Breaking free from loneliness: Rewire your brain for connection

When did you last feel lonely and disconnected, even if you were among people? In 2022, 49% of adults in the UK reported feeling lonely at least occasionally.


Loneliness is a complex emotion that goes beyond mere solitude. It's a profound sense of disconnection from others, a feeling of being unseen and unheard, even when among people. Loneliness occurs when our need for social contact and relationships isn’t met. It’s not that you’re physically alone (although that may play a role, too); it’s that you can’t connect with people in a meaningful way for one reason or another.

What drives feelings of loneliness?

Loneliness is not simply a result of external circumstances, such as living alone or lacking social connections. At its core, loneliness is a deeply ingrained belief system rooted in negative self-perceptions and past experiences. My clients often mention the following components:

  • low self-esteem, feeling inferior to other people around them
  • negative self-perception, like not attractive enough, not funny enough, not smart enough, not able to support an interesting conversation
  • feeling inadequate and suffering from self-doubt
  • thinking that they lack social skills, making them socially awkward and anxious
  • negative rumination, dwelling on negative thoughts and experiences. 

These beliefs can create a self-perpetuating cycle of isolation, making it difficult for individuals to form and maintain meaningful relationships. Often, they act as self-fulfilling prophecies: if you go into a meeting feeling anxious and expecting awkward things to happen, you will start behaving yourself in that way and create the experience for yourself and maybe, others.

Moreover, past negative experiences stay subconsciously in our memory. We forget about the events themselves, but the associated emotions and beliefs stay, contributing to our self-image.

That’s why it’s so difficult to break this cycle. Beliefs and emotions reside in the subconscious, and we simply feel them as “truth” about ourselves. That “truth” creates similar new experiences, which, in turn, reinforce the negative beliefs and emotions

Why hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy can help you break this vicious cycle through its ability to access the subconscious mind and promote positive change. While hypnotherapy has long been associated with smoking cessation and weight loss, its applications extend far beyond these traditional realms into tackling complex emotional issues, including loneliness. 

Hypnotherapy bypasses the critical faculty of the conscious mind and directly accesses the subconscious. In a hypnotic state, individuals are more open to exploring deep-seated beliefs and emotions that may be contributing to their loneliness.

Through a combination of guided imagery and emotion-based metaphors, hypnotherapy aims to uncover the root causes of your beliefs and emotions. They usually lie in the earlier events and experiences that made you believe you were not good enough, sometimes tracing as far back as childhood, and once uncovered, they can be processed and lose their negative influence on you.

One of the key principles of hypnotherapy is neuroplasticity, which refers to the brain's ability to reorganize and adapt in response to new experiences and stimuli. Research has shown that hypnosis can induce changes in brain activity, particularly in regions associated with emotion regulation and social cognition.

By reprocessing previous negative experiences, we can rewire the brain's neural pathways, releasing emotional baggage, replacing negative thought patterns, and creating new positive experiences. Together, all these changes shape your future behaviour and allow for new connections to flourish.

Kate’s story: From awkwardness to connection

Kate walked into my office, depicting social and professional success and breaking on the inside: “I feel so lonely and inadequate. I’m an outsider. People always choose others as their best friends, and I only come along as the “extra”. I have to initiate contacts and meet-ups; if I don’t make an effort, I’m all alone. I’m so tired of it.”

Through our work, we discovered that Kate's feelings of inadequacy and loneliness come from her childhood years when the family had to travel extensively due to her father’s job. Every year, Kate had to go to a new school, leaving her old friends behind and trying to make new friends in an unfamiliar environment. It was becoming progressively harder for Kate to connect because her mind was telling her that any friendship would soon end, and it was better not even to start it in order not to feel the loss again.

 Once we have worked through the emotions and associated beliefs, Kate:

  • Started feeling a lot more relaxed around people and started having more fun.
  • Stopped feeling so lonely and seeking constant socialising in order to self-validate.
  • People started enjoying her company more and initiated contact more often.

Kate’s story is just one example of how hypnotherapy can help you improve the quality of connections in your life. Whether you're struggling with feelings of loneliness and awkwardness or simply seeking to deepen your existing relationships, hypnotherapy may offer a pathway to that.

Path to deeper connection

While loneliness is a pervasive feeling that affects half of the UK population, it doesn't have to be a permanent state. With the help of hypnotherapy, you can overcome the barriers and rediscover the joy of meaningful connection.

By tapping into the power of the subconscious mind and using the principles of neuroplasticity, hypnotherapy offers a powerful tool for rewiring the brain for connection and creating a life filled with joy and belonging.

If you'd like to find out more about how hypnotherapy can help you with your relationships, visit the Hypnotherapy Directory for more information and guidance. Or, if you’re ready to give it a go, you can get in touch to book an initial consultation with me, and I’ll be happy to help you achieve meaningful connection and fulfilment in your life.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, W1H
Written by Katerina Furman, Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapist MSc ADPR DHyp MBSCH MBPsS
London, W1H

Katerina works in an analytical and dynamic modality, believing that the key to our well-being lies in our emotional states. She uses a combination of hypnotherapy, emotion-oriented psychotherapy and EMDR to help you get the best and lasting results for your wellbeing. Katerina works online and face-to-face with clients all over the world.

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