What To Do When You're Feeling Lonely
In a world filled with more than 7 billion people, it seems that one could never feel completely alone. How could someone feel lonely with so many people all around? The truth is, loneliness is about more that the proximity of other human bodies; loneliness is about lacking a feeling of spiritual and emotional connection to others. Everyone experiences feelings of loneliness at some point in their lives, whether it’s due to the loss of a loved one, a move to a new city, or simply life’s pressures and burdens that leave you feeling emotionally isolated. Loneliness or lonely feeling can be completely draining to our minds and bodies, and can leave us feeling exhausted, depressed, and even hopeless. The good news is that there are steps you can take when you’re feeling lonely to help reconnect with others and rejuvenate your spirit.
1. Try to Determine the Source
In order to move beyond your feeling of loneliness or lonely feeling, it’s important to reflect and realize what may have triggered the way you feel. Isolating what internal or external events have affected you will help you understand why you feel lonely and help you to work towards banishing negative thoughts and taking steps towards building meaningful attachments.
2. Seek Support in Empathy
Especially when loneliness is due to a sudden loss or stressful change in your life, it can be helpful to share your emotions with others who are going through (or have recently gone through) similar situations. Though it will require motivation on your part, sharing your pain can help you open your heart to others. Whether in the form of a support group or religious or spiritual counseling, not only will you have the opportunity to gain support from others, but also to share and lend support of your own, an important step in connecting with others.
3. Take Care of Your Body
Feeling lonely can take a toll on not just your emotional well being, but your physical body’s health as well. Loneliness can lead to loss of sleep and appetite, which can in turn hinder your ability to have the strength and clarity of mind to combat your loneliness. Put an end to this vicious cycle by making a conscious effort to eat well, care for your body, and get the rest you need to help you on your way back to feeling healthy and energized.
4. Be Proactive in Contacting Loved Ones
Many times, a helpful social support network is already in place; though you may not feel connected with them at the moment, chances are that you have friends and family who are ready to support you, give you encouragement, and share an emotional connection with you. They may not realize you need their contact more than ever, or maybe they simply don’t know how to help. Be proactively in reaching out and connecting with the loved ones in your life. Meet an old friend for lunch or even call a sibling across the country. The happiness you share with them could be an important catalyst in lifting the loneliness.
5. Take Every Opportunity to Make New Connections
There is a wealth of opportunities every day for meeting people and making new friends. Choose an activity you enjoy and use it as a way to expand your social circle. Join a group fitness class, volunteer at an animal shelter (furry friends are great companions, too!), or seek out a book club to join. Community centers, places of worship and even websites like meetup.com offer opportunities to find others who share your passions and interests.
Do you have any tips for overcoming loneliness? Share them in the comments!