Modern day living has presented us with an irony: despite the world being more populated and better connected than ever before, loneliness is on the increase. It is not a problem confined to any one particular age group. Loneliness can be emotionally painful – a truly unhappy and disappointing place, damaging our physical and mental health. It can cause poor sleep, depression and increased anxiety.

If ignored and left untreated, it can result in reduced social skills, causing increased social anxiety, leading to a diminished ability to communicate well enough with others to make new friends. This may result in an overall sense of worthlessness, further amplifying negative thinking. When we think negatively, we operate to a greater extent from the primitive, emotional part of the mind. We are then more sensitive and expectant of rejection and hostility, leading us to think the worst. Research has shown that people who feel lonely also pay more attention to negative social communication, such as disagreement or criticism, and will remember negative things from an encounter, overlooking all that was positive. We might say that we are not viewing reality as it actually is.

How hypnotherapy can help

Addressing persistent loneliness lies in breaking the negative cycle of thinking that created it in the first instance. Using hypnotherapy to help alter our perceptions of the world and people around us has been shown to be far more effective in combating loneliness than simply going out more to try to combat its effects. By not dwelling on the thoughts but by looking at what we want, we change our perception of ourselves and begin to become more aware of the strengths we are using every day, despite feeling overwhelmed by thoughts to the contrary. Hypnotherapy can help lift us out of our self-limiting thought processes, raising our self-esteem, so that we can begin to function more from a positive perspective. We are then better equipped to gain the benefits of increased social interaction, increasing the production of the important feel good chemicals within the brain.

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