Do you ever experience a sense of intense loneliness?
Or, have your recent thoughts been all about isolation and sadness? If so, know that if it’s any consolation to hear this from someone who is intimately familiar with these feelings as well; there are many others out there feeling just like you.
Loneliness is a highly dynamic mental and emotional state that affects every human being at any point in their lives.
But at its core, loneliness is a feeling that we can heal. The feelings of being lonely may sometimes be overwhelming, but it’s not impossible to deal with them before they become too much.
So while you might feel really lonely right now (and yes, there are times when these feelings overwhelm us) know that things will get better again as soon as your mood changes for any reason!
Thus, today we’ll explore 17 unique strategies for overcoming/perceiving loneliness in order to help you feel less lonely and hopefully happier. Maybe by the end of the day, you’ll feel wonderful knowing that “feeling alone” is something you can finally remedy.
1. Take action to counteract feeling lonely.
Loneliness is a feeling caused by your perspective in life. When you think about the idea of loneliness, it brings up negative thoughts and feelings that can make people feel isolated from their friends or family.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case! Humans are social beings which means we need each other’s company for happiness, but sometimes there might not always be someone around when you need them most.
To counteract these periods of loneliness: take action without expecting anything back immediately – even something as simple as going outside on a nice day helps immensely with moods- try reaching out more often to loved ones if they’re nearby- also keep one ear open at all times because being alert will increase opportunities for human contact.
Here are some tips to help you actively change your loneliness around:
- Spend more time with those who really love you. Often times we have people in our lives that really love us, but work and obligations can get in the way. So if you are feeling lonely, now is really the best time to spend more time with those you care about and those who have your best interest at heart.
- Spend time with your community by volunteering and helping out. Spending time serving others by being the ‘giver’ and not the receiver is actually benefiting you more than you think. Simply put, the more we give, the happier we feel. Volunteering increases self-confidence and that self-confidence could be all you need to banish those lonely feelings for good.
- Find a support group or a group of like-minded people who all have the same goal in mind. Groups like fitness, health & food, artistic hobbies will help you be creative with other people and give you the opportunity to make new friends.
- Be more open to the kindness of others. Often times when we are feeling lonely and down, our perception can overlook the simple gestures and kindness that are all around us. For those moments that you do recognize the kindness from others, truly be thankful for it, and show appreciation so you can put those thankful thoughts out into the world to receive even more kindness from others.
2. Discover the root cause of your loneliness.
Loneliness is defined as the feeling of isolation or emptiness, usually resulting from not having anyone to share oneself with. It can be a result of trauma in one’s past that has never been processed and accepted for what it really was.
By acknowledging this root cause within you it will allow you to truly free yourself of whatever keeps holding you back- whether it memories where we have failed ourselves or others, negative beliefs about who we are inside our own skin, fear coming out from anything such as rejection etc.
Honesty towards oneself (easier said than done), will pave the way for an authentic life without any barriers between us and those around us when they come into play.
Here are some root causes of Loneliness to consider:
- Social phobia: Social phobia is not shyness. Shy people normally find other shy people to hang out with or are glad to be quieter community members. People with social phobia, on the other hand, have an unfounded perception/belief that they are being judged and judged negatively while they are with others.
- Depression: Perhaps you are genuinely depressed and that making an appointment at your mental health center would be a good idea, to helping you solve the root of your loneliness.
- Extreme sensitivity: The temperament of some people can be much more sensitive than others. They are easily moved by the beauty and easily affected by human kindness. Similarly, they are just as easily hurt and confused when someone is thoughtless or disrespectful or is not able to give them enough time. If that’s you, try to seek ways to include compassion for your sensitivity. And you may be being too hard on yourself.
- Negative thinking style: If your thinking style is severely negative, and your negative thinking patterns include jumping to conclusions, catastrophizing, and overgeneralization, then actively working to change your thinking could help solve the root of your loneliness. But remember that changing your thinking takes time, it’s just like building a muscle.
3. Learn a unique coping technique, such as treating your loneliness like hunger.
Now, what about those times when you’re truly alone and searching for a perfect coping mechanism that you can use immediately regardless of where or who with?
Similarly to how you would handle it if your stomach is growling. And when do people usually eat in this scenario? Hopefully, they are eating something!
Well, the same applies if you change your perspective on loneliness because as it comes down to both body and mind interacting together (both giving off warning signals), sometimes deep feelings of loneliness may be an indication from either side that we need some social contact; whether through affection or connection.
When you find yourself in these moments, try to utilize your connections with people, whether that means sending a tweet to make someone feel good or calling someone on the phone. If you lack those sorts of relationships in life, take matters into your own hands and express yourself anonymously online. Once you do, you should feel fulfilled and satisfied.
4. Don’t deflect in conversations.
When you deflect, your thoughts and feelings are not equally shared or participatory in a dialogue. This makes genuine interactions with others more complicated because it becomes difficult to know how someone truly feels about something when they don’t speak up for themselves.
For example, if an individual self-deflects while interacting with another person then the other person will eventually withdraw from that relationship as he/she notices their partner or friend is too afraid of being vulnerable enough to engage with them, even though this means losing out on potential connections.
Reconnect with your peers and friends by being vulnerable. If you feel unsafe, start small to test the waters. You might be surprised at how much better it feels towards changing your loneliness around!
5. Don’t change yourself to “fit in” — it will never work.
Given the fact that there are over 16 distinct personality types in this world, you must hear this if you really want everyone to like you because you will not be liked by everyone!
It’s unfortunate but true, however, keep in mind that attempting to improve oneself in order to fit in can serve you if you are staying true to who you are. If not, though, it will only serve as a mask and exacerbate your isolation from those around you.
6. Stop being a people pleaser.
Molding yourself for others to perceive us a certain way, is what the last tip on “fitting in” was all about.
Now taking it one step further, people-pleasing is another form of inauthentic behavior. When you are being fake towards yourself for the sole purpose of pleasing others, it’s not just a personal issue; you may subconsciously believe that people think they’re better than you and thus have more reasons to feel lonely.
That’s why it’s important not only to be mindful about what we do with ourselves but how our actions affect other people too – including those who could make us feel lonelier as a result!
7. The universe may also be speaking to you through your loneliness.
Imagine how we are connected to the universe and that this connection is constantly speaking with us. It’s not always easy being alone, but it can be a time of enlightenment when you feel lost in your own thoughts. Listen closely because loneliness may just be trying to tell you something important about yourself or your life!
8. Find a shared purpose with others.
Neel Burton M.D of psychologytoday.com says that “sometimes, feeling lonely means you need to take a moment and think about what it is that makes you feel satisfied in your life rather than spending more time with people without a shared purpose or avoiding them altogether.”
This may sound counterintuitive but according to Neel, “having a shared purpose” will help build friendships because when we have something in common – like the same vision for our lives or things we hope will happen someday- this creates an instant bond between us which helps grow into stronger relationships over time.
Moreover, Jacqueline Olds, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University also told The Lonely Society (an in-depth study on loneliness), that if you join a group that has a shared purpose or goal in mind, you will eventually make a friend of it.
It’s time to flex those skills and talents you have been gifted with if this resonates with you. You can always change things around and it’s never too late to start a new life!
9. Seek joy and happiness.
Don’t let loneliness steal your joy! As tempting as it is to believe that we are limited by our circumstances and never feel happy when feeling lonely, the power of being alone can give us perspective on what’s really important in life.
First, it can give you the power to uncover any negative thoughts or feelings you associate with this experience so they don’t continue stealing your happiness. Second, you can find small ways each day to make yourself happier (nice text messages to and from friends, singing along with a favorite song) or implementing an effective self-care routine like going for a walk outside every morning before work.
And even though a single joyful moment on its own may not lead to long-lasting happiness — patterns of it certainly can. Happiness is a choice you can make without anyone’s approval and one that does not require any specific circumstances or life experience, but rather just your decision to be happy right now, in the moment.
10. Face your fears.
People often feel alone and insecure when the thing they are most scared of is what they will have to go through. It can even result in being afraid to be by yourself because you’ve developed a fear for it.
However, if you develop your capacity for self-company (enjoying time spent with just yourself) and become more tolerant towards all that arises during day-to-day life, then loneliness could turn out not as bad after all!
Developing the capacity to be alone well (enjoying your own personal company) and having a greater tolerance with your experience — the emotional, cognitive, visceral, imaginative, and sensory moment-to-moment arisings that constitute your present moments, you will find that your loneliness could in fact, just be fear and worry.
The bottom line, pursue what you are meant to pursue in life — without fear of being alone or without fear of the illusion of fear itself.
11. Make eye contact more often.
With the advent of texting and emailing, it is easy to wonder if people are more disconnected these days. However, while we may not have as much face-to-face interaction with others thanks to technology like your phone or laptop screen that can do a lot magically for us; eye contact still has its place in how we feel connected with those around us – even strangers on the train!
Studies show that small windows of eye contact will help make you feel less alone by making both parties involved feel just a little bit closer together. Give this simple gesture (eye gazing at someone) a try today and see what happens when you get off work feeling a little better than before because you made one person’s day brighter too!
12. Remind yourself that “you are enough”.
The underlying reason why all humans need to feel connected to one another is that the opposite of feeling connected can make us feel SO removed. Since loneliness is actually a form of punishment used by packs in the wild (and believe it or not, some societies), we can take on those feelings and self-punish ourselves as if they are deserved. When in actuality, this should never be our mindset at all!
But there is a way out of this mindset! There is a revolutionary way to transform your entire life in just one moment. It’s as easy as flipping the script on yourself. Whenever you’re feeling low about who you are, take that insecurity and flip it by reminding yourself of all those things that make YOU enough–the good qualities you possess, the talents God has given you to show off with pride!
Sometimes we feel so lonely, there’s nowhere left to turn. But if you just keep looking up and believe that “you” can be enough for anything then the loneliness will disappear entirely.
13. Quality supersedes everything.
It’s a sad truth that as we age and move into different phases of life, friends may come in waves. It can be tough to maintain friendships with the same numbers when people have children or get married because it is less convenient for everyone involved. But don’t fret!
If you find yourself losing your number of close connections, start looking out for new individuals who are quality-conscious instead of quantity-centered like most humans tend to do nowadays. You owe it not only to those around you but also YOURSELF — at the end of the day, high-quality human relationships will always supersede any amount countable by mere fingers on both hands.
14. Let your walls down.
You may have all of the best intentions and everything that it takes to be there for the people in your life, but if you don’t know how to engage with people on an emotional level then they will leave feeling just as disconnected when they arrived.
For this reason, letting your walls down and being open on an emotional level in order to provide a powerful connection may be much more effective than simply engaging them by listening or crying alongside them.
Being mindful and emotionally invested in the people you care about is key to creating a powerful connection. While there are many ways of connecting with others, it’s essential to find what works best for you because different methods work better depending on who you’re talking to. For example, it’s not about what your partner loves, but how they feel when interacting with you, and letting your walls down, when it’s safe to do so, can help you enhance more meaningful connections with others.
15. Don’t be non-existent online.
Should you be an introvert or a private person, the last thing that you want to do is a post about your life on social media. But saying nothing can often lead to isolation and loneliness as well! You’re in control of what information that you give out and who it goes too so don’t let a personal trait dictate how YOU feel.
As hard as it may be, it’s necessary to make friends that don’t end up being regrets. Finding the perfect people is tough and you’ll always have a fear of rejection but remember there are plenty more out there who would love your company! Try opening yourself up by commenting on some of their posts or staying connected with them through Snapchat so they know what kind of person you are- if not for anything else then just getting to know each other better.
16. Loneliness plagues everybody.
Loneliness is a state of being that plagues the majority of us, and it can be tough to deal with at times. There’s nothing wrong or strange about feeling lonely more often than not, as every individual on this planet will experience these feelings from time to time.
Know that there are others who share your loneliness, too; you’re in good company! If you don’t gel well with certain people or feel outcasted by them, know that’s okay for now– but only if you work towards changing how things are internally within yourself first so you won’t have such an intense reaction when faced with external adversity again later down the line.
You deserve happiness just like everyone else does, and soon enough, those negative thoughts will fade away.
17. Seek out clinical help.
Meeting with a mental health specialist is one of the most helpful steps you can take to resolve depression and underlying issues that may be contributing to your loneliness. A therapist will help you analyze what’s causing these sensations, allowing for an in-depth discussion about some other problems related to isolation as well.
That way, reaching out and speaking up during this time means everything – which is why it pays off so much when we seek support from seasoned specialists who know how best they can help us through our personal healing process!
There you have it! Loneliness can be turned around. Start meeting new people, start trying new things (as often as possible), make sure the people that you are hanging out with all share a common purpose or values, and know YOU ARE ENOUGH*.* You’ve always been enough and if a change is what you seek then I am certain that turning your life around will not be an impossible feat for someone like yourself.
Check out, 8 Excuses Standing In The Way Of Your Dreams (& How To Fix It!), next!
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