How to Overcome Loneliness
We have to start with the fact that we ALL at one time or another have felt lonely,
being alone can be very beneficial. Many enjoy solitude in their lives which can be a good way to reconnect with themselves. But lonely is verydifferent from the solitude that we desire.
Loneliness is a negative feeling and a disconnect between what we want our relationships to be and what they actually are. The root being a lack of a social network and the ways that we react to this situation.
Studies show that strong relationships are key — perhaps the key — to a happy life.
Some people may experience loneliness as a result of living alone. Maybe family or friends are not close or you may not have a close connection with them. It is never too late to make new friends and develop new interests. How well you make new friendships really depends upon how open you are to new people and experiences.
Do something… anything. The secret is to just take small steps, start a casual conversation with a bartender or barista.
Keep it light, just get used to smiling and giving honest compliments to people. Starting is the hard part and when you get past that, well it builds upon itself and becomes much easier.
Be honest with yourself, look to see if you have unrealistic expectations of others. Do you expect too much too soon from a friendship or are you too needy with people? These are poor ways to connect and may be preventing you from making new friends.
Try becoming involved with an organization that fits your personality and that you think that you will enjoy such as a church or charity. Getting a pet or volunteering at a shelter are proven ways to help with loneliness. Reach out to someone that is lonely, since we know that we tend to isolate ourselves when lonely. You may be the best person to empathize with someone and truly help them feel better.
Meditation and mindfulness are very valuable for health and perspective. Therapy may be necessary if you cannot shake deep feelings of despair, depression or loneliness. Look for professionals that specialize in depression and loneliness. We may need help to be able to move forward and be able to have a happy and fulfilling life.
Everyone is busy, but you should take time for relationships. Life will always get in the way, kids, work, school etc. There will never be a convenient time to slow down and THEN have time for relationships. Don’t make the mistake of making relationships unimportant because they may not be there when you need them.