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Feeling Lonely – Nerdful Mind #20

May 31, 2020 by Simon Mannes

As humans, we sometimes feel lonely. We are stuck at home and can't meet friends and family. Or we get that feeling that we are isolated inside our head and can never share our thoughts and feelings as they are. This can even make us sad, frustrated or angry.

We have to distinguish between being alone and feeling lonely. Being alone means we are not physically near another person (or animal). Feeling lonely is the negative psychological experience you can have when your social connections are not as frequent and intense as you want them to be.

We need to remember that although we feel lonely, we are not alone in feeling lonely. This is part of the shared human condition. We all have our own minds and experience the same feelings. At any moment, there are dozens or hundreds of millions of people experiencing the same feeling as we do.

“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” – Orson Welles

Everyone feels lonely sometimes. Every mind is isolated in its head. It is by being mindful, sharing love, and showing compassion that we connect with others.

Knowing this can make all the difference.

Reading Recommendations

How Self-Compassion Helps You Cope With the Ups and Downs of Life

Self-compassion means treating yourself with kindness when you fail or mess up. Learn how being self-compassionate helps you manage life's challenges.

“Remember, self-compassion is about being kind to yourself and realizing that humans are imperfect, including you. This also requires acknowledging that it is okay to not be perfect. Your flaws and setbacks should help you understand yourself better, not make you stressed out or feel bad about who you are. ”

John Cacioppo Explains the Psychology of Loneliness - CityLab

Social isolation kills, and in the process it makes it harder to reach out to others. A psychologist explains how to stop the feedback loop.

“The purpose of loneliness is like the purpose of hunger. Hunger takes care of your physical body. Loneliness takes care of your social body, which you also need to survive and prosper. We're a social species.”

Normalization of deviance

How broken practices become standard in the software industry.

“As an industry, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to incentivize consumers into doing what we want. But then we set up incentive systems that are generally agreed upon as incentivizing us to do the wrong things, and we do so via a combination of a game of telephone and cargo cult diffusion.”

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

A short, 10-breath excercise to reconnect with your body. Do it when you sit down at your desk, or when you want to gather your focus for a new task:

Take one deep breath. Close your eyes.

Focus on your body for three breaths. How does it feel?

Then, do a body-scan for five breaths. Start at the top of your head and gently scan down towards your feet. Don't try to change anything. Simply note how it feels.

Finally, open your eyes and smile. Take one deep breath before returning to your activity.

End note

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Have a great week


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