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How to fight loneliness

How to fight loneliness

We're living in a world where we're constantly connected, yet we feel lonelier than ever before. And you don't have to be alone to feel isolated: even if you have a partner and a group of good friends, you can still feel lonely. Even when you're in a crowded room, it can feel as if you aren't able to connect with others on a deeper level - and this can fuel negative thoughts and low self-esteem.

Loneliness can affect people in different ways, which is why psychologists identify four types of loneliness: situational, emotional, social and chronic.


Situational loneliness

Situational loneliness arises from circumstances where making friends is difficult. Examples include moving abroad to work, perhaps somewhere where you don't speak the language very well, being a stay-at-home parent of young children, or having a disability that makes getting out and about a challenge.

If you struggle with situational loneliness, getting out and meeting people is the best tactic. While the internet isn't the same as meeting up with friends in real life, finding an online group connected with a hobby or interest can help you get in touch with like-minded people, boost social skills and overcome loneliness.

Social loneliness

If you experience problems in social situations because of anxiety, shyness, or low self-esteem, you may suffer from social loneliness. It may be because you worry that people will find you awkward and not entertaining enough. If you are suffering from poor self-esteem, Bach Flower Mix 44 helps to improve self-confidence and believe in yourself more.

Chronic loneliness

Some people are lonely for so long that it becomes a way of life. It is similar to situational loneliness as it is often the result of circumstances. Still, it can be hard to break the cycle as the sense of self-isolation is so entrenched.

Chronic loneliness may be seen in elderly individuals whose friends and acquaintances have died or moved into residential care and whose family lives far away. Those who are prevented from socialising by controlling partners may also suffer chronic loneliness.

But it is essential to remember that everyone deserves friends and a social life, and there is no shame in asking for help.

Emotional loneliness

Emotional loneliness does not arise from circumstances but comes from within yourself. So it can be difficult to change without addressing the root of the problem. The individual in question may need help to understand how their background and experiences may have triggered behaviours that make loneliness worse.

Talking therapy or CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) will help you to cope with emotional loneliness. You will learn to replace negative thoughts that hold you back with a positive outlook on your relationships.

Tips for helping with loneliness

Sometimes just knowing that other people are around may help with some kinds of loneliness. These tips may also help:

Take things slowly

If you've been lonely for a long time, it can be very daunting to think about meeting lots of new people. But there's no need to rush into anything.

Take things slowly by choosing an online class where others attend, but there is no interaction between you - for example, a yoga class or art class. Or, if you join a real-life class, ask if you can watch first before joining in.

Increase social contact

Try meeting more or different people, perhaps by joining a group or class based on your hobbies and interests. Volunteering is another excellent way of increasing social contact - and helping others also makes you feel more confident and better about yourself.

Open up to others

Maybe you have a wide social circle but don't feel close to any of them, or perhaps they don't offer the support and care you need. In this case, opening up to family and friends about your feelings may be very helpful.

If you don't want to talk to people you know, try consulting a therapist or joining a support group.

Try not to compare yourself to others and be wary of social media

It's human nature to compare ourselves to others, but remember that things are not always what they appear to be from the outside. People tend to share only positive things about their lives on social media, and you can't know how they are feeling in reality.

If you lack confidence in your life when you compare yourself to what others are doing, this might make you feel lonely and isolated from other people.

A final thought: be kind to yourself

Feeling lonely is stressful and may impact your physical and mental wellbeing. In turn, this may make it more challenging to make positive changes. So the first step is to look after yourself by considering the following factors:

• Get enough sleep

When you get too little or too much sleep, it can significantly affect how you feel. Try to develop good sleep hygiene habits, so you awake feeling refreshed and energised.

• Consider your diet

Eat regular meals. Keeping your blood sugar steady can lift your energy levels and mood.

• Get more active

Exercise has a positive impact on our physical and mental health. Improving fitness gives a sense of achievement and can boost self-confidence.

• Avoid alcohol and drugs

While you might believe that alcohol and drugs help you to cope with loneliness, they can mask underlying issues and will only make you feel worse over time.

• Spend time outdoors

Spending time in nature can calm you and boost your well-being, and many people find they feel less lonely when they are outdoors.

• Spend time with animals

Spending time with pets or other animals can help with loneliness. Owning a dog is an excellent way to meet like-minded people who will stop for a chat when you're walking your pet. If you love animals but can't keep a pet where you live, consider volunteering at a city farm or animal Rescue centre.


Sources:

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/feelings-and-symptoms/feeling-lonely/

https://www.headspace.com/stress/how-to-deal-with-loneliness

Created by Tom Vermeersch ()

Tom Vermeersch

Tom Vermeersch is a certified Psychologist and Bach flower expert with more than 30 years of experience.

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How to fight loneliness

How to fight loneliness
How to fight loneliness

We're living in a world where we're constantly connected, yet we feel lonelier than ever before. And you don't have to be alone to feel isolated: even if you have a partner and a group of good friends, you can still feel lonely. Even when you're in a crowded room, it can feel as if you aren't able to connect with others on a deeper level - and this can fuel negative thoughts and low self-esteem.

Loneliness can affect people in different ways, which is why psychologists identify four types of loneliness: situational, emotional, social and chronic.

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Situational loneliness

Situational loneliness arises from circumstances where making friends is difficult. Examples include moving abroad to work, perhaps somewhere where you don't speak the language very well, being a stay-at-home parent of young children, or having a disability that makes getting out and about a challenge.

If you struggle with situational loneliness, getting out and meeting people is the best tactic. While the internet isn't the same as meeting up with friends in real life, finding an online group connected with a hobby or interest can help you get in touch with like-minded people, boost social skills and overcome loneliness.

Social loneliness

If you experience problems in social situations because of anxiety, shyness, or low self-esteem, you may suffer from social loneliness. It may be because you worry that people will find you awkward and not entertaining enough. If you are suffering from poor self-esteem, Bach Flower Mix 44 helps to improve self-confidence and believe in yourself more.

Chronic loneliness

Some people are lonely for so long that it becomes a way of life. It is similar to situational loneliness as it is often the result of circumstances. Still, it can be hard to break the cycle as the sense of self-isolation is so entrenched.

Chronic loneliness may be seen in elderly individuals whose friends and acquaintances have died or moved into residential care and whose family lives far away. Those who are prevented from socialising by controlling partners may also suffer chronic loneliness.

But it is essential to remember that everyone deserves friends and a social life, and there is no shame in asking for help.

Emotional loneliness

Emotional loneliness does not arise from circumstances but comes from within yourself. So it can be difficult to change without addressing the root of the problem. The individual in question may need help to understand how their background and experiences may have triggered behaviours that make loneliness worse.

Talking therapy or CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) will help you to cope with emotional loneliness. You will learn to replace negative thoughts that hold you back with a positive outlook on your relationships.

Tips for helping with loneliness

Sometimes just knowing that other people are around may help with some kinds of loneliness. These tips may also help:

Take things slowly

If you've been lonely for a long time, it can be very daunting to think about meeting lots of new people. But there's no need to rush into anything.

Take things slowly by choosing an online class where others attend, but there is no interaction between you - for example, a yoga class or art class. Or, if you join a real-life class, ask if you can watch first before joining in.

Increase social contact

Try meeting more or different people, perhaps by joining a group or class based on your hobbies and interests. Volunteering is another excellent way of increasing social contact - and helping others also makes you feel more confident and better about yourself.

Open up to others

Maybe you have a wide social circle but don't feel close to any of them, or perhaps they don't offer the support and care you need. In this case, opening up to family and friends about your feelings may be very helpful.

If you don't want to talk to people you know, try consulting a therapist or joining a support group.

Try not to compare yourself to others and be wary of social media

It's human nature to compare ourselves to others, but remember that things are not always what they appear to be from the outside. People tend to share only positive things about their lives on social media, and you can't know how they are feeling in reality.

If you lack confidence in your life when you compare yourself to what others are doing, this might make you feel lonely and isolated from other people.

A final thought: be kind to yourself

Feeling lonely is stressful and may impact your physical and mental wellbeing. In turn, this may make it more challenging to make positive changes. So the first step is to look after yourself by considering the following factors:

• Get enough sleep

When you get too little or too much sleep, it can significantly affect how you feel. Try to develop good sleep hygiene habits, so you awake feeling refreshed and energised.

• Consider your diet

Eat regular meals. Keeping your blood sugar steady can lift your energy levels and mood.

• Get more active

Exercise has a positive impact on our physical and mental health. Improving fitness gives a sense of achievement and can boost self-confidence.

• Avoid alcohol and drugs

While you might believe that alcohol and drugs help you to cope with loneliness, they can mask underlying issues and will only make you feel worse over time.

• Spend time outdoors

Spending time in nature can calm you and boost your well-being, and many people find they feel less lonely when they are outdoors.

• Spend time with animals

Spending time with pets or other animals can help with loneliness. Owning a dog is an excellent way to meet like-minded people who will stop for a chat when you're walking your pet. If you love animals but can't keep a pet where you live, consider volunteering at a city farm or animal Rescue centre.


Sources:

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/feelings-and-symptoms/feeling-lonely/

https://www.headspace.com/stress/how-to-deal-with-loneliness


Marie Pure

Other articles


Signs of depression under the radar

Signs of depression under the radar

It is not always obvious when someone is experiencing depression. Some people with depression mask their symptoms, hiding their feelings behind a smile to convince others they are happy.

Read the complete article

goede-voornemens

A new year, a new me

It’s such a positive thing to do and hope springs eternal, so why not commit yourself to a change this year? Here’s our tips on how to stick to your new year’s resolutions.

Read the complete article

How to know when to say no

How to know when to say no

It's often difficult to say no, but some people never do! So how do you know when to say no and when to say yes?

Read the complete article

"Bach Flower Advice" becomes "Mariepure"

"Bach Flower Advice" becomes "Mariepure"

After 25 years in the Bach flower world, we asked ourselves, is now the right time for our own new name? Not only have we grown, but so have you, along with the confidence you have in us. That's why we want to connect ourselves to our own name. That name is Mariepure.

Read the complete article

10 Tips to get the best out of every day

10 Tips to get the best out of every day

When we’re stuck in a bit of a rut, the days and nights slip past so quickly that we barely notice them. But life is not a rehearsal!

Read the complete article

verleden-loslaten

Letting go of the past: 5 tips

Lynn Anderson told it very nicely in her song “I beg your pardon; I never promised you a rose garden”. Life isn’t all roses and everybody experiences something they would rather not once in their life.

Read the complete article

Are things moving too fast for you

Are things moving too fast for you?

If you're worried that the world is changing too fast, you're not alone: technology is constantly developing, and it can be challenging to keep up with all the changes. As a result, many people - not just the older generations - feel anxious that they might get left behind.

Read the complete article

Fact or fiction Is it truly healthy

Fact or fiction? Is it truly healthy?

There's so much contradictory health advice out there, it gets confusing. One year, butter is said to be bad for you, and margarine is better. The following year, it's the other way around. One article says running causes strain on your joints; another says it's good for you because it increases bone strength.

Read the complete article

Isn't depression just a fancy word for feeling a bit down

Isn't depression just a fancy word for feeling a bit down?

Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety affect around 1 in 6 people at some stage of their life. Despite it being such a common problem, many sufferers wait months or even years before seeking help.

Read the complete article

5 tips to survive autumn healthily

5 tips to survive autumn healthily

We simply can’t avoid noticing the changes all around us. Autumn is here... Autumn is also called a transitional season. Slowly and steadily, it prepares us for the transition...

Read the complete article

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