10 Simple Steps On How To Deal With Loneliness
When we talk about being alone, we often think about sitting in a cold room, all alone. But is it the right way to imagine solitude? We never realize that there’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely. To deal with loneliness you don’t have to be around everyone, even a moment of solitude can help with easing loneliness.
How? Well, that’s what we are exploring in this article!
Loneliness is not what everyone thinks. The general belief is that loneliness is when you have no one with you or around you. But this is just the physical aspect of it and that is too incomplete. Psychologists treat loneliness as more of a mental aspect than a physical one.
In simple words, you can be lonely even if you are in a crowd or with friends. It is a complex emotional phenomenon that drives a person away.
Almost everyone has had to deal with feelings of loneliness at least once in their lifetime. This feeling registers as pain and danger by your brain. It can help in survival in kids, in some instances, but can be harmful if left untreated. Loneliness can also make you think that you are incapable or not good enough. If left unaddressed, loneliness can become chronic and even fatal.
Below I’m sharing some simple ways so that you can deal with loneliness or being alone even, or help your loved one deal with the feelings of loneliness.
Let’s take a look at how you can identify signs of loneliness first, shall we?
An Overview On Symptoms Of Loneliness
While loneliness is an experience that almost everyone shares, universally, there are some symptoms of loneliness that look different in some groups. For example, loneliness signs and symptoms in men can look very different from signs and symptoms of loneliness in older adults.
Some common symptoms you need to know about loneliness can include:
- Low energy
- Experiencing brain fog
- Inability to focus
- Struggling with insomnia or other sleep issues
- Low or no appetite
- Having feelings of hopelessness
- Having feelings of worthlessness
- Getting sick frequently
- Experiencing body aches and pains
- Experiencing feelings of restlessness
- Wanting to stay isolated from social interactions
- Feeling cravings for physical warmth, hot baths, or other cozy means
Some other common symptoms of loneliness can include materialism, poor immunity, weight fluctuations, or even behavioral or substance addiction.
Loneliness can have many contributing factors. You can feel lonely when:
- You change jobs
- You change cities
- You end a long-term relationship
- You live alone
- You feel homesick
With time, though, these feelings of loneliness can pass but if they don’t and these feelings begin to affect every waking moment of your life, then it could be something more than just feeling lonely.
Also, keep in mind that not addressing the feelings of loneliness can eventually turn into something more serious such as chronic illnesses, depression, stress disorders, sleep disorders, and more.
Here are some tips to help you deal with loneliness and being lonely.
How To Deal With Loneliness?
1. Check For Hormonal Imbalance
The first thing to do when you feel loneliness creeping in is to check for hormonal imbalance. Yes, hormonal imbalance can also affect the way you feel and perceive things. Though these are just chemicals, the presence of these hormones can greatly affect the body and mind.
Many things can feel wrong and can also make you short-tempered and cranky. They can also make you restless and can significantly reduce your satisfaction level. All of this can also invoke feelings of loneliness, resentment, and anger.
2. Engage In Something You Love Doing
You can begin by doing or engaging in an activity you genuinely enjoy. Take this alone time as an opportunity and discover what you love. Connect with your friends and family online through the things you do or create. While excessive social media use can be dangerous, it can still help you connect with your loved ones.
It could be a great tool to fight the inferiority and superiority complex. By pursuing and engaging in what you love, you can dedicate more and more time and energy and can meet people with the same interests.
3. Adopt A Pet
We don’t always want to be alone yet want some companionship. What’s greater than adopting and having a pet around? If you are looking for ways to deal with loneliness, then one of the simplest ways is to adopt a furry friend. Pets are some of the best companions of humans throughout history.
The stories of pets can be found in almost every culture. You can choose the pet you want to adopt according to your personality traits! Click here to find your furry companion!
One should also remember that getting a pet is not like getting a garden decoration or antique, it’s more like getting a new family member. You should be able to care for them so be careful in your decision.
4. Join A Club Or Volunteer
Again, focus on what you enjoy doing and find online or offline classes or clubs you could join. It could be an art class, pottery class, dance club, book club, or even a cooking class. Whatever aligns with your interests, find those communities and allow yourself to pursue your interests while moving out of your comfort zone.
Not only joining a club can help deal with feelings of loneliness but so can volunteering. For example, if you’re an animal person but don’t have the resources to adopt a pet, then you can volunteer for a pet shelter. Or you could join any other organization that aligns with your beliefs as a volunteer.
5. Reach Out To Online Groups
Loneliness has become quite a common concern in the last two years and more so now after the world is reeling from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not everyone can find it in themselves to connect with people casually.
But if you’re looking for ways to cope with feeling alone, then the best way is to join an online support group. There you can find people dealing with loneliness the same as you, share your story, and learn from their experiences.
Please keep in mind that excessive social media use can drain your energy and leave you feeling more alone than ever and can even cause feelings of isolation or FOMO. So be sure about joining a support group online. It’s also helpful if you could find a way to monitor your screen use.
6. Work On Existing Relationships
We all have people in our lives who care about us even when all we feel near them is loneliness. Even if that’s the case, try to reconnect with your loved ones and work on your existing relationships. Call your friend and go out for a cup of coffee or text your grandma who you haven’t seen in weeks and spend an evening with her.
Find ways to reach out to your existing relationships and work on them to overcome the feelings of loneliness. These existing relationships can also work as your support system when you begin to feel lonely and alone in the future.
7. Embrace Solitude
Did you know that spending time in solitude can help you cope with loneliness? I know, quite contradictory but it’s true. When you embrace solitude, you vow to spend time with yourself. This way, you can work on yourself and do activities such as meditating, going to the movies, practicing gratitude, and more.
Self-care should not be taken for granted or lightly. When you feel alone and lonely, you can always turn to self-care to make you feel better once again.
8. Engage In A Hobby
Pursuing your hobby by yourself or with a group can also help you deal with loneliness. When you work on your hobbies, you allow yourself to increase your interest in activities you lost pleasure in. This way you can also distract yourself from the feelings of loneliness, stay busy, and work on yourself.
You can try dancing, creating music, engaging in DIY, or even organizing the house. You can also take up a hobby you’ve been meaning to try but couldn’t find the time to engage in.
9. Interact With Strangers
This is one of the most important steps when fighting loneliness. Any act of selfless kindness will give you true peace and happiness. It is not just religious, virtuous, or any myth, but scientifically proven by multiple studies that helping people can help you. In some studies, it has also been found that selfless people are happier than those who don’t.
When you enter an elevator, hold the door open for the next person. When you go out for coffee, buy a cup for the person behind you too. When you leave the building, smile at your doorman. These little acts of kindness can help you deal with feelings of loneliness.
10. Reach Out To A Therapist
Loneliness when left unaddressed can turn chronic and can even lead to depression. It has also been found that loneliness and depression can follow one another.
For example, the lonelier you feel the more depressed you’re likely to feel and vice versa. If this is the case, then it is recommended that you reach out to a professional for help.
A therapist can help you find new and healthy coping techniques and even address your negative thought process with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Whatever your cause of loneliness, with professional help and support, you can combat and overcome them.
You are not alone.
You can always reach out to your trusted friend or a family member whenever you feel lonely or alone. And even if you don’t have them for a support system don’t worry. There are always online support groups, online clubs, and even online therapy.
You can also write down all that comes to your mind, what you feel, what you want to do, and what you could have done. Don’t focus on the thoughts too deeply and just write?
It may not make sense when you write it and not even when you complete but sometimes the best songs, write-ups, and creations come out from the depths of the heart.
And even if it’s nothing, don’t get disappointed. Healing is a process that takes time and is not just a one-time thing. Give yourself some time. Try to find out the cause of your loneliness and work on it. No one’s expected to be perfect, after all.
Have you ever experienced extreme loneliness? How did you deal with loneliness? Share your experiences, tips, and thoughts on feelings of loneliness and how to cope with feeling alone in the comments below.
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Thanks for reading!