Last updated:

April 27, 2024


 min read

Loneliness Its Causes Coping with It and Getting Help

Explore the complexities of loneliness, its causes, coping strategies, and the importance of seeking help. Discover ways to overcome loneliness and improve your mental well-being with insights from this comprehensive guide.

Reviewed by
Kanika Shekhawat
Written by
Divya Rai

Loneliness is a complex emotional experience characterised by a sense of isolation or disconnection from others. It can affect anyone, regardless of age or background. It’s important to note that loneliness is different from being alone; a person can feel lonely even in the presence of others if they lack meaningful social connections or feel misunderstood or disconnected. Loneliness is often accompanied by feelings of sadness, emptiness, and a longing for social interaction or companionship.

Factors contributing to loneliness can vary widely and may include social isolation due to physical distance from loved ones, a lack of close relationships or social support networks, changes in life circumstances such as moving to a new place or experiencing a major life transition, and even internal factors like low self-esteem or mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety.

It's important to address and cope with loneliness because chronic loneliness can have significant negative impacts on mental and physical health. People experiencing chronic loneliness may be at higher risk for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, cardiovascular problems, and other health issues. Therefore, understanding loneliness, its causes, and finding effective coping strategies are crucial for promoting emotional well-being and overall health.

Causes of Loneliness

Loneliness can stem from various factors, both internal and external. Loneliness can arise from a variety of factors, both internal and external. Here are some common causes of loneliness:

Social Isolation

Physical distance from friends, family, or social groups can lead to feelings of loneliness, especially if there are limited opportunities for social interaction.

Physical Distance

Living far away from family, friends, or social support networks can contribute to feelings of loneliness, especially if there are limited opportunities for in-person interactions.

Work or Lifestyle

Demanding work schedules, frequent travel, or a lifestyle that limits social interactions can lead to social isolation and loneliness.


As people age, they may experience changes in social networks, such as retirement, relocation, or loss of friends and family members, which can increase feelings of loneliness.


Life Transition

Relocating to a new city or country where one doesn't have established social connections can trigger feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Relationship Changes

Ending a romantic relationship, going through a divorce, or experiencing a breakup can result in feelings of loneliness, especially if one loses a significant source of emotional support.

Personality Traits

Individual personality traits, such as shyness etc. can contribute to a predisposition towards loneliness, especially if not balanced with meaningful social connections.Poor self-esteem or negative self-perceptions can lead to social withdrawal and isolation, increasing the risk of loneliness.

Mental Health

Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety can amplify feelings of loneliness, as they may affect one's ability to connect with others or engage in social activities.

Lack of Meaningful Connections

Having superficial or transactional relationships without deep emotional connections can leave individuals feeling lonely despite being surrounded by people. Not having close friends or family members who provide emotional support and understanding can contribute to feelings of loneliness.

By understanding these various causes of loneliness, individuals can identify potential triggers and take proactive steps to address and cope with feelings of isolation and disconnection.

Coping Strategies for Loneliness

Coping with loneliness involves a comprehensive approach which includes a combination of emotional, social, and behavioural strategies. Here are some strategies to deal with loneliness effectively:

Cultivate self-awareness

Practising self-awareness is a powerful tool to understand and address feelings of loneliness. Journaling about thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to loneliness can be helpful in expressing emotions. Writing about daily interactions, emotions and triggers of isolation can provide valuable insights into underlying causes.

Building meaningful connections

Loneliness often stems from a lack of meaningful social connections. Developing and nurturing relationships can counteract these feelings. This involves reaching out to friends, family, colleagues, or even making new connections through shared interests or communities.

Stay Connected Virtually

In today's digital age, technology offers various ways to stay connected, even when physically distant. Video calls, various social media platforms, and messaging apps enable real-time interactions, fostering relationships and increasing social engagement. Virtual connections can supplement face-to-face interactions, especially during times when in-person meeting is not easy.

Practice Self-Care

Self-care is an essential part of life specifically during times of loneliness. Consuming a balanced diet rich in nutrients can positively impact the mood and overall well-being. Engaging in regular physical activity can be helpful in releasing endorphins, which are natural mood lifters, and reduces stress hormones like cortisol.

Engage in Hobbies and Activities

 Hobbies and leisure activities bring joy and a sense of fulfilment to an individual and it also plays a crucial role in combating loneliness. These pursuits not only provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment but also open ways to connect with like-minded individuals. Activities like joining a book club, taking up a new sport, or exploring creative outlets, etc can foster social interaction and enhance overall well-being.

Practice Self-Compassion

Loneliness can sometimes lead to self-criticism and negative self-talk. Practising self-compassion involves treating oneself with kindness, empathy, and acceptance. By acknowledging that loneliness is a common human experience and by being gentle during challenging times loneliness can be fostered in the right manner as self-compassion promotes emotional well-being.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindful awareness, can help manage feelings of loneliness. Mindfulness cultivates present-moment awareness, allowing you to observe thoughts and emotions without judgement.

Community Support Groups

To deal with loneliness, connecting with people in the form of online or local support groups can be very helpful. These groups are majorly focused on loneliness, where individuals can share experiences, listen to success stories, receive peer support, and learn coping strategies from others facing similar challenges.

Seek professional help

Therapy sessions offer a safe space to explore emotions, develop healthy coping strategies, and work towards building meaningful connections. If feelings of loneliness persist or significantly affect mental health, seeking professional support can help in navigating in life smoothly. Mental health professionals can provide personalised interventions to address underlying issues contributing to loneliness.


In conclusion, loneliness is a complex and multifaceted emotion that can arise from various internal and external factors. It is not solely a matter of physical isolation but also encompasses a lack of meaningful connections and emotional fulfilment. Addressing loneliness often requires a combination of self-reflection, reaching out to others, and seeking professional help when needed.

Feeling overwhelmed by loneliness? Connect with our compassionate therapists at Rocket Health today to receive personalized support and guidance tailored to your emotional needs.


Hawkley, L. C., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2010). Loneliness matters: a theoretical and empirical review of consequences and mechanisms. Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 40(2), 218–227

Jovicic, A., & McPherson, S. (2020). To support and not to cure: general practitioner management of loneliness. Health & Social Care in the Community, 28(2), 376-384.

Labrague, L. J., JAAD, S., & Falguera, C. (2021). Social and emotional loneliness among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic: the predictive role of coping behaviours, social support, and personal resilience.

Sundqvist, A., & Hemberg, J. (2021). Adolescents’ and young adults’ experiences of loneliness and their thoughts about its alleviation. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 26(1), 238-255.