Let’s agree, we all get lonely at one time or another. In fact, loneliness is a normal reaction to feeling disconnected from others, either physically, or emotionally or both. This does not mean it is an easy emotion to live with. And sometimes, loneliness can be a trigger for other mental issues like worry and depression. A big degree of it is common around the holiday season, Valentine’s Day, and during times of extreme stress. People feel lonely for a number of reasons including intentional isolation, fear to open up to new people, general social awkwardness, and even some although surrounded by people, may still feel lonely because they lack meaningful connections with those people. Learning how to cope and deal with loneliness is an important skill that can greatly improve the quality of one’s life.
We sometimes can feel a bout of loneliness. But the good news is that loneliness does not have to count as your reality forever.
You see, sometimes people ask me “what inspires and drives my passion to blog and write these articles, and the truth is I sometimes write, with the idea that someone out there might need to hear what am saying, it could save someone’s situation and remind them that they are not alone and that someone out there cares, though they may not know them in person or may even never meet. You see this thing of writing in some way is like therapy, and envisioning you reading this and may maybe make you feel a little better…well, that makes me feel a little better, too.
After my amateur research, was able to find out a few steps or habits you and I could adopt so as to mitigate your feelings of loneliness and hopefully, begin to feel a deeper sense of wholeness and live a fulfilled one. Dealing with loneliness can take many forms, including reconnecting with your old relations and family, learning to meet new people, adopting new hobbies, among other hacks. So, read on so as to find out more ways of how to go about with dealing with loneliness.
First and foremost: it is very important to understand your feelings of loneliness. Identify the reason(s) as to why you are feeling lonely. In order to make changes that will truly help you. You will need to take off some time to figure out why you are feeling lonely. Could it be that you do not have enough friends so you can go out and make more friends? You may still feel lonely even after making that many new friends, which could be as a result of having too many friends and lack of meaningful connections with most of them. Asking yourself questions like “When do I feel the loneliest, do certain people make me feel lonelier when I am around them, how long have I been feeling this way and What does this feeling of loneliness want me to do? are very helpful when questioning your feelings. Having done this personal questioning, it is very good that you start answering to yourself follow up questions like: “I feel lonely when………”, I feel lonely because….”, when did I first start feeling lonely and how long have I felt this way?”. The above exercise helps you track your feelings and helps you question your feelings and therefore allows you heal yourself, slowly but surely.
Secondly, I got to find out that: realizing that you are not alone is also a great remedy. Remember when I explained to you at the start that being lonely is part of being human? And that most people sometimes go through it, though the capacities differ. So, reaching out to a friend or family member and talking to them about how you are feeling can come in handy. It could be your workmate, a counselor or even a trusted friend. This process of reaching out and sharing with someone will help you see that you are not alone.
Sometimes the cause of fear of being alone is caused by us being too self-conscious, fear of going to parties solo or eating by ourselves in restaurants, without company, we feel incomplete. We wonder what’s wrong with us. We feel insecure and inferior and therefore makes it hard for us to enjoy our own company. This brings us to Hack Number Three, which is; Reach out and help someone else. Even as you are trying to meet your own needs for support and belonging, you might consider shifting some of your energy towards others. Rather than focusing on how people are not there for you and waiting on them to be there for you, perhaps you can be there for someone else. Think about the people in your life who could use some encouragement and attention. Could you take a little time off just to let them know that they matter to you and that are thinking about them? And psychology has it that when feeling alone, or even depressed, the act of reaching out to someone else and offering a helping hand helps you in some way since this channels and diverts your own thoughts from how you are feeling and concentrates all your mind on the person you are helping. You should try it someday and see how amazing the results will be.
It is also important that you move forward, instead of dwelling on how alone you feel, instead do things to get your mind off your loneliness. Take a walk, ride a bike, try working out, read a book, anything to keep you engaged. Do not hesitate to explore activities and cultivate new hobbies. All in all, don’t be afraid of trying out new things. Having a vast experience in such can help you expand your social circles, as you are most likely to meet new people who might have similar interests just like you do. All I am exhausting is the fact that keeping yourself busy is good for your mental health, as having down time is what causes feelings of loneliness to creep in, therefore throw yourself into work or extracurricular activities.
You can also use your loneliness time as an opportunity to learn a new skill as taking off time to indulge in a new hobby can help you to overcome feelings of loneliness, even if you are doing the hobby by yourself. You could decide to learn how to draw, an instrument, or how to dance. Going out to pursue these skills may help you meet new people but will also give you a creative outlet for your feelings; to turn your loneliness into something beautiful.
Find volunteer opportunities. This is similar to the third hack I shared above. Volunteering helps you realize purpose, and gives you something to live for.
Nurture existing relationships. This means that you take off time to reconnect with the people you once loved or connected with when they feel distant. You could do this by inviting them out for lunch, scheduling time to call or visit them, or even using social media to reconnect those you have lost touch with due to time or distance.
Got any more ways you know of that one can practice to cope with loneliness? Kindly share them in the comments section. Tweet me your thoughts on Twitter: @Mugibson. Till then. Stay blessed.