I Have No Friends: Here's What to Do

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Feeling lonely is, perhaps ironically, universal. But, what is loneliness, exactly? Simply put, it's the discrepancy between what you have and what you want from your relationships, says Stephanie CacioppoPhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago, who specializes in the study of loneliness and social cognition. And until you're able to pinpoint and then address what you're dissatisfied with, you'll feel isolated, left out, and in need of companionship. The upside: Feeling lonely isn't necessarily a bad thing, Cacioppo notes. It's a reminder that something's off about your social environment and that you need to prioritize your happiness. Chances are, though, you're not too grateful for loneliness while you're experiencing it. In fact, the feeling makes you more likely to interpret reality negatively, which can bring on a ton of self-loathing and self-criticism, she says. The key to turning your mood around?

As loneliness is so common, it makes sense that there are also lots and lots of different reasons why people feel lonely. Here are a few of the main ones:. Contemporary research from ReachOut has shown so as to one in five young people reported feeling lonely 'most of the time' or 'always'. Sometimes loneliness can be caused by something else going arrange in our lives.

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We don't talk about loneliness enough. It affects everything. When you're lonely, you feel more depressed and anxious. It's often harder to concentrate on your work, which affects your career. After that it's really bad for your health; it's equally as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Fortunately the opposite is also true. When you feel connected, you tend to be calm physiologically.