Loneliness can happen to anyone. Overcoming loneliness can be difficult when you feel you have no choice in the matter. Most consider loneliness to be a condition, however it is more a perspective or state of mind. Whether you have moved to a new city, transferred to a different school, changed jobs or are traveling alone, you may find yourself missing the connections you have that are now at a distance. Or you may have gone through a tough break-up or divorce and feel the loss of that closeness or you may feel you no longer fit in a couples oriented society. Whatever the circumstances of your current loneliness, the good news is, it need not remain. With a deeper understanding of the process of loneliness and a few simple actions you can overcome you loneliness and perhaps even enjoy the time you do have alone.
Loneliness is a state of mind we enter when we feel the absence of meaningful connections with others in our lives. Loneliness can even be felt when in a crowd of people when we lack a feeling of connection to anyone present. Loneliness is a lens that changes our perspective resulting in feelings of detachment. Consider any event: going to a concert, seeing a movie, or eating at a restaurant, and imagine doing that activity with someone you like or love. Now imagine doing that same event alone. Would you feel anxious? Awkward? Lonely? Or could you enjoy the same event as much alone? Most people would say that half the fun of experiencing anything is sharing it with someone they enjoy.
We all have an intrinsic need for companionship, friendship and love. With our family, friends and loved ones we feel a sense of connectedness and belonging. Through our shared experiences and communication, we bond and receive positive affinity, validation and acceptance. These experiences and feelings are necessary for a truly healthy and happy life. Yet at different times in our lives we go through transitions that can erode our sense of connectedness and leave us feeling lonely. So what can you do when you feel lonely? Here are a few tips to help shift your perspective:
Take action. Instead of focusing on your feelings of loneliness, take a action! Expose yourself to new experiences and new opportunities to meet people. Get outside. Join a meet-up (meetup.com), attend an event, take a class, or travel with a group. Be willing to strike up a conversation without any expectation of an outcome [How to Talk to Anyone. Anywhere and Get their Interest]. Keep in mind that all of the people you have known outside of family were once strangers too. Forming a new friendship or relationship takes a leap of faith and time. Enjoy the experience.
Get help. If you feel lonely after a break-up, divorce or death of loved one, you may need the assistance of a professional to help you through the grieving process. It takes time. Be good to yourself and give yourself the time to fully accept your loss before starting a serious relationship. There are many resources for assistance and counseling, both online and in your city. Know what you are looking for and ask questions to be sure you have found the right resource before beginning any therapy program. Stay in touch with those you know and trust until you are ready to build new relationships.
Follow your passion. Often when feelings of loneliness happen it’s because we have lost touch with our interest in activities and other things that bring us true satisfaction and happiness. Take time to reassess where you are and what is important to you. Avoid looking for someone else to fill your life as this will not bring lasting happiness and will work against you in the long run. Instead, revisit your passions and make time to participate or pursue those things that bring life to your life! When you do, you will naturally be surrounded by people who share your interests. You never know what friends you will meet along the way. Pursuing your passions, you will naturally reveal your authentic self. Sharing your passions offers a great opportunity for conversation and connection with others.
Give love a chance to find you. If you are single and feel lonely because you want to be in a relationship, shift your perspective a bit. There are benefits to being single as well as part of a couple. Focus on enjoying your life and all of your connections. Don’t let any feelings of rejection lead you to believe you will not find “the one” [How to Find the One]. When you are dating or just looking, take your time to find the right relationship for you. Don’t settle! Every great relationship takes time. No connection can be forced. Try to enjoy the moment instead of projecting into the future. Give love a chance to find you; it usually surprises you when you are busy enjoying your life.
We would love to hear your experiences and opinions on loneliness. What worked for you? Join in the discussion and share your thoughts in our comments section!