Have you recently experienced an intense sense of loneliness?
If this is the case, loneliness is a highly dynamic mental and emotional state that affects every human being at any point in their lives.
And while it is sometimes true that we can mostly only heal loneliness until we are overwhelmed with feelings of loneliness, this is not always the case (at its very core).
However, how can we go about it? How can we halt such sad thoughts in their tracks and conquer the depression symptoms we experience from time to time and often too frequently?
Seeing that everybody has experienced the agony of loneliness, it’s only fair to assume that it’s an unavoidable emotion we’ll inevitably experience.
Thus, today we’ll explore 17 special strategies for overcoming/perceiving loneliness in order to help you feel less lonely and hopefully happier.
And, by the end of the day, it’ll feel wonderful to realize that “feeling alone” is something you can finally remedy.
1. Loneliness (at its core) is just a feeling — take action to counteract that feeling.
Although many people have excellent social skills and friends, they, too, experience periods of loneliness.
Thus, the first thing to understand about loneliness is that it is merely a sensation. It is your experience that is causing you to feel alone, and that is simply how you are perceiving your life.
However, you can quickly alter it!
A useful fact to remember regarding our emotions is that they are often reflected by our perceptions and how we talk about them. To begin feeling less lonely, begin by shifting your attitude about your role in life and take ACTION!
Here are some tips to help you actively change your loneliness around:
- There are many ways to help you cope with loneliness. You can 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 kindness from 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. Loneliness can also help you acknowledge the root cause from within so you can release it and finally be free from what’s holding you back.
When it comes to loneliness, such emotions can persist because the source of trauma or memory (from the past) was not completely accepted or understood.
Thus, the second path to alleviate loneliness is to acknowledge the root cause from within, allowing you to truly be free of whatever is keeping you back.
So in order to effect change, be mindful of it. That requires acknowledging the ‘lonely feelings’ that reside inside you and devoting time to introspection.
Write down what you believe these lonely feelings are actually pointed at and be prepared to confront something head-on regardless of the situation you find yourself in.
In a world full of people, there are those that feel more alone than others; thus, while you are alone, it is the right time to search inside and discover what is really limiting you.
Mostly, what is keeping you back is the root cause, therefore, when we all investigate how these emotions might be entering the soul at such a profound degree, we’ll have a better chance at curing these unsettling feelings.
Here are some root causes of Loneliness:
- You could be experiencing genuine social phobia: Social phobia is not shyness. Shy people normally find other shy people to hang out with or are glad to be a quieter community member. 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.
- You could be experiencing 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.
- Your temperament could be extremely sensitive: The temperament of some people can be much more sensitive than others. They are easily moved by 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.
- You may need to understand your 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.
Here are some benefits of solving the root cause of loneliness:
- Solving the root tackles the problem head-on and can change a situation around instantly.
- Your confidence will be boosted because the weight of the burden has been lifted and your thoughts of shame have been healed that surround your loneliness.
- You will have less anxiety around the feelings associated with feeling lonely because you are aware of what they truly mean.
- You will be able to enjoy life’s simple pleasures a lot more and feel less alone (which is the best thing!).
- You’ll feel more secure in yourself and your environment.
3. Learn a unique coping technique, such as treating your loneliness like hunger.
Now, what about those times where you’re truly alone and searching for a perfect coping mechanism that you can use immediately regardless of where you are?
You should handle it similarly to how you would if you were starving. And what do you do while you’re truly hungry? Hopefully, you eat!
Thus, the following tip would attempt to change your perspective on loneliness because as it comes to the body and mind, they are always interacting, and sometimes, when we experience deep loneliness, it is a warning (from both the body and mind) that we need some social contact, affection, or connection.
That means that the next time you’re feeling lonely, reach out to someone — anyone!
Send a tweet, make a phone call, or do something else that can make you feel happy at that moment (similar to eating), and see how you feel immediately afterward.
Utilize your connections (especially during those lonely moments), and if you lack connections, express your feelings anonymously on Quora or YouTube.
If you have done that, you should feel fulfilled and satisfied, as everyone desires to be understood and respected as a human being.
4. You could be self-deflecting to not feel vulnerable.
Are you someone who excels at pretending that all is perfect all of the time?
If this is the case, there are a lot of individuals who do this unknowingly and deflecting attention away from you and onto others makes interaction difficult.
Further, here is the concept of deflection: to prevent (something, for example, a question) from influencing or being aimed at an individual or object.
When you deflect, you are not equally sharing or participating in a dialogue, which makes genuine interaction with someone more complicated and difficult to achieve.
Therefore, if you self-deflect while interacting with others, the individuals in your life will gradually notice and know that you are too afraid to engage with them, and they will eventually withdraw.
Avoid deflecting and start becoming more vulnerable with others in a constructive manner, of course, when you feel it’s safe to do so and your feelings of connection should start to feel right again.
5. Feeling lonely will teach you that changing yourself to ‘fit in‘ 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 but if you are not staying true to yourself, it can only serve to exacerbate your isolation.
Being someone else and conforming to a certain method of thinking, living, and being is the polar opposite to what the loneliness feelings are attempting to tell you. In fact, if you have to change to not be alone, then loneliness is a great thing to have in your life right now!
6. If you stop being a people pleaser you also could stop feeling lonely.
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 way that could be compounding your lonely feelings as a result.
When you are being inauthentic to yourself for the sole purpose to please others, you are subconsciously thinking (without even realizing it) that you are beneath them.
Here’s the thing, loneliness loves those kinds of thoughts and feelings because it’s finding more reasons to feel even lonelier.
So don’t let that belief (that you are less than other people) in.
You are beneath no one!
By pleasing others above your needs, you are actively telling yourself that you deserve less in life.
In doing so, that harbors a great plethora of feelings that result in, you guessed it, feeling really lonely. And being aware of this can help you change it!
7. The universe may also be speaking to you through your loneliness.
If you are feeling alone right now (in this very moment), know that that’s just also the world and the universe signaling to you that something profound needs to change.
You are doing something in your life that you shouldn’t be involved with or you are being given an opportunity to look within (discovering the root in tip #2) to take whatever information you find and feel in order to change it.
So if you have a hunch of what that signal is (because you most likely do), then right now is the best time to take the necessary steps to improve upon it.
Let something go if you have to and embrace it with grace. We have a whole universe within us and that universe speaks to us by how we feel.
Listen and pay close attention, it most usually has something really profound to tell you!
8. You might not be deprived of any human interaction at all.
According to Neel Burton M.D of psychologytoday.com, sometimes your feeling of loneliness doesn’t often even mean that you need to surround yourself with others.
A lot of people feel that they are deprived of human connection (at times when they are feeling lonely) but it could really stem from having a lack of a shared purpose with others.
A shared purpose or shared vision is what you and the other members in your life want to create or accomplish as a whole. And a shared purpose or a common interest really does build a great foundation for a friendship to bloom and grow from.
Jacqueline Olds, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University told The Lonely Society if you join a group that has a shared purpose, you will eventually make a friend of it.
On the other hand, if you have lost your purpose or vision in life, this could be another reason why you are feeling lonely.
It could also mean that you may have grown out of your job or the place you are living in, you could have even outgrown your circle of friends if your shared purpose has changed or vise versa.
Moreover, you might not be flexing the 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 over!
9. The alternative to feeling lonely can actually bring you joy (if you seek joy and happiness more often).
Don’t think that you are limited to your circumstances and that you’ll never feel happy when you are feeling lonely because the power of loneliness really can give you the perspective you need to turn just about anything around.
But in order to do that, you first must uncover what is stealing your joy. Then with that knowledge, seek joy and happiness by doing small things that will make you feel great on a daily basis.
And even though a joyful moment on its own may not lead to long-lasting happiness –patterns of it certainly can.
Positive emotions will help you feel open-minded, which ultimately will help you think more creatively and productively.
So if you already know what needs to change and what puts a smile on your face, then try implementing that immediately by searching for instant alternatives that’ll make you feel happy and that’ll bring you more joy in life.
Allow for change, call for change and you’ll be surprised when it appears for you just when you need it most.
Furthermore, if you haven’t got a clue on what to change, you’ll recognize it if you dread going, seeing, and doing anything in your life right now.
10. Finding out what are you most afraid of is a sure way to combat feeling lonely quickly.
Oftentimes what makes us feel insecure and really lonely is what we are most fearful of!
And taking that a little bit further, it could even result in being afraid to — be alone!
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 moment.
You will find that your loneliness could in fact, just be fear and worry. Or in other situations, it could be fear of other things that bring you out of the present moment.
Either way, finding out what are you most afraid of is a sure way to combat feeling lonely.
So are you fearful of being alone? Are you fearful of being judged? Are you staying paralyzed with those thoughts of loneliness because you’ve never tried anything new?
You’ll never know unless you try and maybe you’re really just yearning to get out there and pursue what you are meant to pursue in life — without fear of being alone or without fear of the illusion of fear itself.
11. Making eye contact more often is another small way to feel connected.
Happily, there are some simple things, to start, that may help us all leverage a little loneliness — make eye contact.
Studies show that even a small window of eye contact can make you feel less alone. That even making intentional eye contact (even with a stranger) is a warm gesture that has the power to make both parties feel just a little bit closer to one another.
Try testing it out and see if this uplifts your spirits a little.
12. Your loneliness has the power to remind you that you are enough.
The underlying reason why all humans need to feel connected to one another is that the opposite of feeling connected to our society and/or to others can make us feel SO removed.
By default, it can give us the belief that we are not enough.
Since loneliness is actually a form of punishment used by packs in the wild (and believe it or not in some societies), we can take that the wrong way as self-punishment towards ourselves.
When we take on those feelings of punishment, we also take on the belief that we are not enough. When in actuality, we really shouldn’t be thinking that way at all.
Learn to flip the script and constantly remind yourself that you are enough on a daily basis. Your whole perspective can shift in a moment when you remind yourself that you are enough.
13. Loneliness can teach you that quality supersedes everything.
If you find that your number of friends is dwindling (especially as you get older), then it’s time to start seeking new friendships that are of good quality.
Because at the end of the day, it’s NOT about the number of friends or how many connections you have, but more importantly, that you have the right friends that have your back when you need it most.
That means letting go of what you previously thought was a ‘good friend’ and start accepting different people in your world without judgment — quality will always supersede quantity in almost every interpersonal relationship you have.
14. Don’t be so guarded & let your walls down.
You may not aware of it, but you may have certain walls up that signals that you don’t trust people. And in doing so, you may not be giving enough information that allows you to feel vulnerable with others.
Let’s face it, even if you’re an excellent listener or a great shoulder to cry on, it’s still not the same if it’s hard for people to really connect with you.
Try letting your walls down. You can do this by opening up more, being relaxed and more vulnerable, and being yourself when you feel it’s safe to do so.
15. Loneliness can remind you to have a healthy give/take balance with people.
If you happen to be an introvert or are a very private person and the last thing you want to do is post about your life online?
Know that you’re in control of what you say, how much information you give, and who you want to give it to. But saying nothing is a form of isolation that could be compounding your lonely feelings.
Your personality shouldn’t dictate how you feel and only you can dictate who you want to share your life with and who you don’t.
So, if you are uneasy about who to trust or happen to be nonexistent online?
You can still be private but it’s recommended that you take baby steps in opening yourself up more. You can do that by commenting and staying connected with a select few or keeping in touch with those who are closest to you more.
Moreover, even though everyone you meet may not be trustworthy or even worth it, just taking small purposeful steps on your end to be seen and heard, will eventually help you find your tribe and build more connections.
16. Know that everyone feels lonely at some point.
Know that there is absolutely not a thing wrong with you or with your situation if you are feeling lonely more than most people you know.
If you don’t gel with certain individuals or even feel out-casted or ostracized — know that that is totally okay for now.
As long as you are working towards changing the way you feel by looking within and doing the inner work that needs to be done to change your mindset, those feelings will soon fade away. You are not alone!
17. Maybe it’s time to seek clinical assistance.
Lastly, meeting with a specialist in mental health is one of the most helpful steps you can take to resolve depression and the underlying problems that can contribute to feeling lonely.
A therapist will help you to analyze the reasons behind your sensations and some other problems related to your isolation can also be discussed.
For instance, you may feel loneliness and sadness if you have lost a family member or close friend recently. Or you may be feeling lonely because you are alone too often.
That’s why reaching out to a seasoned specialist will make all the difference for you during your personal healing process.
Isn’t it nice to know that loneliness can be turned around?
Start meeting new people, start trying new things (as often as you can), make sure that the people you are hanging out with all have a shared purpose or the same values, and know that you are enough!
You’ve always been enough and if you seek change, you can turn your life around!
Check out, 8 Excuses Standing In The Way Of Your Dreams (& How To Fix It!), next!
Hi, my name is Rebecca and I am the face behind Everything Abode! I am a lifestyle and wellness writer based out of Vancouver Island. When I’m not writing or exploring mountains and beaches with my furry rescue, I love spending time learning creative ways to manifest a healthy home. Thanks for stopping by!
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