Ways to Overcome Loneliness

22.11.2018

Being single is great, except for those moments when you feel extremely lonely and are ready to give everything to exchange your freedom for someone next to you. However, loneliness normally doesn’t ask you whether you’re in a relationship or on your own. It just overwhelms you, and you can do nothing about it. Or can you?

Ways to Overcome Loneliness

A lot of people are scared of loneliness. It seems that it’s impossible to feel lonely these days, as the Internet offers many ways for people to connect. Yet the effects of virtual communication are quite the contrary. 30% of people suffer from emotional isolation. Loneliness has been recognized as the disease of the 21st century. It can be situational, like the one some people experience on a rainy day, and persistent, when it lasts for a long period of time. Each person feels loneliness in their own way.

Symptoms of loneliness

There are various types of loneliness. The feeling experienced by a widow that lost her beloved husband and the feeling experienced by a boy who stays home isolated from friends due to a cold are quite different in intensity. What causes loneliness? It happens when your need for communication and support is not satisfied, and you perceive it as a tragedy. Usually, we begin to feel lonely when we lose the connection with someone dear to us. It can be a breakup, a divorce, loss of a job, due to which we stop interacting with people that were close to us before. This contrast between what we had then and what we have now is very painful. We look at happy people and realize that we can’t be like them. This feeling of alienation causes loneliness.

Loneliness is a passive condition. You actually impose it on yourself. It begins to aggravate when you do nothing to deal with it. You hope that it will disappear someday, but, in fact, it seizes you even tighter. How to know for sure that the feeling you’re overwhelmed with is actually loneliness? Check out the following symptoms:

- You think no one loves you.

- You ask yourself, “Who will want somebody like me?”

- You either avoid communication or want to be among people and communicate with them, but you are not able to establish deep connections.

- You feel abandoned, unattractive to others, sad, miserable, melancholic, devastated, unprotected, detached, hopeless, anxious.

- You think your life is senseless.

- Your sleep is poor, you feel fatigue, you have some kind of addiction (shopping, watching series).

There is even the Loneliness Scale that can help you determine how lonely you are.

Dealing with Loneliness: 9 Steps to Overcome Loneliness

1. Realize that loneliness is just a feeling.

You should distinguish between social isolation, which is the indicator of how often you interact with people, and loneliness, which is your subjective assessment of your social ties and relationships. You may feel lonely with your friends, at a family dinner, or during sex with your partner. At the same time, you may feel harmonious and happy in the middle of the field, far away from people. Loneliness is an emotion, along with fear and hatred, so it means you can take it under control. It’s your attitude, in the first place. You generated it, and it’s you who can deal with it.

2. Don’t think about your losses, focus on your self-destructive thoughts.

The root of the problem is in your inner attitude. That’s why you should start from sorting out your thoughts. Once you’ve realized that your thoughts are destructive, stop them. Learn to think positive, and very soon you will get into the habit of it. Overcoming loneliness is all about finding inner peace. As soon as you reestablish harmony within yourself, you’ll see that the feeling of loneliness is gone.

3. Make a plan to fight loneliness.

The most important step is to admit that you’re under the influence of loneliness. You created it yourself, and now you need to devise a step-by-step strategy of dealing with loneliness. Analyze your thoughts and see what you can do about them. Are you afraid of being rejected? Do you think you’ll never find someone like your ex? It’s time to get rid of your fears. Think what habits prevent you from fighting your loneliness. Start small and know what your next step will be. If needed, consult a professional or ask a close friend for help.

4. Focus on the needs and feelings of others.

You think you’re the loneliest and the most miserable person in the world. Don’t be so selfish. There are people who feel much worse than you. Do you know what is to be 75 and live far away from your children and grandchildren all alone? Can you imagine what it’s like to do your term in a prison solitary cell? You begin to look at your problem at a different angle when you think about other people’s situations.

5. Find people with a similar problem.

Who could understand you better than a person who’s been through the same situation or experienced the same feeling? That is why there are meetings for alcohol and drug addicts who share their experiences and ways to overcome their addiction. You can easily find people who suffer from loneliness on special forums. It’s very encouraging to find out that there are people out there with similar worries. After reading their symptoms and stories, you may realize that your loneliness is not a problem at all. Also, you can tell your story and ask the fellows what to do to overcome loneliness.

6. Say ‘yes’ to meetings with other people.How to deal with loneliness

When your friends suggest you go out, agree to their offer. Complaining that you’re lonely and living the life of a hermit, you’ll hardly get a lot of social contacts one day. Humans are social creatures. We feel more comfortable when we’re among the alike. Since it is the quality of social contacts, not their quantity that matters, you need to work on the existing relationships. Be with your family more often, feel their love and support. Meet with friends. Try to give more to receive more.

7. Be curious.

When your brain isn’t busy with anything, a lot of “needless” thoughts pop up in your head. That’s why you should give it healthy food for thought. Read an interesting book, find a new hobby, attend some master class. There are so many things to try your hand at. When you get some new experience, you become an interesting person for others, and they get drawn to you. Also, show interest in other people, be sincerely curious about their lives.

8. Be kind to others.

Generally, people try to avoid contacts with gloomy, aloof, and reserved individuals. When you’re lonely, you tend to blame others for it. In fact, it’s just the feeling inside you that may not have a particular cause. This is what you’ve devised yourself. One of the ways of how not to feel lonely is to kill it with kindness. You see, being kind to people is very rewarding. When you use kindness purposefully, you get a lot in return. Just remember what prophets and messiahs do

9. Remember the stoicism philosophy.

Want to know how not to be lonely? Be sensible. Your reason and wisdom should dominate your weaknesses. No matter what emotional sufferings loneliness causes in you, always remember that you are stronger than that. Keep searching for the people with whom you feel comfortable and fulfilled. If one attempt ends in failure, don’t give up. Try your luck elsewhere until you finally get what you’re looking for.

Tips to overcome loneliness

The moment you realize that no one can fight your loneliness but you, begin active actions. Check out some expert tips to overcome loneliness.

How to deal with loneliness:

Travel.

Traveling is one of the best remedies for loneliness. Even if you go on a trip solo, it’s very hard to feel lonely, as you’re constantly surrounded by people. Organized group trips can be an excellent choice too. New impressions fill your heart with positive emotions, your mind becomes clear, and you become more open to people.

Volunteer.

The best way to get distracted from your emotional solitude is to shift your focus to people who need your help. You begin to think about the needs of others and stop pitying yourself. It very rewarding to feel needed and realize that your help makes at least one person happier.

Enroll in some courses.

Children rarely feel lonely, because they are constantly in a group of peers at school. Why don’t you become a part of some group in your adulthood? There are a lot of opportunities for adults: drama schools, dance classes, improv clubs, language courses. You kill two birds with one stone – you get a hobby and spend time with like-minded people.

• Forget the Internet, go outside.

Online communication contributes to social isolation. That’s why minimize it and have more face time. Go for a walk, watch people, realize how diverse they are and how amazing it is. Attend some seminar or conference. Go to the theater, visit a museum or an exhibition. Apart from winding down, you’ll get an opportunity to meet some interesting people.

Be in touch with your family.

Visit your parents – this will lift your spirits and let you feel needed and loved. Your nearest and dearest love you unconditionally and support endlessly. Being with your family has a very positive effect on your emotional state. So, if you feel lonely, call on your parents.

How to not feel lonely Read or write.

Do you have a diary? It’s a good idea to keep one if you want to sort out your thoughts. Just pour them down on the paper. Many poets were inspired by their loneliness, and this resulted in their marvelous poetry. Take a pen and write down your plans for the future or write whatever comes to your mind. Reading a book is a good way how to deal with loneliness as well.

Try new hobbies.

Did you want to learn to play some musical instrument when you were a teenager? Why not fulfill your dream now? Or maybe you want to improve your cooking skills? Engaging in something new is always beneficial to your mental health. Your brain craves for novelty, so don’t hesitate – try your hand at something new. If it turns out to be not down your alley, try another.

Get a pet.

People who live alone and feel a bit isolated are often advised to get a pet. Adopt a cat or a dog from a shelter. The idea is that you have someone to care for will prevent you from destructive thoughts about your loneliness. You’re not alone. Someone is waiting for you when you come home from work.

Don’t get upset if loneliness is still there even if you go out often, have an exciting hobby, and travel from time to time. This feeling will take a back seat gradually, it will go down the spiral, you just need to give an impetus. You should understand one thing: every person feels lonely at times. It’s like being angry or feeling disappointed – it happens. But if you realize that this feeling overwhelmed you and you want to get rid of it, you will. Drive away poisonous thoughts, don’t focus on this feeling, remember that it’s just a feeling, not a condition. Only intensive work will help you suppress this feeling and eventually eliminate it.

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