People isolate for a wide variety of reasons:
- Chronic illness
- Fear of others
- Fear of social rejection
- Language isolation
- Cultural differences
- Low self-esteem
- Mental illness, depression, anxiety
- Living in a remote location
- Spending too much time on social media
- Loss of family members or close friends
- Domestic violence
- Trauma, fear, shame
- Shyness and a perceived lack of social skills
- Post-pandemic struggles
Isolation is a state of loneliness and distress, essentially a state of pain, it stops us from reaching our goals and dreams.
Isolation is not natural, nor a healthy state of being for anyone at any time.
We all need daily social interactions to effectively develop our communication, empathy and self-awareness skills.
We all desire to be socially competent and to have strong and enduring relationships based on meaning and purpose.
The longer we stay isolated the more likely we will go into a downward spiral of depression and anxiety. We will feel disconnected, and hopeless and not be able to identify our value in the world or in our relationships.
The more isolated we are the more we focus only on ourselves and our deficits, not on our strengths and our blessings. Our world becomes smaller and smaller and we become less and less visible in our own lives.
Loneliness and isolation alter our brain, changes our brain neurochemistry, change how our brain operates, it changes how we think and how we see ourselves in the world.
Essentially isolation degrades the brain and then the brain produces less dopamine, a type of neurotransmitter and hormone.
Dopamine is responsible for allowing you to feel pleasure, satisfaction and motivation. When you feel good that you have achieved something, it’s because you have a surge of dopamine in the brain.
Science has shown us that when we do not produce enough dopamine, in other words when our dopamine levels are too low, we are at risk of disease, such as depression or even Parkinson’s disease. Sadness and apathy are also associated with low-dopamine levels. This is how significant dopamine is to our daily lives.
Isolation and loneliness can also contribute to Increased alcohol and substance use and misuse Higher risk of potential suicide
Poor physical and mental health Increased levels of personal stress.
It is important to note there are ways to boost your dopamine levels: Increase physical activity and exercise
Make dietary changes
(*Always speak with your doctor before starting a new health routine).
You may also want to consider joining a group such as, Beyond the Conversation, a group of community members who simply want to connect and share meaning.
Reach out to beyondtheconversation.org, they host interactive web-based cafes, and community events, and sponsor interesting conversations with a variety of people and much more.
Beyond the Conversation is a globally recognized Non-profit organization.
At Beyond the Conversation, the goal is to help you thrive in all areas of your life! Are you seeking to make new friends? Are you having trouble in social situations? Are you looking for deeper, more meaningful interactions and discussions? Or just someone you want to talk with?
Beyond the Conversation offers multiple ways to get involved and build quality relationships. Beyond the Conversation primarily does this through their Open Talk Cafés. They also have many events throughout the week, hosted by trained, friendly volunteers.
Reach out to beyondtheconversation.org and be welcomed into a group of exceptional, kind, emphatic, strong community members.