During the past years, I’ve read quite a bunch of studies about human psychology and the way we do things we do. One of the most interesting and, frankly, quite sad facts is that more and more people tend to emerge into feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Many of us experience a feeling of abandonment or rejection sometimes… And just as many people feel that way every day. Life is unpredictable and it’s not unusual to find yourself in a situation where you’re living alone, far away from your family, grieving the loss of someone close or struggling to find a partner / friend / soulmate who understands you.
And you know what is the first thing lonely people do? They isolate even more in their personal, special, “safe” place, which, of course, creates even more loneliness.
Here’s a list of positive ways to deal with loneliness, that help me every time when I feel lonely myself.
Understand Your Loneliness
The first step in dealing with loneliness is understanding it. Ask yourself what triggers this feeling of being lonely – it might be a particular human connection, missing intimacy or telling others about your personal experiences. You might feel lonely simply because you miss hanging out with people. At the same time, it’s possible to feel lonely because you have lost the connection with your inner self too.
So the first positive way to deal with loneliness is looking it in the eye and accepting it as a part of your current situation. Accepting here doesn’t mean “surrendering” to the situation forever and not trying to change anything… But rather accepting the fact that this is how you feel right now and telling yourself that it’s ok to feel negative emotions, even if they are unpleasant.
Emotions are meant to be felt – all of them. If you try to push them away, they only get stronger with time or hide somewhere inside your body until it can’t take it anymore and starts to manifest those unfelt emotions through various physical and psychological aches. It’s better to let yourself feel those emotions, notice them, accept them, let them be around for a while, forgive yourself for feeling like that… Because this is what makes those negative emotions lose their power.
Find a Way To Enjoy Your Own Company
Enjoying the time spent in your own company is really beneficial for your mental health, and it’s also a positive way to deal with loneliness.
I know, this sounds counterintuitive… But once you find out that being alone can actually be fun and enjoyable, it gets easier in times when you feel lonely.
Some of the best ways to enjoy your own company are through books, journaling, and meditation.
Reading self-improvement or mental health books allows you to explore your inner world, work on improving it, make yourself stronger and even happier. Journaling is a perfect way to write all those gloomy thoughts down, release all the weight, and help yourself find a more positive view of everything that is happening in your life, including loneliness. Here are a few to try in lonely times:
And meditation is just a perfect ritual to have with yourself, while also helping you to feel better & more balanced. You can even find guided meditations specifically for loneliness on Youtube.
Seek New Friendships & Be Patient In The Process
Setting up new friendships takes time. If you are struggling with feelings of loneliness, you should commit to meeting new people and at the same time – allow some time for the new relationships to set in.
In order to reconnect with people faster, seek the company of those that have similar interests to yours. The easiest way to do this is by joining a local class or group, but if feel too overwhelmed of joining an activity group, you might find it comforting to enroll in some pleasant activities on your own.
As an example, explore your city and ask for guidance if you feel lost. You will see how easily you will connect with strangers that offer you help. Or go jogging in your favorite park – it is a great way of finding people with similar interests and you might even end up with a workout buddy.
In a nutshell, you have to create opportunities to meet new people because you can’t meet anyone new at home.
And if you don’t feel ready for ANY of it yet, you can start with talking to people online. I personally love Reddit app for this (most of the people there are very well educated). There are so many different subreddits and discussions to join that I almost guarantee you will find some like-minded people there!
Bonus Tip: Limit Your Social Media
I really recommend avoiding too much time on social media or your smartphone, especially on Facebook and Instagram. Too many hours spent there can promote feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and separation from others. It is true that we can interact with anyone online… Yet it can’t fully replace person-to-person communication.
Always remember that dealing with loneliness is a matter of perception and, of course, of how you encourage positive thoughts to appear in your mind. And while loneliness is unpleasant, it’s not permanent. You can rebuild connections and create new relationships with a little time, effort and positive attitude.
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