The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

Stress of loneliness: how to survive

Elizaveta Lubleva

Doctor of Psychology


Often feelings of anxiety and anxiety cease to be reasonable and literally take a person captive. And then we worry about everything: from the likelihood of a sudden cold of a child to the onset of global warming. This experience encompasses all those who are far from home, their usual surroundings, out of work, and only mastering a new habitat.

Фото: Depositphotos

Long-term social stress suppresses immunity, stimulates the development of pathological diseases.

The results of a study by the American Psychological Association showed that approximately 28% of emigrants from different countries experience tremendous stress during the first two years. The intense level of fear and distrust of the world around us is such that it lacks the strength and energy to even sign up for assistance programs.

So what is social stress?

Mental overstrain associated with the need for adaptation, adjustment and interaction in society. Scientific studies have shown that immigrants and their descendants, experiencing social stress, are more likely to experience psychological discomfort (Thoman & Surís, 2004), lower life satisfaction (Ojeda & Pina-Watson, 2013), and they have more symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Problems associated with socialization, scientists associated with the development of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. However, it remains unclear whether social skills can influence physical health, even indirectly.

Psychologists and sociologists conducted a survey that assessed social skills, levels of stress and loneliness, as well as mental and physical health. Four basic types of social skills were identified: the ability to provide others with emotional support; openness to others and willingness to share personal experiences; the ability to withstand the unreasonable demands of others, as well as the skills to start a relationship.

It turned out that poor social skills are associated with high levels of stress and loneliness, which affects health, both mentally and physically.

Loneliness causes almost as high risks of health problems as obesity, smoking, or the wrong diet. Often, people who experience difficulties with socialization are not aware that the problem is in themselves, and live without being aware of such a serious risk factor.

However, for those who want to improve their skills, there are special trainings and consultations. In addition, parents can help their children to socialize, regularly immersing them in situations where they will be forced to communicate with their peers, to positively evaluate all the changes that occur in the family environment.

For the correction of physical health disorders, psychotherapeutic help is more effective than receiving immunostimulating drugs. In other words, peace of mind in this case is more important than vitamins and drugs.

How can you help yourself in anxiety and anxiety disorders?

Anxiety is useful because it mobilizes our attention and the body to solve emerging problems. But if you worry for no apparent reason and always expect the worst case scenario, then anxiety itself becomes a serious problem. Doubts and fears paralyze the mind, not motivate to action. Anxiety reduces the supply of emotional energy and interferes with everyday life. The good news is that chronic anxiety can be managed effectively. You can train the ability to keep calm and composure.

Agree with the uncertainty of your position

Chronic anxiety relies on doubt or unpredictability. Thinking about everything that can go wrong, you will not make the future more understandable. You may feel calmer when you are anxious, but this is just an illusion. Focusing on the worst case scenario, you will not help yourself come to a better solution. If you want to stop worrying, start by changing your need for certainty and the need for an immediate response.

Accepting the situation as it is is the key to resolving anxiety.

Ask yourself the following questions and write down the answers.

  • Is it possible to be confident in everything that happens in life?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of certainty?
  • You tend to think that unpleasant things can happen only because you are not sure of the opposite?
  • What is the probability of a positive or neutral outcome of events in this case?

Postpone the alarm for later

Select a specific time and place for your alarm. It should be the same every day (for example, in the living room from 6: 00 to 6: 20 in the evening), do not practice before bedtime. During the "anxiety period" you can worry about everything that comes to mind. The stronger the anxiety and your temporal control over it, the better.

Stop your business if disturbing thoughts come during the day, make a short note on paper and set it aside for a “disturbing period”.

Remember that you will have time to think about it later, no need to worry right now. Save the alarm for later.

Delaying anxiety is effective because it breaks the habit of focusing on fears and fears at the present moment in time.

Where, when and what are negative thoughts about?

If you suffer from chronic anxiety, then rather you are inclined to consider the world around us as more dangerous than it really is. We often exaggerate the likelihood that things will go bad, we immediately choose the worst-case scenario.

These irrational, pessimistic views are known as cognitive distortions.

Although cognitive distortions are not based on reality, they are not easily corrected. As a rule, they are part of a continuous stream of images that arise involuntarily.

Reflect on what frightens or worries you in a situation. As a rule, these are concrete actions, not an event in general. What time period and place are associated with, before or after what situations arise.

Ask yourself questions and give answers, if possible in writing. For these purposes, we make a diary

  • Is there evidence that a disturbing thought is true?
  • What is the likelihood of what I'm afraid will actually happen?
  • If the probability is low, what are the possible scenarios?
  • What is the use of this thought?
  • How does my anxiety help me now or what does it indicate?
  • What would I say to a friend who was worried about it?
Фото: Depositphotos

Relaxation methods

How, then, to teach the body to relax when it’s most desirable, having stood, tense and wait out a wave of pressing anxiety. There are several ways to relax. All of them are like action algorithms: go along such a path and get such a result. In this case, the result will be relaxation. The following are the ways to relax. All of them are based on the laws of physiology and lead to relaxation of the body. Exercise should be daily.

Muscle relaxation

When anxiety encompasses you, progressive relaxation relieves muscle tension. Relaxation leads to improved blood circulation, relieves spasms. As your body relaxes, your brain will relax too. Exercise consists in alternating tension and relaxation of the muscles of the arms, right, then left.

Deep Breathing

If you're worried, breathe more often. Hyperventilation is the cause of symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, and numbness in the arms and legs. These are physiological symptoms of fear that further lead to panic. Breathing with the diaphragm can help relieve symptoms and calm down. With an effort of will, shift your attention to your breathing.


Regular practice of meditation allows you to improve self-control skills, reduce pain sensitivity, and concentrate.

Take care of yourself

A healthy, balanced lifestyle plays a big role in keeping anxiety, fear and anxiety at an acceptable level.

Do not refuse help and support

Anxiety and anxiety are exacerbated when you feel powerless and lonely. The more you turn to other people, the less vulnerable you will feel. When experiencing anxiety attacks, call your close family member or friend. Just talk about your fears and they will be perceived less threatening. Seek help from psychologists, their work is aimed at supporting a person in critical situations.

Go to a healthy diet

Start the day with breakfast, eat in frequent, small portions. Include in the diet complex carbohydrates, cereals, fruits and vegetables. They stabilize blood sugar levels, increase the amount of serotonin, the hormone of happiness.

Regular exercise

Aerobic exercises relieve tension and stress, increase physical and mental energy, improve well-being, releasing endorphins.

Avoid alcohol and nicotine.

Alcohol temporarily reduces anxiety and anxiety, but causes additional symptoms as soon as it stops its action. Abuse leads to addiction. It may seem that cigarettes calm down, in fact, nicotine is a powerful stimulant. Smoking leads to higher, not lower, anxiety levels.

Complete sleep

Lack of sleep contributes to the development of anxiety, reducing stress resistance. When you are well rested, it is much easier to maintain peace of mind and stop worrying.

You can conduct a self-test of the general level of anxiety by filling out the Zang test form. Instructions, counting rules and results are given. here

If the proposed methods for coping with anxiety do not help, you must seek help from a mental health professional.

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I wish good luck to everyone!

Your consultant in the world of psychology Dr.Liza

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