The occasional feeling of loneliness is normal and usual. Reaching out to loved ones and engaging in self-compassion exercises can help you get over loneliness.
Even if loneliness is widespread, you could still find it to be debilitating. This is the reason you might be wondering why this is happening to you right now and how to stop feeling lonely.
In fact, you are not alone! In fact, a recent study by the Harvard Graduate School of Education found that 36% of those polled said they felt lonely “frequently,” “almost always,” or “all the time.”
Additionally, 61% of people between the ages of 18 and 25 reported some level of loneliness.
This is a mood you can get over, whether you’re feeling lonely or empty. A smart place to start is by comprehending why you are feeling this way.
Why Am I Feeling So Alone?
Even when you are surrounded by people, feeling lonely doesn’t necessarily indicate that something is wrong with you.
Whether they are conscious of it or not, we would argue that all people experience loneliness on sometimes. Trauma, grief, and stress can also make people feel more lonely.
Because of this, even when you are in a committed relationship or have lots of friends, you could still feel lonely.
When people feel like they have to lie or create the truth in order to impress others, or when those people have different ethical ideas, people may feel lonely even though they are surrounded by others.
Although you are surrounded by people, there are still additional reasons you could feel alone:
- Other mental health disorders, such as depression.
- Health issues, such as chronic illnesses, impairments, and terminal illnesses.
- Grief and loss.
- Trauma racism or discrimination.
- Existential dilemma brought on by immigration to a foreign country.
- Absence of meaningful connections.
- Issues with connection or communication in a relationship.
Debilitating feelings of loneliness have also intensified due to the pandemic and the need for physical separation.
Introverts may have more difficulty than extroverts. People who struggle with poor self-esteem, depression, or anxiety may place their locus of control outside of themselves and depend on external sources to make them feel complete.
Tips To Overcome Feelings Of Loneliness
You don’t have to experience loneliness indefinitely. There are strategies to quit feeling lonely, albeit it could take time.
Here are some suggestions for overcoming this sensation.
1. Rethink Your Position And Find New Optimism
You can work on adopting a new perspective or connecting certain objects to pleasant feelings.
For instance, you can view your alone time as a chance to develop, think, and establish connections with yourself.
While chronic loneliness involves clinging to the emptiness we feel in life, healthy isolation enables us to absorb and conceptualise our life experiences.
Healthy solitude improves clarity of thought and can enhance intellect, in contrast to chronic loneliness, which can cause unending ruminating.
Feelings of loneliness can come and go, much like anxiety and sadness. Feelings of loneliness can vanish by imagining improvement and practising mindfulness.
For instance, you could start a tai chi, yoga, or meditation routine when you’re by yourself. You might start to view alone time favourably if you look forward to these soothing activities.
2. Develop Compassion For Yourself
We recommend engaging in self-compassion-focused activities to overcome loneliness and develop the ability to be joyful alone.
Several instances include:
- Mindful Walks
- Physical activity
You may be able to enhance your relationship with yourself by taking care of yourself with kindness and patience. This will help you feel less lonely.
With practise, you’ll be able to accept and cherish your alone time and make the most of it by doing things to better yourself.
3. Keep A Thinking And Emotion Journal
Writing down happy memories in a journal can make you happier.
We advise that people could write a gratitude letter, which outlines all the things they love about themselves. They might make a list of the qualities they admire in others and share it with their loved ones and friends.
Writing down your ideas and feelings may also aid in their processing and help you view them from a different angle. The act of journaling may be cathartic.
4. Contact Former Acquaintances
Making contact with friends you’ve lost touch with can make you feel less lonely.
“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark than alone in the light”, as said by Hellen Keller, emphasises the value of friendship in eradicating the loneliness that life so frequently delivers to our doorsteps.
Friendships encourage creativity and encourage people to be responsible and present for others, she continued.
People of all ages who work with us at Better:Gen have shared with us how their friendships’ calibre has directly inspired them to persevere in pursuit of their personal and professional goals.
Friendships, like mirrors, allow people see and cherish their strengths while also identifying and addressing their faults.
It might also be helpful to recollect and re-establish connections with the parts of yourself that helped you feel successful, joyful, or at peace.
5. Take A Friend For A Stroll
Walking and conversing are rare activities.
Think about asking a friend or neighbour to go for a stroll with you occasionally.
Exercise can boost endorphin levels and enhance your mood and attitude. Additionally, practising it with others can promote a sense of wellbeing that may help you get over your loneliness.
You can also add extra distinctive touches by using some of these suggestions:
- Every time you go on a stroll, change up your route and the scenery.
- If you can, choose different times of day so you may take in sunrises, sunsets, and mid-afternoons.
- To stroll in a fresh setting, think about taking a drive to a park, forest preserve, or shopping centre.
- Be aware of your surroundings, paying attention to the sky, people, sounds, and physical sensations.
- Consider making each day’s objective distinct. The length of the stroll, the rhythm and tempo, and the subjects of conversation are a few examples. You may, for instance, designate one walk as a “joke day” and another as a “vent day.”
Talk To Others People
If meeting new acquaintances is difficult for you, try to be more approachable first.
The following are successful ways for overcoming loneliness, according to respondents in the famed study The BBC Loneliness Experiment, conducted by the BBC and The University of Manchester:
- Engage anyone in conversation.
- Look for the positive qualities in everyone you meet.
- Don’t be afraid to extend invitations.
- Let them know you’re lonely.
Think About Joining A Group, Club, Or Online Forum
The BBC study’s respondents also mentioned that they engaged in new social pursuits and activities to combat feelings of isolation, such as joining a social club.
- Joining a walking or running club or another exercise-related group.
- Taking up a hobby, such as knitting, painting, or playing cards, and connecting with others who share the same interest.
- Finding online communities for gaming, movie buffs, book lovers, and other things you’re interested in
- Volunteering at a local charity
Participating in activities with like-minded others who could share your interests might alleviate loneliness.
8. Adopt A Pet
According to a survey by the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute, 80% of pet owners believe their pets reduce their feelings of loneliness, whether they choose cats, dogs, or reptiles.
Pets provide companionship, something to think about except yourself, and some animals, like dogs, can help you get out and about.
But before getting a pet, think about what is required to care for them. This covers the cost of food, clothing, veterinary care, and labour.
If getting a pet is not an option, think about helping out at your neighbourhood animal shelter, like the Cat Protection.
9. Keep In Touch With Those Who Have Passed On
Reconnecting with their memory could be helpful if your emotions of loneliness are exacerbated by grieving and the loss of a loved one.
- Recounting memorable moments.
- Looking through photographs and letters.
- Partaking in the deceased’s favourite activity.
- Journaling about them.
Those who are parents can make special anniversaries or celebrations more joyful by making lovely memories with their own families.
Making a memorial for the deceased might help you stay in touch with their memory.
Make a collage of your favourite photos, for instance, or plant a tree in their honour so you may go see it and eventually lay down under it.
Look For Professional Help
If you believe you’ve taken steps to reduce your sense of loneliness but it persists, it can be a good idea to look for more help.
It may be appropriate to speak with someone else in the following situations:
- Occasionally Tearful.
- Episodes of irritation that disrupt family or professional relationships undereating or overeating in response to loneliness spending the entire day in bed, being too tired, or experiencing chronic fatigue.
- Loss of interest in and drive for self-care, such as skipping a shower or not brushing your teeth.
Demoralisation and depression are both possible outcomes of loneliness. People who experience major mood, anxiety, and loneliness issues that impair their functionality should think about making an appointment with a psychiatrist or therapist.
But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, just talking to someone you can trust can make you feel better. Therapy objectives are up to you, and they can only involve talking.
What Is The Next Step To Combating Loneliness?
It’s normal and even necessary to experience loneliness occasionally. You’ll be able to determine what you can learn from this emotion as you become more conscious of what it is saying to you.
Consider contacting a mental health professional like Better:Gen if you have tried numerous methods of feeling better but haven’t been successful.
Cassata, C. (2023) How To Stop Feeling Lonely: 10 Tips, Psych Central. Available at: https://psychcentral.com/health/stop-feeling-lonely (Accessed: 23 July 2023).