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Last Updated on June 16, 2022

16 Things to Do When You Feel Like Loneliness Is Taking Over

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16 Things to Do When You Feel Like Loneliness Is Taking Over

There may be many incidences when loneliness may take over, which would have been because of situations beyond your control.

It’s possible that moving to a new place or going through a significant life transition like being divorced could contribute to feelings of isolation and loneliness. The occurrence of any event that has the potential to adversely affect your social connections may cause you to experience these feelings.

Conditions affecting one’s mental health can also be a contributing factor. Even though people may yearn for human connection, people who suffer from social anxiety may also have difficulty engaging in social interactions.

You may feel lonely if your basic human need for social interaction isn’t being addressed. That is the difference between alone vs. lonely. It’s quite acceptable to enjoy some alone time from time to time.

Taking some time to yourself can actually help you refresh and relax. To function at your best, you may require more time alone than someone else so that you can improve your mental health.

16 Tips on How to Deal With Loneliness

Although loneliness and being alone might be used interchangeably, they aren’t the same. When you’re having a good time alone, you’re not likely to feel lonely or long for social interaction. One of the most common causes of isolation and loneliness is isolation, which affects more than only one’s emotional and physical health.

Follow these tips if your mind keeps telling you, “I’m lonely.”

1. Take a Walk to Refresh Your Mind and Body

The first and easiest way how to not feel lonely? Take a stroll! Walking, which is both a calming and an energetic kind of exercise, is one of the best ways to be fit if you have a hectic schedule. Walking also helps us maintain our mental and physical health, especially when feeling lonely.

Even a thirty-minute stroll every day (or as frequently as feasible) will lower your heart rate, reduce anxiety, and relieve stress–and it can be extremely scenic.

Exercising (and specifically walking) releases feel-good endorphins, which act as natural painkillers, just as prolonged worry and stress do. Endorphins also serve to balance adrenaline and cortisol levels in nerve-wracked systems and provide a variety of other health benefits.

2. Join a Club and Meet People Who Share Your Passion

Numerous groups and clubs based on shared interests and pastimes may be available to you, depending on where you reside. Many of these groups can be found on the internet or through community organizations.

To find a group of people who share a common interest, you can use the meetup websites. Locally based meetings are held for a group of people is another way on how to deal with loneliness.

You may find meetup groups for everything from food and travel to sports and recreation. There are meetup groups all around the country that might provide you with activities to do when you’re feeling lonely. It’s a terrific way to meet new people and keep in touch with old ones.

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3. Heat up a “Real” Conversation to Invite Deep Friendships

It is beneficial to have a close circle of friends. Friends can be a source of joy and comfort in good and bad times. Friendship prevents isolation and loneliness, as well as the opportunity to provide needed companionship.

Make a list of the folks you haven’t seen in a while; it might be really helpful in socializing and is a great way not to feel lonely. This may entail revisiting a former classmate or college roommate. It could be thinking of a person you haven’t spoken to in a few months and whom you miss dearly.

It’s easy to put it off when it comes to reconnecting with an old acquaintance or relative. But, step up. Text or call them and do it immediately. Remember that life is short, and meaningful conversations are how to cope with loneliness or feeling zoned out of life.

4. Adopt a Pet to Heal Your Pain and Anxiety

It is possible that pets can assist in alleviating loneliness for a variety of reasons. We all know that a quick snuggle with a dog can lift one’s spirits, even for a brief period. Long-term, everyday dog cuddling may help owners’ moods improve and alleviate loneliness.

People are more willing to chat with strangers if a dog accompanies them. Therefore dog or cat owners may also meet new people through their pets.

Instead of wondering and racking your brains over why I am so lonely, get a pet! And unless you despise animals or are too busy to care for one adequately, research [1] shows that dogs can provide a strong support system, stress reduction, and other health advantages even more than people.

But beyond just being a loyal companion, a pet is literally medicine to heal your pain, as science says. [2].

5. Offer Others a Helping Hand to Realize Your Own Value

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn

Kindness is choosing to help others or yourself out of real warm feelings. Kindness, or doing good for others, frequently entails prioritizing the needs of others over our own.

It could be as simple as giving up our bus seat to someone in need or volunteering to make a cup of tea for someone at work. It’s simple. If you are kind enough to others, the good karma will come back and not let you question, “why am I so lonely?”

Helping others has been shown to boost our mental health and well-being. It can, for example, lower tension while also improving mood, self-esteem, and contentment.

You don’t have to start with magnificent gestures; even simple, ordinary actions can impact others and your happiness. Spending just $5 on someone else, for example, increased happiness in a research published in Science. [3]

The eliciting altruism practice [4] contains techniques for establishing a habit of compassion and giving, such as reminding yourself of your connections to others and recognizing people who might need your assistance.

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6. Avoid Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk was often one of the reasons I felt lonely despite having a job or friends. You may be wondering how getting rid of negative self-talk affects your loneliness, but the truth is that the two go hand in hand. Because you give attention to the ideas you give yourself and the world around you, the things you think about most often manifest themselves in your life.

To the extent that you are able, attempt to recognize these ideas and, in their place, tell yourself something encouraging. It takes practice, but positive self-talk can be an effective component of a straightforward treatment for feelings of isolation.

Suppose you choose to engage in online counseling. In that case, you will acquire an in-depth understanding of the various strategies for engaging in constructive internal dialogue. It’s an effective method for warding off unpleasant emotions, and doing so can make a huge difference in the quality of your life.

7. Do Something Random to Experience the New Excitement

To stop manifesting the feelings of loneliness, get the most out of your hobbies. You may enjoy watching movies or playing video games alone, but this isn’t always the best way to deal with loneliness. Find those who you can do activities with.

Put out your best effort to discover some exciting and new pastimes that will put you in touch with people. It could be the catalyst you’ve been looking for when it comes to improving your social life.

You can wear something that’s out of character for you. Because of this, others will have the opportunity to perceive you in a new light and, as a result, may behave differently toward you. You can also organize your work area in a new way. If you can, rearrange your workspace with fresh art and candles.

It is time to take a different way of working. Every now and then, get out of bed early and take a different route to work. While out and about, see if there are any new creative classes like pottery or dancing that you might enroll in.

8. Strike up Conversations With Strangers to Feel Connected

If you want to meet new people and build your social circle, you must be open to striking up conversations with complete strangers. All the strangers you encounter daily provide you the chance to create new acquaintances.

Talking to strangers can give you the chance to meet the love of your life.

9. Stay Away From Toxic People

Even though it isn’t always an easy task, remove toxic people in your life because doing so can improve your mental and physical health. It may not take you long to identify the people in your life who are detrimental to your health.

They may abuse you, mistreat you, or criticize you regularly. As a result, you may end yourself engaging in self-destructive conduct due to the humiliation. Emotional abuse may result from interacting with someone who behaves in this manner.

10. If Your Loneliness Is Continuously Stressing You, Seek Professional Help

Loneliness and depression symptoms are mutually reinforcing, meaning that the more isolated you are, the more depressed you become.

In some cases, it’s not enough to go out and meet people. However, even when you’re in their presence, you may still feel alone, which could indicate depression or social anxiety. Psychotherapy may be a useful option if this is the case for you, especially if you are also experiencing other symptoms of depression.

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CBT, in particular, can enable you to adjust your beliefs and actions so that you not only experience less loneliness but also have more tools to prevent it from happening. Do whatever it takes to alleviate your feelings of isolation and remind yourself that you’re not the only one.

11. Be an Observer

Take the time to observe the world around you. So many of us, when we find ourselves alone in public, tend to take out our phone or iPad to make it look like we’re busy. Why do we need to be busy all the time?

Take some time to listen to the birds, or enjoy the laughter of a small child. Experience life rather than zoning out playing some time-wasting game while you wait for your train to take you somewhere packed with people.

12. Cherish Interactions

We spend so much time around others that we sometimes take it all for granted. When we’re alone, we want other people around; but when we’re out and about, all we want is to be back in bed.

It’s important to take the time to really appreciate everyone you meet, from the cashier at the supermarket to the concierge of your apartment complex. Embrace these moments when they arise, and you’ll find they stick with you when you are alone.

13. Understand You’re Good Enough

As I said, we’re constantly being fed the idea that we need others around us in order to be happy. That’s simply not true. You’re absolutely good enough all by yourself. You don’t need others around you to tell you you’re living life correctly; just live. Take up a new hobby. Set and accomplish goals. Do what you want to do, not what others make you think you should be doing.

14. Watch an Interesting Movie

Enjoy a movie alone or call some friends to go with you, it does not matter. What’s important is you immerse yourself in an interesting story that can erase your gloomy thoughts.

15. Consider a Warm Bathtub

It is really common for us to work with the term “warm” to describe the impression a hug gives all of us. We have a slight temperature surge in a good accept, but the description is mainly another way we use physical language to identify something emotional.

Going for a nice, long, and soothing bath is a great way to bask in your alone time rather than drowning in self-pity.

16. Look Through Old Images

Going back in history by checking old pictures and talking with friends, family or schoolmates can bring you peace. Reminisce the excellent old days with a friend, family, or schoolmates. Remembering your crazy antics and the most disturbing occasions caught on camera will fill you with nostalgic memories and drive away loneliness.

Causes of Loneliness

Loneliness Is Both Genetic and Environmental

Why do we feel lonely? Perhaps it’s people’s nature. Researchers find that loneliness can be passed down from parent to child. [5] The genetic data collected from twins, relatives, and adopted children proves this trait is a part of their genetic makeup.

Loneliness is not only nature. Sometimes people feel lonely because they’re affected by others. Loneliness is contagious. People who are not lonely tend to become lonelier if they are around lonely people, according to research. [6]

Loneliness Is Closely Linked to Health Problems

While it’s normal to feel lonely or isolated from time to time, too much loneliness can be unhealthy or even dangerous. Numerous studies have linked excessive ongoing feelings of loneliness to the following health issues [7]:

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  • Difficult breathing
  • Feeling of isolation
  • Brain fog
  • Stress
  • Obsessive behaviors

However, as a matter of fact, loneliness is a condition that can be fought against and overcome. We think it shows weakness, but it doesn’t.

This is one of the biggest reasons we suffer in silence from depression, from loneliness, from anything that life throws at us that we “should” be able to handle. We seem to need to soldier on through feeling low, and a lot of us would rather carry on in silent misery than face the shame of admitting it to another person.

The fact is you don’t need a right to feel lonely. It can happen at any time in your life. Whether you’re young, old, whether you’ve just had a child, or whether you’re at college surrounded by people, you can still feel alone.

To admit it can make you feel weak and unworthy at the time, but the truth is it will actually make you stronger. Admitting that you’re going through a tough time is a strength, not a weakness.

We Don’t Want to Burden Others (But We Won’t)

When we’re feeling lonely, we assume that everyone else has more exciting stuff going on in their lives than we do. Whether this is true or not, we convince ourselves that we shouldn’t hassle them.

The last thing we want is for people to spend time with us out of pity. So instead of reaching out and asking someone over for dinner or a glass of wine, we hide behind pride and make ourselves lonelier.

But hang on one second — if you think about it, how many times when a friend has called us have we thought, “oh no, not them again?” Most of the time, we are delighted to hear from that person because we’re feeling the same way ourselves.

It’s easy to assume other people have these exciting lives and are too busy for us. Most of the time, it’s just not the case.

Why Feeling Lonely Can Get Worse With Time

Maybe you noticed that when you are lonely, you start to feel cynical and suspicious of people. That’s normal because deep down in our nature, loneliness is associated with rejection and danger. These emotions are tied with loneliness.

Even if YOU decide that you want to be left alone, you still feel that society is rejecting you, and the mental gap between you and other people grows bigger if you don’t do something to stop it.

This can lead to loneliness worsening by other means:

  • You stop relating to normal people because you spend a lot of time on your own, which makes it even harder to start making friends.
  • You start losing your social skills. Social intelligence is like any other kind of intelligence – if you don’t use it, you lose it.
  • You become irritable: When you’re lonely, problems and setbacks start to seem bigger to you.
  • You lose some of your motivation: After long periods of hard work, a bit of socializing can give you all the energy you need. The lack of it can make goals matter less.

The thing is, loneliness drains your energy and makes your goals and aspirations seem much harder to attain. The sooner you deal with it, the better.

Key Takeaway

Humans are, by nature, social beings. You yearn to be accepted and loved by others. It’s normal to desire a partner who reciprocates your love. It’s not easy to learn how to deal with loneliness, but there are many things you can do to regain a sense of worth and belonging. Professional assistance is also available if you need it for ways to deal with loneliness.

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Featured photo credit: Sasha Freemind via unsplash.com

Reference

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Anna Y.T. Chui

Anna is the Editor-in-Chief of Lifehack. She is also a communication expert and shares tips on happiness and relationships.

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