Loneliness is such an elusive feeling. The thing about being lonely is that it doesn’t matter if you have one hundred people in your life or none. It doesn’t come from the outside; instead, it comes from within. And unlike other problems in your life that can be solved with the help of others, unless, and until, you take steps to change things, feeling lonely will not subside. So, if you are dealing with loneliness and wondering how to overcome it, the answer lies inside you. And that is both the good news and the bad. No one can make you feel fulfilled and comforted; only you can change your situation.
Dealing With Loneliness
Feeling lonely makes life a lot less joyous and meaningful. But the reality is that, as humans, we are never alone. Unless you have sequestered yourself on a mountain, in the middle of nowhere, there are always people around. Loneliness is a feeling that you don’t connect with anyone. You feel as if no one cares, no one will be there when you need them, and that no one understands what you are going through. The only way how not to be lonely can’t be found from finding someone; it can only come from being okay with you.
Loneliness and Depression
When it comes to loneliness and depression, it is difficult to know what came first, the chicken or the egg. When you are alone, it is easy to start to feel depressed and isolated. But in the same respect, if you are with someone and not alone, but you don’t feel support or love, that might present an even greater hurdle. Being with someone and alone is worse because you have someone who is supposed to be there and in your life, but they aren’t. And since they are there holding the space that you want to fill, there is no way to let someone else in who can maybe support you. And someone who can make you feel more connected. But ultimately, you can’t ever feel alone if you find fulfillment with the most important person in your life, you.
Depression can be Driving your Feelings of Loneliness
Being depressed can make you feel as if you are utterly alone. And it doesn’t matter how many people you have in your life. Depression can make you feel unworthy of love and alter the way that you see the relationships in your life. If you don’t feel as if you are lovable, it is difficult to see how anyone could. So, even the most loving person won’t make an impression if you aren’t accepting of the love they are sending. Therefore, depression is a state of mind that can alter your reality.
So, What is the Answer? Five Tricks to Stop Feeling Lonely
“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”
-Michel de Montaigne
1. Learn to Love Yourself to Stop Feeling Lonely
Loving yourself means that if you have someone in your life or not, you always have you. If you are insecure, have a fear of being alone, or just don’t really enjoy being with you all that much, it is easy to feel isolated and alone. The key is to find those things that you love doing with you, and do them!
You might think that you need someone to pick you up on a tough day when all you need is a brisk walk. You might think that dinner is only good if you spend it with someone else, only to find that you can eat what you want when you want it, and unapologetically, by yourself. What you might notice is that if you stop trying to find someone to complete you, you have all you need to be complete inside you. There is no greater loneliness cure than never being alone because you are with your bestie….you.
2. Don’t Wallow When Feeling Lonely
We ALL have times where we start to feel like we don’t have anyone. Or, like we aren’t good enough to be loved, which is really at the heart of loneliness. But sitting in your solitude and wallowing in your feelings isn’t doing you any favors. I get it, feeling lonely is not fun. But I also know that no one can change your situation but you.
The only way to change your feelings of loneliness is to take back control and be in charge. There are billions of people in the world, and all you need is one to connect. In the scheme of things, all you need is one true friend. So strive hard to find that person who makes you feel good or even the many, and continue to reach out and make them a priority in your world. Instead of sitting feeling badly that there is no one, get out there and try to make connections! I promise you, if you look, there will be someone!
3. Ditch the Sweat Pants and get out There!
It is okay to have a pity party. But your party isn’t going to be so fun when you are sitting in your sweat pants without anyone showing up. Or, even worse, they show up and get sick of it. If you want to stop feeling lonely, get out, and enjoy the world around you. There are so many things to do, mountains to climb, and things to experience. But if you stay stuck not moving, avoiding the world, guess what? It will avoid you. So get off your couch, stop worrying about people seeing you alone, wondering why, and see and do all that there is. If you try just a little bit, you will find that it is nearly impossible to be alone. And if you stop putting boundaries on yourself, then you won’t ever feel the sting of loneliness.
4. Find Someone to Talk to
When you feel lonely and depressed, the last thing you are in the mood for is to find a new friend. And even if you do, your friendship won’t last very long if all you provide is gloom and doom. Or, even worse, it will, and that friendship will be based on negativity and misery. Sure, misery loves company, but that is the type of company that will do nothing to lift your spirits.
A therapist might be the perfect sounding board to reveal your inner secrets and feelings without fear of judgment or reprisal. A chat talk session allows you to purge all the anxiety and loneliness you feel so that it won’t sit eating you up or boiling over. Or, once more, stewing. A professional can give you an honest, thorough, and helpful evaluation from a third-party perspective. And it can also guide you on how to change your thinking patterns to find a happier and healthier new you.
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
5. Explore Current and Past Relationships and Drop the Backpack!
Most often, if you have people in your life, whether it is a significant other or otherwise, and you still feel lonely, there is something in your past that might be fostering your emotions. We all have baggage in our history that we choose to take with us, as a badge of honor and carry, or we ditch when it no longer serves us well. If you carry luggage full of your previous hurts and attachment issues into your future relationships, then it is hard to see a current one for what it really is. Even in the most stable and loving relationship, if you can’t let go of the past, you are always going to view it from the guise that being with someone isn’t secure or trustworthy.
And that is no way to find the support and closeness that you obviously crave. Letting go of loneliness requires letting someone into your world, into your heart, and trusting them enough to fill that empty space. So, no matter who they are or what their intentions are, if you can’t see right, you will always see emptiness. But that is in you, and no one can change it but you. If you don’t let go of the past, unfortunately, you are destined to repeat it. And that might be keeping you lonely!
Loneliness Most Often Comes From Within and can Only be Solved There too!
Often loneliness is thought of as something that comes from the outside. But the thing is if you are happy and secure in yourself and enjoy yourself, then there is no such thing as being lonely. The only way to cure loneliness is to find what it is that you lack in your life alone. If you take the time to examine what that is, you will probably find that if you take the time to reconnect with you, see what you love about you, and what it is that you can do for yourself that makes you happy, you can’t ever be alone.
Being alone isn’t about being with someone else; it is about being with someone who makes you feel fulfilled, cherished, and happy. But trying to find someone to complete you, will leave you forever chasing the illusion. We are born into this life with us alone. And we go out alone. So if you want to find the one person who will always be there to relish in your good times, comfort and be there in your bad, and accept those things about you that you don’t show to the world, look no further than in the mirror.
Sometimes it takes someone from the outside to show you all the gifts you have, the blessings that you possess, and the pathway to a mindful, meaningful, and healthier new you.