Loneliness is the feeling of emptiness that you will get when you think that you are separated or isolated from the world or cut off from people who you would like to be in contact with. However, there are various kinds and degrees of this emotional state, where you might experience it as a vague feeling that something is wrong, a minor emptiness, a deep pain or a very intense deprivation. This might be caused by losing a specific person due to death or a move to a different place or being physically isolated from other people due to your nature of work and other reasons. You might also feel emotionally lonely when you are having difficulty reaching out to people even though you are surrounded by them.
Be that as it may, remember that loneliness is a passive state, which means that it is maintained by passively letting it go on and doing nothing to get rid of it, which will eventually envelop you. This will become harmful to you, as embracing loneliness and sinking into other feelings that come with it will lead to depression and helplessness. To avoid these situations, you have to cope up loneliness. Here are effective ways to do it:
1. Understand that loneliness is just a feeling and not a fact.
When you feel lonely, it is most likely that a memory of that feeling was triggered by something and not because you are actually alone or isolated. Your brain is designed to pay attention to danger and pain, including scary and painful feelings, which also means that loneliness can get your attention and then it tries to make sense of that feeling. As you can see, theories about loneliness can become confused with facts. Such a problem can worsen, which is why you have to realize that you are having the feeling and then accept it without over-reacting.
2. Try to be more active.
Obviously, you can get rid of loneliness by stopping being passive and becoming more active. If you miss someone you love, such as a family or friend, you can write, phone, e-mail or visit him/her or go to someone else to talk about it and help change your mood. Aside from this, you can do some active things out of your home. You will never know—you will have the opportunity to meet new people to add to your list of friends!
3. Create a plan to deal with emotional habits of loneliness.
If you notice that you are dealing with some kind of emotional habit that leads to loneliness, you can create a plan to deal with it. For example, you can meet with friends regularly and have a healthy interaction even though your feeling of being alone or depression is telling you not to do it. Of course, it requires a bit of effort, but you will see that it is really worth it, like when you are exercising where you can get benefits though it is tiring.
4. Participate in activities or join clubs.
Taking part in some form of activity or joining a club will help you accomplish a lot of things, which include taking your mind off of feeling lonely and actually changing your mood in a direct way. It will give you the opportunity to practice your people skills and meet others who have the same interests as you. Also, it can provide some structure in your life that provides you things to look forward to, and it is through this that you can find yourself enjoying what you do and knowing people who genuinely enjoy similar interests.
5. Make sure you show up in every meeting with other people.
You do not have to be one who is very important in a group to be present in every meeting. Whatever you are, try your best to show up. This is particularly helpful when you are experiencing episodes of loneliness. You will eventually find yourself enjoying, especially when you have made accomplishments with your group.
6. Acknowledge self-deflating thoughts.
You tend to create self-centered stories to explain your feelings, as it would not be unusual for someone to assume that there is something not right with him/her if he/she is not happy. Now, if you are feeling sad and lonely, you might assume that other people do not like you, though this is a rare case. Habitual assumptions about your social status would continue in your life, and if you are seeking for proof that the world is objectionable, you will always find it.
7. Reach out to others in need and help them.
Even though you are trying to meet your needs for belonging and support, it is even better to consider shifting some of your energy towards other people who are in need. Instead of thinking why others are not there for you, you can focus on being there for someone else. Think about the people in your life who could use some attention and encouragement. You can spare a little of your time to let others know that they matter to you. After all, you know yourself what it is like to feel lonely, so you will be an expert in helping others cope up with such a feeling.
Aside from those listed above, make sure that you will learn to recognize lonely feelings and then express them. To stop the feeling of loneliness, you should first accept that you are feeling lonely, which can be difficult, and then share these feelings in certain ways, which include talking with other people. By doing so, you will eventually find out that you will feel a number of things that may be connected to your feelings of loneliness, including frustration, anger and sadness. Also, you might be able to start seeing where such feelings are coming from and how they are connected to in your life. And as you start seeing the connections, you will be more able to make changes and even live life better than ever.
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