we don’t really enjoy living, who cares about changing behavior? When I was a medical student, both the chief of oncology and the chief of pulmonary medicine smoked. It wasn’t because they didn’t know any better, but they seemed to be very unhappy people. There are many ways to be self-destructive, slowly or rapidly, when life doesn’t bring us the happiness we expect.

When a person perceives himself as being isolated and alone, this creates a view of the world that is fundamentally self-defeating and self destructive. This self-destruction can come in many forms, including compulsive exercise, compulsive working, compulsive sex, smoking, alcoholism, drugs, and the million and one other ways that we can have to distance ourselves from other people and from our feelings. And while these temporarily may help to blunt the pain, they increase our feelings of isolation leading to more pain in a vicious cycle.

 Second, changing behavior is not always enough for real healing to occur. We need to address what underlies the behavior. It’s not sufficient simply to change behaviors like diet and exercise, because our behaviors are only manifestations of our self-perceptions. We need also to change those perceptions of isolation that can lead o these behaviors. The issue is not only living longer, but also being more free of self-imposed limitation that often lead to suffering.

Third, when we invest our self-esteem and self-worth in the outcome of an event or in the behavior of another person, then we are giving that event or person power over our lives– to make us happy or sad, to make us feel good or bad about ourselves, and, ultimately, to live or to die.

Finally, people only have power over us to the degree that they have something that we think we need. When we define ourselves as separate, we define ourselves as lacking and as needy. When we choose an arena- in this case, “If only I were a world-class athlete”- then we give our power away.

So, to summarise, isolation can lead to illness, whereas intimacy can lead to healing. Isolation comes in several forms:

1. Isolation from our feelings, our own inner self, and inner peace

2. Isolation from others

3. Isolation from a higher force

All cultures and eras have had difficult problems, and people worried about wars, plaques, famines, and so on. The chronic stress in the twentieth-century America is not only from the increased pace of modern life but also from the isolation, loneliness, and lack of love and support that many people experience.

In summary, stress today comes not only from what we do but also from how we react to what we do. How we react, in turn, is a function of how we perceive ourselves. When we perceive ourselves only as isolated and alone- apart from the world instead of a part of it- then we are likely to feel chronically stressed. Chronic stress, in turn, can lead to heart disease both in its direct effects on the heart and because of the self-destructive behavior patterns that result. Anything that helps us transcend and transform this perceived isolation can be healing.

 

Related Posts

Curing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Constant Lethargy The reason why this blog is started in the first place is because I wanted to document my battle with sugar addiction- which I thought was the evil behind my escalating weight and constant fatigue syndrome.  Because constant fatigue, lethargy and tiredness are common episodes for me, I am serious about battling it because these had adversely aff...
What I’ve Done by Linkin Park- valuable message Update Jul 2017: Linkin Park lead singer died due to suicide- dangers of unchecked depression Previously, I've never been a fan of Linkin Park. However, their song, "What I've Done" changed my entire perspective of the group. These are the guys who wrote a song with many thought provoking messages. I think the group would have earn a much bigger...
Lower back problems and lack of support in life The lower back acts as a support that holds our body together. Inactive lifestyle, being overweight, past injuries and sitting positions have been identified as the main causes of lower back problem. The recommended prescription: Exercise, more stretching, develop a strong core, sleeping on a better bed, and note ergonomic aspects when you are work...
A cancer diagnosis that forces a woman to relook her life The mom of a close friend of mine got diagnosed with womb cancer when my friend was 17 years old. Prior to the diagnosis, her mom had always been an accommodating, and  quietly submissive person, taking care of the family business while my friend’s father is out hanging out with his friends. When her dad came back after enjoying himself and in a...
Stress, emotions and the correlation to lung infections/ cough/ asthma There is no known medication that can completely cure acute respiratory infection (ARI). Where some medication can control the condition to certain extend, one cannot say that by just taking the medicine one can be completely cured. Acute respiratory infection is a common illness but often causing one unable to attend work or school- affecting p...
Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Leave a Comment


4 + = 13