Having 5000 Facebook friends doesn’t mean you have a lot of friends. Indeed, this does not mean that we are well surrounded and well accompanied in all that we live… the joys as well as the sorrows. Loneliness…that’s a scary word. Obviously, loneliness can weigh heavily on our shoulders, whether we are single or in a relationship. It can take many forms. For example, singles may get tired of always being the only one single in a reunion of friends.
Certainly, for people in a couple, they may be alone to take care of everything in the house and the children if they have them. Or worse, they stay in a relationship because of false beliefs stemming from social pressures. Many people believe that not being in a relationship means that there is something wrong. Also, many stay in relationships because of financial pressures, with or without children. Finally, loneliness usually occurs when a person is grieving the death of a life partner.
Do not deny your loneliness
First, we must stop denying this state of mind. Then you have to let go and accept your situation, even when you don’t know how you got there. Here are a few tips to tame your loneliness and change your perception.
1 – Indulge yourself!
Often we find ourselves depending too much on others to make us happy. You have to find things you like to do alone, both outside and in your home, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
- Getting a massage
- Read a good book accompanied by the comforting beverage of your choice
- Going out to eat with friends on your lunch break at work
- Take a course of some kind (e.g. painting, foreign language, dance)
- Personal development
- Have projects (e.g. travel, renovations, home improvements, decorating, etc.)
- Do nothing and relax!
The feeling of accomplishment is very powerful because it allows us to be proud of ourselves and provides a sense of well-being and happiness. It’s a catalyst for maintaining those good habits of indulging. Moreover, we attract others because they feel that we do not depend on them to be happy!
2 – Keep a positive attitude
- Keep a gratitude journal: list 10 positive things that happened in your day each day, no matter how trivial.
- Take note of your feelings/moods when you’ve indulged! Be aware of the benefits it has on you.
- Reread your gratitude journal from time to time. It makes you smile!
- Human nature is to compare ourselves to others. Compare yourself to those who are worse off than you are! Make a list of your qualities, your talents, your assets and realize how lucky you are!
3 – Live in the moment
Another hard life lesson to learn and integrate. Always thinking about the past, what we should have done or not done, always thinking about tomorrow and planning 10 years ahead…this is very stressful and can cause a lot of anxiety and sadness. Moreover, we will blame ourselves in a more or less near future for not having taken full advantage of the moments spent with the people we love. It is important to stop every day, a few seconds are enough, to realize what we are doing, and to say to ourselves that we are happy to be doing what we are doing because we are happy to do it. You owe it to yourself to live fully in the present moment.
4 – Meet new people to counteract loneliness
Yes, even if you are in a relationship! Meeting people who may have the same interests as you can be very beneficial. Different points of view, knowledge that you did not have, that can lead you to meet other people who will help you further in your personal development.
As simple as striking up a conversation with the cashier at your local grocery store that you see every week…the goal is not to create a deep connection, but to maintain a balance in our need to communicate with discussions even though sometimes they may be superficial. This will make you aware that you are capable of interacting with others rather than brooding on your loneliness and feeling sorry for yourself, which will have a very negative and devaluing impact.
If, despite all your efforts, your loneliness still weighs heavily on you, then don’t hesitate to seek professional help. There are many mental health professionals who can help you. You just need to know where to start.
- Life coach
- NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) coach
- Social worker
- Relationship therapist
Don’t despair! You are never alone unless you have completely given up. There will always be someone who can help you, but the first effort must come from within yourself. Don’t let it get you down, you are worth more than that and you don’t deserve to be unhappy!