The closer this world becomes, the easier it is to actually feel on the sidelines. Do you often feel that way? You are not the only such person, you can say for sure. Perhaps you are haunted by the question of how to get rid of this feeling of loneliness. First of all, you need to study yourself well, and then on the basis of this you can begin to overcome your feeling of loneliness.
Part 1 of 3: Take Action
Step 1. Take care of yourself
Organize your activities to take as long as possible. When a person's schedule is packed to overflowing with activities that distract him and bring results, he simply has no time to reflect on the fact that he is alone. Volunteer. Find additional work. Join a club, sign up for a new gym. Start a couple of DIY projects. Just put the thoughts of loneliness out of your head.
What kinds of hobbies do you enjoy? What do you do best? What have you always dreamed of doing but put off? Take this opportunity and devote time to it
Step 2. Change the environment
It's easy to sit at home and spend the day watching your favorite TV shows. However, by returning to the same environment, you will only provoke the development of thoughts of loneliness. Go to a cafe to work on your computer. Go to the park and watch the passers-by while sitting on the bench. Stimulate your brain to distract it from negative thoughts.
Emotional health is positively influenced by time spent in nature. By getting out somewhere, you can not only reduce your stress levels, but also bring benefits to your physical health. So grab a blanket and a book and go to the park. Do this regularly and your mood will definitely improve
Step 3. Engage in activities that make you feel good
By doing something that really fascinates you, you can easily get rid of the feeling of loneliness. Think about what makes you feel good. Meditation? Reading foreign literature? Singing? So go ahead! Spend some of your precious time hobby. Ask a classmate, colleague, or gym guy if they'd like to join you. Here's a new friend for you.
Avoid substance abuse to dull painful feelings. Find healthy activities that truly enjoy you, not just temporary relief
Step 4. Watch for warning signs
Sometimes you can so desperately want to get rid of the feeling of loneliness that you will be ready for anything that contributes to it in the slightest way. But be careful - do not make bad connections, do not communicate with people who are just using you. It happens that a state that is vulnerable due to loneliness makes a person vulnerable to manipulators and rapists. People who are not interested in healthy and strong relationships can be recognized by the following signs:
- They look "too good to be real." They call you all the time, plan all your time and seem perfect. These are often signs of violent people seeking to take complete control of your life.
- They don't reciprocate. You can pick them up from work, do things for them on weekends, and so on, but somehow they never do anything for you. Such people simply take advantage of your vulnerability to their own advantage.
- They get in a bad mood when you plan to spend time somewhere else. You may find it so interesting to interact with someone else that their controlling behavior may not bother you very much at first. However, if someone constantly demands your accountability, keeps track of where you are and with whom, and gets upset that you are not spending time with them, this is a bad sign.
Step 5. Focus your attention on loved ones
This may seem daunting to those who yearn for independence, but sometimes we have to depend on others. If you feel lonely, contact a trusted relative or friend - even if they are hundreds of miles away. One call can cheer you up.
If you are going through a difficult period, your loved ones may not even know about it. You don’t have to tell all your feelings in detail. Share with them what you are willing to share. Most likely, your loved ones will be grateful to you for this
Step 6. Find your own kind
The easiest place to start is on the internet. It is full of resources where people can find friends. Try hanging out with people who share the same hobbies and interests. Think about your favorite books or movies, or where you are from, or where you live now. You can create or find a group for almost any reason.
- Just take a look at the opportunities to meet and communicate with people and start using them. Start attending a fitness group. Find a group of comic book fans. Join a corporate sports or creative team. Get involved in something. Create opportunities. Start a conversation. This position is the only way to change your tendency to feel lonely.
- This will push you out of your own comfort zone - but see it as a positive phenomenon, as a challenge life has thrown at you. And if you don't like it, you can always go back to your old way of life. But more likely, nothing bad will happen and you will learn something of value.
Step 7. Get a pet
It's so important for humans to build relationships that they've been breeding furry companions for over 30,000 years. And if Tom Hanks could live with Wilson for years, it will only do you good if a dog or cat appears nearby. Pets can make great friends. Above all, make sure you don't push people out of your life at the expense of them. Try to maintain friendly relations with at least a few people, so that you have someone to talk to and whom to lean on during difficult times.
- Don't pay thousands of rubles for a dog. Contact your local animal shelter and you can choose a pet from them that needs a good home.
- In addition to all the benefits of the company, research has shown that pets can improve physical well-being and even prolong life.
Step 8. Think about others
Social research shows that there is a relationship between selfishness and feelings of loneliness. This does not mean that you should not reflect on your emotions, but it does mean that they should not become the center of your life. Once you start thinking about others, your feelings of loneliness will melt away. Research shows that, for example, volunteering helps people build deeper and more fulfilling emotional bonds, which in itself beats loneliness.
- The easiest way to change focus is to find a group of people who need your help. Volunteer at a hospital, homeless cafeteria, or other charity. Become part of a support group. Start donating finances. Become a strong shoulder and support for someone. Everyone in this world is struggling with something; maybe you can help someone win their little victory.
- You might even think about how to help other people who are lonely. Poor health and elderly people are often excluded from the life of society. Visiting seniors in a nursing home or organizing parties for hospital patients can make someone else feel less lonely, too.
Part 2 of 3: Change Your Thinking
Step 1. Express your feelings in private with yourself
Journaling can help you figure out where your feelings of loneliness originate. For example, if you have a lot of friends, you may feel embarrassed that you feel lonely. Observe at what moments you have this feeling, and write in your journal. When do they appear? How do they manifest? What happens the moment you have these feelings?
- For example, you just moved from your parents to another city. You have made friends from among your work colleagues and you enjoy talking to them, but still, in the evenings, when you return home to an empty apartment, you feel lonely. This observation suggests that you are missing someone with whom you can form a close and stable emotional connection.
- Knowing where the source of your loneliness lies can help you overcome it. It also helps you to be more positive about your feelings. In the example above, knowing that you like your new friends but miss your family ties will allow you to see and acknowledge that your feelings are quite natural.
Step 2. Rethink negative thoughts
Pay attention to the mental loops that wind through your head throughout the day. Focus on those thoughts that relate to you or other people. If they are negative thoughts, try to rephrase them by adding positive meaning. For example: “No one understands me at work” - replace with: “I haven't made friends at work… yet”.
Rephrasing your inner monologues can be very difficult. Too often, we are not even aware of all our negative thoughts throughout the day. Spend just ten minutes trying to track down all of your negative thoughts. Then try to rephrase them so that they sound positive. Next, gradually increase the time for this exercise until you have spent the entire day monitoring and controlling your inner monologue. Having successfully completed this exercise, you will be surprised to find how much your view of many things will change
Step 3. Stop thinking in black and white categories
This kind of thinking is a cognitive distortion and requires your intervention. Thinking in terms of “all or nothing,” such as “I’m lonely now, I’ll always be lonely,” or, “I don’t have anyone who cares about me,” will only exacerbate feelings of loneliness and make you feel everything.” more miserable.
Resist these thoughts as soon as you have them. For example, you can remember different times when you were not lonely at all. When you managed to establish a connection with a person, even if only for a short time, and you felt that you were understood. Recognize that statements dictated by black and white thinking are one-sided and fail to account for the true complexity of our rich emotional lives
Step 4. Think positively
Negative thinking leads to negative reality. Your thoughts often turn into self-fulfilling prophecies. If you are prone to negative thinking, then you are used to seeing the whole world in a negative light. If you go to a party with the thought that no one will like you there and you are unlikely to have fun, you will spend all the time propping up the wall, not talking to anyone or getting any pleasure. Conversely, positive thinking contributes to the emergence of positive events in your life.
- The opposite is also true. If you expect everything to go well, more often than not it will. Test this theory by assuming something good about any of your life situations. Even if the result is not perfect, being inside the situation with a positive attitude towards it, you will not be so overreacting to shortcomings.
- A great way to develop positive thinking is to surround yourself with positive people. You will be able to observe how these people relate to life, and their positive will gradually be absorbed into you.
- Another positive thinking tactic is to avoid talking and thinking to yourself in ways you wouldn't talk about your friend. For example, you would never call your friend a loser. So if you catch yourself thinking “I’m a failure,” correct that harsh statement by adding a positive self-perception, such as “Sometimes I make mistakes, but I’m so smart, funny, caring and spontaneous.”
Step 5. Visit a professional consultation
Sometimes feeling lonely can be a symptom of a much more serious problem. If it seems to you that the whole world has turned its back on you and that there is no longer any room for gray in your black-and-white thinking, it may be useful for you to visit a psychologist or psychotherapist.
- A constant feeling of loneliness can sometimes act as a sign of depression. Speaking with a mental health professional can help you recognize early signs of depression and treat the disorder accordingly.
- Even talking on its own can help. It can give you insights into what is normal and what is not, what can be done to better integrate into society, and how much better you can feel if you change your lifestyle.
Part 3 of 3: Understanding Yourself
Step 1. Define your type of loneliness
Loneliness can take different forms and manifest itself in different ways in each individual person. For some, this is just an easy assumption, which appears from time to time and disappears without a trace, but for someone it is an everlasting part of their reality. You may experience social or emotional loneliness more often.
- "Social loneliness". This type of loneliness includes feelings such as aimlessness, boredom, and social isolation. It can arise in those periods when a person is outside strong social relationships (or lost them, for example, in connection with a move).
- "Emotional loneliness". This type of loneliness includes feelings such as anxiety, depression, vulnerability, and despair. It comes when a person does not have strong emotional ties with people with whom he would like to have them.
Step 2. Realize that loneliness is a "feeling."
The main and essential step on the path to overcoming loneliness is the realization that, no matter how painful it is, it is "just a feeling." It does not necessarily correspond to the actual situation and therefore is not permanent. Figuratively speaking, "this too will pass." It has nothing to do with what position you actually occupy in society. All it has to do with is little, inflamed neurons in your head. And even if they do not show themselves in the best way, nevertheless, this situation is amenable to change. You can quite simply act against your own thoughts of loneliness and, in the end, be relieved.
Finally, you are the one who decides what you can use in a given situation. Use it as an opportunity to better understand yourself and make changes for the better. An evolutionary view of loneliness suggests that the pain it causes can give you the energy to take action and help you become the kind of person you would hardly be otherwise
Step 3. Explore the characteristics of your personality
Loneliness for an extrovert and an introvert are two completely different concepts. Loneliness and solitude are not the same thing. Think about what the opposite of loneliness should look like, and remember that these will be different for different people.
- Introverts tend to strive to build close relationships with one or two people. They do not need to see these people every day. Instead, they mostly enjoy their time in solitude and only need to be influenced by others from time to time. However, if their social and emotional needs are not being met, introverts can feel lonely too.
- Extroverts feel the need to spend time with other people, and this is what fills their vessel of social life. Without interacting with other people who provide them with the right impact, they can feel extremely overwhelmed. However, if their social and emotional needs are not met, extroverts can feel lonely around people as well.
- Where are you in this picture? Understanding how your personality affects the feelings of loneliness you experience will help you make the right decisions in dealing with painful feelings.
Step 4. Realize that you are not alone in your feelings of loneliness
According to recent research, one in four people in America suffers from the fact that they have no one to share their deeply personal experiences with. When it was proposed to exclude from the list of people with whom you can communicate in confidence, relatives, this number increased to half of the respondents. This means that if you feel lonely, then an estimated 25 to 50 percent of the population feel the same way.
Today, even scientists are trying to draw public attention to the problem of loneliness. According to recent studies, people who feel isolated, because of physical distance from loved ones or for any subjective reason, die earlier than those who do not face it
- Remember: the world is big, and whatever you are passionate about, there is probably someone else just like you; the whole question is how to find this person.
- Accept that loneliness can be dealt with. If you learn to transform your negative thoughts into positive ones, you can either learn to be happy with yourself or take risks to build new relationships with other people.
- Become active on social media. People who increase their number of posts on social media claim that this makes them less likely to feel lonely.
- If you just sit back and feel lonely, nothing will change by itself. You should at least try. Take action. Go out into the world. Meet new people.