The impact of Social Media
Loneliness is becoming an increasing problem in our society. It seems we now believe we are connected via Social Media to the extent that our real life relationships are allowed to suffer. Sometimes we see our friends lives played out on their Facebook and Instagram pages and we begin to feel that our lives are not quite living up to theirs, we forget that we are only seeing their highlights and their outings, their gatherings peppered with the odd passive aggressive vague post. We see them participate in activities and wonder why they didn’t think or care to invite us and we feel hurt by something that we wouldn’t have even been aware of if we hadn’t scrolled through our feed; in the process we forget that they may see and think the same when they come across our posts.
This article in the Sydney Morning Herald today entitled I left Facebook because it made me lonely gives a good account of one man’s insights into the effect it was having on him.
Loneliness can be something we carry with us from our childhood, if we were misunderstood or abused as children we can withdraw into and even from ourselves. We may find it difficult to build the trust required to develop and maintain deep and healthy relationships with others and having grown up with poor parental modelling, our lack of boundaries may make us vulnerable to narcissists and abusers generally, the type of people that make it their mission to keep us isolated. This sense of deep rooted isolation, loneliness and disconnectedness is now being attributed as one the major causes of addiction, whether it’s too food, sugar, TV, gaming, smart phones, alcohol, gambling, money or power. This article outlines the new thinking on addiction from the perspective of renowned Neuroscientist Marc Lewis Why addiction isn’t a disease but the result of ‘deep learning'
Don't have to be alone to be lonely
We often don’t recognise we are lonely because we may have people around us, loneliness is often a product not of being alone but of not being able to be our true self with others for fear that they’ll reject us. We may try to adapt to what we think others want or need us to be, the result is very shallow unsatisfying relationships which leave us with a somewhat hollow feeling of not being enough; we then try to fill this hollowness with food, alcohol or whatever our addiction may be. A sense of isolation may make us respond to triggers like work stresses or contact from people that have hurt us by reaching for comfort foods, we look to our addictive behaviour for comfort and soothing because we haven’t learned to develop the innate ability to soothe and comfort ourselves, and we don’t feel able to be vulnerable in front of others.
Addiction can be addressed using Hypnotherapy techniques because these techniques enable the client to use their deepest imagination to experience things differently and in so doing create and learn new habits. Undesirable habits can be unlearned and the foundations for new habits are laid and then embedded to create new synaptic pathways in the brain. Through effective Counselling and Hypnotherapy the client comes to understand themselves better and therefore has greater compassion and empathy for themselves. Once this empathy and rapport with self is established the client can work on building the ability to self-soothe, create healthy boundaries and recognise the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
*What can we do?
Of course loneliness does not always result in addiction; it affects people of all ages and can occur due to aging, illness, a sudden change in circumstance or can simply creep up on people. It is painful to live with and as a society it’s something we all need to work together to address. Some things we can do are pick up the phone and call that person you haven’t spoken to for a while, chat to the person in the que, volunteer, join that club, check out Meet-Up groups doing activities that you’re interested in. If you are feeling lonely, know that you are not alone and there is a way out of it. If you think you need help in resolving issues that stand in the way of you forming friendships and relationships whether it’s shyness, lack of confidence, low self-esteem, weight/food issues indeed any addiction issue, Hypnotherapy is an effective means of turning things around. Ensure you use an accredited therapist.
If you’d like to contact me for further information my name is Georgina Mitchell and I’m an accredited Clinical Hypnotherapist and Counsellor in Melbourne, Australia (Hypnotherapy Mentone is another good search option to find me). Call me on 0435 923 817 or use this contact form.
If you are feeling low and need urgent help call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit their website to chat online here
* Results may vary
Georgina Mitchell was born in Ireland, moving to Australia in 1989. Georgina spent many years working in senior management in the Corporate world, before leaving to pursue her passion to become a Therapist.
Please note as with all therapies, Results for Therapies delivered by Hypfocus may vary from person to person