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  • Writer's pictureCristine Enriquez

Signs of loneliness: what to watch out for and how to seek help

Loneliness can affect anyone at any time in their lives, but what we now know is that those dealing with any sort of health decline experience more and more feelings of isolation.

Loneliness is not the same as being alone, someone may choose to spend much of their time alone but not feel lonely.

The feeling of loneliness is so different for us all and this can change according to life circumstances we face. But when it comes to experiencing a decline in wellbeing for any reason there is a high chance this can increase feelings of loneliness which in-turn can keep us in the loop of poor health.

When we experience loneliness over a longer period it is been proven that loneliness can result in higher levels of cortisol, the bodies primary stress hormone, which can influence your health in the short term. Cortisol can impair cognitive performance, compromise the immune system, increase your risk of heart disease and even weight gain. Loneliness is also a risk factor for more serious mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.

Common signs of loneliness in older people may include:

· Talking about feeling disconnected from the world around them

· Spending most of their time alone

· Speaking to or engaging with loved ones more or less often — whichever is opposite of their known behaviour

· Frequent feelings of frustration, anger, or annoyance

· Disengaging with hobbies they used to enjoy

· Discussing the present and future in a negative manner

· Changes or decline in physical health

· Sleeping more often

· Eating less or showing little to no interest in food

· Seeking increased physical warmth through frequent baths, warmer air temperatures in the house, or heavier clothing and blankets

Humans have one main thing in common and that is our thirst to feel seen, heard and understood and this can only truly be felt with the right people around us. Genuine relationships whether it be work colleagues, family, friends or of a therapeutic nature encourage healthy behaviours, build confidence, beat stress, and can push you to be your best which feels nourishing and exhilarating.

If you're feeling lonely, remember you're not alone. Please reach out to our team and if our service isn’t right for your needs, we work with our local community to signpost you to someone who can help you. There are several services that we can match you with to help 020 7916 7961.

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