Loneliness is recognized as a growing health problem. Isolation has been shown to adversely affect the cardiovascular system and implicated in depression. The internet and TV continue to build a higher wall. A broad research study from the University of Chicago Medical Center has found the root cause of loneliness and so, the treatment. The surprising findings: Addressing loneliness is not about attending support groups with other lonely people or teaching better social skills. Rather loneliness can be healed by improving one's self-esteem - creating a more positive self-perception in relation to others.
This is a new approach to an old problem. Loneliness is really about the relationship one has with the self. Consider telling a person who feels he or she doesn't measure up to others to engage in a social activity! Their response would be: "This party is out of my league. Everyone will ignore me." "I can't take a class at the gym. Everybody is so much better and will laugh at me." "I lost my job. I feel ashamed. Everyone else is so successful." But that's exactly what professionals have been doing - telling the unworthy to "Go on, get out there and mingle." And this is why lonely people are still lonely.
A lonely person needs to reconnect with the self. If one is unhappy with the self, all other relationships will be filled with unhappiness.
Warning signs of impending loneliness:
* You are hungry for compliments, external validation.
* When you get a compliment, you believe it is phony.
* You have trouble receiving a gift, "You shouldn't have…"
* You are sensitive to criticism. You ruminate about a negative remark.
* You have a stern inner critic telling you that you are not good enough and who replays your failures.
More From Intent.com: