Ever been in a crowd or group of friends and still felt so lonely? Have you been able to enjoy your own company? If your answer is yes for the first question, and no for the second, then it is likely that you’re suffering from loneliness.
Loneliness can be defined as an unpleasant emotion that drives individuals to seek social connections or intimacy from others. We have all experienced some degree of abandonment, even if only for a short period, and we remember the painful and terrifying feeling that comes with it.
Whenever we remember this feeling or anticipate it in the future, we feel the helplessness of loneliness. This can happen between a group of friends or even after sex. It can be quite confusing and put you off if you don’t know what’s going on.
Here are ways to overcome loneliness.
1. Practice self-kindness. It is important to practice self-kindness during difficult moments. It does not help to blame ourselves when we are alone. Limit painful self-talk, take care of yourself, and take a break in general. Maybe a walk in nature or a day at the spa will help keep you in a self-friendly mood.
2. Do more with people. Face-to-face social interactions tend to improve our mood and reduce depression. Activities that involve other people, such as attending religious services or playing sports, can also have positive effects on our mental health. Find ways to be closer to people.
3. Stop negative thought cycles. We can think over and over what we can do to avoid feeling so alone. We trust facts, people, or causes because we mistakenly believe that repeatedly thinking about our loneliness will help us resolve it. Unfortunately, we don’t like to get caught up in our thoughts instead of doing the tasks we need to feel better. To end these cycles of negative thoughts, we must act: do something different that inhibits these thoughts and changes our experience of the world. For example, if I feel lonely, I will go to the gym with friends or schedule lunch for the next few days. And it helps.
4. Pay attention to the important things. How can you hope to improve loneliness when you don’t know what caused it? That is hard. That is why it is useful to start paying attention to this moment. What is the experience of feeling lonely? What is the experience that makes you feel connected and feel like you belong? Identifying these moments can reduce loneliness. You can limit your participation in activities that make you feel lonely and increase your participation in activities that make you feel connected.
5. Create a vision board. Having a vision board reminds you of your goals. Sometimes, it is hard sticking to it, but having it reminds you. Once you discover the things that make you feel less lonely and more connected, it can be helpful to create a plan for what you will do, something to keep near you so you remember what you need to do to fight loneliness.
6. Connect in real life. Getting involved in real life will not be as easy as it used to be. We often use our smartphones by default. It’s easy, and it’s now culturally accepted. We can reduce our loneliness by building closer personal relationships. We do this, maintain eye contact, listen, pay attention, and decide not to interfere with our phones or other technologies.
7. Be nice to yourself. It is important to practice self-compassion when you fail at things. Remember, everyone fails, and there is no need to feel guilty. This kind of attitude will not help you reduce loneliness now or in the future. Instead, try talking to yourself in a supportive, kind, and caring manner and you will acknowledge the mistakes you made while trying to reduce loneliness and do better next time.
There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. If you find yourself being uncomfortable being alone all the time, you may be a lonely person. Feeling lonely can lead to anxiety, stress, and cognitive decline which puts one at greater risk of experiencing mental health effects. Consider using the above ways to deal with loneliness.
1. Tchiki D. Feeling Lonely? Discover 18 Ways to Overcome Loneliness.(2019).
2. Leslie B. How to lessen loneliness.(2020).
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