I recall being about 14 yrs old. I was at school and whilst moving from one lesson to the next recall thinking “no one else thinks like me, my thoughts are so intense”. Of course, I was mistaken, but in that moment… and for some considerable time after, I believed I was the only one in the world; it felt really, deep and lonely!
Loneliness in Later Life
Episodes like this appear through later life too:
- When we start a new job, or go to Uni… how lonely is that?
- When we become a parent… no one said it would be so unique. It can feel so lonely!
- When we lose our partner through break-up, divorce or death.
- When we became ill…
There are a couple of themes recurring! Lack of knowledge – and a lack of awareness.
We get fearful and anxious when we are unsure of the future, wondering what will happen next or worrying what the medium to distant future holds. Reminds me of emotional and mental health… but that has the added complication of social stigma and often the ignorance of others.
When we fail to understand, we get anxious and fearful, and this can lead to anger. None of these emotions lends themselves to sufferers to get help for a psychological condition as they would a ‘bug’ or physical injury. Yet, many do gather the courage to explore and find knowledge to help them face their fears, and these inquisitive individuals get well sooner… and build resilience for the future.
These days, I see so many others feeling and thinking in this way – with the resultant emotional and mental health implications.
Remember how each time you hear ‘that’ song… and it transports you back to a time and place, in an instant? That is just one example of your cognitive responses to a past experience. It is the same for a negative, hurtful or traumatic moment or event.
We make so many presumptions; oh, this is just the way it is, or, no one is going to be bothered with my busy worrisome mind, and… It’s just me!
I see so many others feeling, and thinking, in this way.
We get to choose!
So often through life, that ‘thing’ sitting on our shoulder – that worrisome thought remains; niggling away, day and night and unless ‘something’ happens to galvanise us into action, to learn about, to do something about it…
or nothing changes.
Are we victims to these lonely and individualised thoughts leading to emotions of fear, anxiety and often anger? Yes, for as long as we choose.
“It is a failure in me.” No, it is an error of thinking over which you need to consider gaining awareness of… if you are to live life with any peace at all.
Feelings are Not Facts
They are based on imagination, rumination, and perceptions from the past about a future that is yet to become the present; it is the present that does represent the reality! Can you say how worrying about anything that requires no actual intervention at that moment will change the outcome?
More than a few of these thoughts, repetitively running through our mind, create the ‘mind-chatter’, or ‘monkey-mind’. For many, there will come a time where they will hear the mind scream…“Where is the peace, I just need some peace of mind.”
When we are dehydrated, we get a drink. When we get tired, we (might) rest. When we get repetitive unhelpful thoughts, we worry! Can you learn to acknowledge these thoughts and ask yourself if any action is required in that moment – then ‘let go’?
It takes a little guidance… and a little painless practise.
No, you’re not alone! However, with a little help you can reign in at least some of the 60-80 thousand thoughts we have each day, and increase your awareness for that which DOES require your attention – you, and your life!
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).