7 Powerful Ways to Combat and Break Out of Loneliness
Ever been enveloped by a feeling of loneliness so intense that you feel suffocated? Use these 7 effective steps to stop feeling so lonely all the time.
Thoughts such as “Why do I feel so miserable all the time?” and “I hate myself and my life” are not unusual to have when you are lonely. People who suffer from an acute sense of loneliness feel that way no matter how many people they have in their lives.
If not addressed, loneliness will inevitably lead to depression, spurred on by the crushing feeling of not having anyone who understands you, or feeling abandoned by those closest to you even if that is not the case.
Loneliness afflicts even the biggest social butterflies. Hollywood superstar George Clooney revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter sometime ago that he suffers from bouts of loneliness and says that he can feel the most lonely at a big public event. No matter how popular you are, you can suffer from loneliness.
However, like most other psychological issues, the only way to overcome an acute sense of loneliness is to fight it the right away. Steer clear from abusing drugs and alcohol as they will only exacerbate the problem.
7 effective ways to stop feeling so lonely all the time
Are you frustrated at how you still feel alone in a crowd of people? Thankfully there are some simple things that you can do to combat the crushing feeling of being lonely. Keep in mind that although you may brush these tips off as “did that, done that, doesn’t work”, it all comes down to your mindset as well. [Read: 6 telltale excuses that get you nowhere!]
If you really want to make a positive change, you should set off on the road to recovery with an open mind and heart. And before you know it, you will be able to kiss loneliness goodbye for good.
#1 Address the problem
The first step when trying to overcome loneliness is to admit that you are lonely. Only once you address the problem can you take the next few steps to improve yourself and empower your life. As difficult as it may be, you need to reach out for help. Tell a friend or family member how you feel and take it from there. If you truly have no one in your life whom you can trust or feel comfortable with, seek help from a therapist or counselor.
Most church groups and community organizations provide free support for those who need help. If you are flailing, a professional is the way to go. He or she will help you identify the type of loneliness that you are feeling. Whether it has to do with separation anxiety or something more existential, a professional will be able to walk you through it and monitor your progress.
Talking to someone else will do wonderful things for your situation. Do not underestimate the power of a shoulder to lean on, even if you have to pay for it. Whether you sign yourself up for therapy, or sit through coffee chats with a friend, releasing all you worries onto someone else may just be the biggest solution to your problem. Remember that you are only human and there is no shame in asking for help. [Read: 13 happy things you need to ensure you have a perfectly happy life]
#2 Tell yourself you are not alone
Loneliness does not discriminate, and no matter how well things are going in your life, you can be prone to feeling lonely. There are millions in the world who suffer from loneliness, so console yourself in knowing that you are not alone.
There are thousands of websites, blogs, community posts and chat rooms dedicated to combating loneliness, so check out several of them and read about others’ experiences. You will undoubtedly take home some much needed advice and knowledge on how to deal with your loneliness. Not just that, you may just make a friend or two too. [Read: The complete guide to making new friends when you can’t find any friends!]
#3 Indulge in something new
One absolute way of crushing the feeling of loneliness is to take up something new. The key is to keep your mind off being solo and if you try something new, you will have something different to focus on. Opt for something consistent that will span over a period of at least several months. This will give you something to look forward to, every day, week or month.
When you get excited about something, you will not feel the need to wallow in your misery. Explore new activities and indulge in something that you never thought of doing. Some simple things that you can pursue include learning how to play a musical instrument, roller derby, pole dancing or cooking classes. You can also nurture skills that you already possess.
For example, if you love writing, you can sign up for a creative writing workshop or weekly journalism sessions. Do not be afraid to break out of your comfort zone and try something that would normally make you feel uncomfortable.
If you are a typical couch potato, stop channel surfing and learn how to surf instead. You can also rent or buy a bicycle and get to know your neighborhood a little better. Hiking, running and walking are also great activities to partake in. Once you feel more comfortable with your skills, sign up for a group program or session. You will be surprised at the number of like-minded folk you will meet if you just try.
#4 Take a trip
There is a reason why people say that travel feeds the soul. Whether you can rope in a friend to go on an adventure with you, or if you prefer heading out solo, there is nothing better to combat loneliness than traveling. On your travels, you will meet a colorful array of people who are oblivious to your past.
You get to reinvent yourself and be the person you want to be during your travels. Aim to feel happy again and you will find that it is an easy task to accomplish. If you are facing financial issues and do not have the funds to travel, challenge yourself and set attainable goals. Pick a destination, timeframe and set a budget to work towards.
Not only will starting a travel fund keep you focused on something, you will also be thoroughly rewarded when you arrive at your dream destination. You can also opt to sign up for one or various programs run by non-profit organizations. Whether it is an orangutan rehabilitation camp in Borneo, or a rainforest saving volunteer campaign in the Amazon, most non-profit organizations only require you to pay for your flight and basic expenditures to be a part of the program.
Not only will you get the chance to leave your comfort zone and do some traveling, you will also get the chance to do some good in the world and meet people whom you never thought you would ever connect with. [Confession: “I don’t know what to do with my life“]
#5 Get a pet
If finding trustworthy companionship is a real problem for you, then you should consider adopting a pet. Whether you choose a dog, cat, hamster, or mountain lion, having an animal in your life will lift your anxiety, help with depression and aide you in combating loneliness.
If you are not in the physical, mental or financial position to adopt a pet, consider volunteering at your local animal shelter instead. This will give you the opportunity to interact with animals on a regular basis. Not just that, you will be showering love and attention onto creatures that need it the most. You will be surprised at how fulfilling this can be.
#6 Work on yourself
If you are feeling lonely and down in the dumps, there is a high chance that you are also suffering from low self-esteem and emotional instability. One way to fix this is to work on yourself. Start with your physical appearance. Treat yourself to a new hairstyle, facial, massage, and get your nails done. Once you look and feel beautiful, you will feel a lot more positive and happy with yourself. [Read: 12 insightful lessons that can help you have a much better life]
This confidence boost with give you the strength to head out on the town with friends, meet new people, or give you the confidence to strike up a conversation with a stranger. You should also treat yourself to the little luxuries in life such as a front row seat to your favorite band in concert, a lovely restaurant, or even for a movie. There is nothing wrong with pampering and spending time with yourself.
When you are in a good mood, you will learn to banish negative thoughts and feelings from your psyche and you will start feeling silly for wallowing and complaining about being lonely. You should also read empowering books, attend talks and link up with people whom you look up to.
#7 Get some exercise
Research has proven that there is a direct link between exercise and feeling happy. When you are feeling positive and happy, you tend to focus less on your loneliness and inadvertently invite in other happy people into your life. Contrary to the rules of magnetism, positive energy attracts positive energy.
Join a gym, sign up for yoga, try Pilates, Zumba, or the latest fitness craze to hit the world. Do not neglect your health just because you feel lonely. By sweating it out, you will find that you will feel less anxious and depressed. You will also be treated to a boost of energy and undoubtedly look and feel sexier. [Read: 25 inspirational tips to get motivated and work out!]
At the end of the day, always remember that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Loneliness is a temporary feeling that you can overcome if you try. You just have to grab the bull by the horns and face the unpleasantness of getting over it.
Once you figure out the ‘why’ in why you’re feeling lonely, you will easily be able to accomplish the ‘how’ in how you can stop feeling lonely too!