Combating Loneliness


We all feel lonely at times. There is a great difference between feeling alone and lonely. When a person feels alone, it may simply be because they are alone and want some company. However, feeling lonely can take place even when one is surrounded by loved ones. Negative emotions and thoughts may occur and this is when the pain of loneliness can push people away. There are a few ways to deal with loneliness before one decides they need professional help.

1. Although distinguishing the difference can be difficult and seem unapparent, loneliness and solitude are completely different. One can feel they need time alone for some peace and quiet. However, loneliness leads to the feeling of sadness and can be draining, exhausting and distracting. It can also lead a person to overthink trivial matters.

2. Nurturing others such as raising children, teaching, volunteering and caring for other humans and animals can help relieve loneliness.

3. Many people need both a social circle and an intimate attachment, having only one of the two may leave a person feeling lonely.

4. Work hard to get proper sleep. Taking a while to fall asleep, waking frequently, feeling sleepy during the day are all symptoms of broken sleep, which is normal when one feels lonely. Sleep deprivation can always bring down a person’s mood and lead to sickness and drain energy. Lonely or not, always ensure maintaining a healthy sleep cycle.

5. Observe what is missing from your life. Many people think that by spending time with others, they will assuage the feeling of loneliness. However what is important is to also figure out what it is we want to accomplish in our lives in order to feel accomplished and fulfilled.

6. Connect with others; do not always wait for others to come for you. Remember that it takes 2 to tango. Put in some effort and exert positive energy. Make plans, sign up for a class you find interesting, take a minute to chit chat, join a social group.

7. Stay open by confiding with your loved ones. We all need someone we trust to talk to about our feelings and life occurrences. It is not healthy to take all the heavy weight of life on our shoulders alone.

Happier At Home, by Gretchen Rubin
Overcoming Loneliness in Everyday Life, by Jacqueline Olds

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