Loneliness is a feeling of intense isolation that occurs whether a person is physically alone or even when they have a lot of people around them. The feeling of loneliness is an often-debilitating condition, which can bring on an intense sadness. In addition to unhappiness, sufferers will also often be unfocused, fatigued, unmotivated, and sometimes even suicidal in the worst cases.
Below are five steps that can help a sufferer overcome their loneliness.
Get to know yourself
People often start experiencing intense loneliness following a significant event in their lives that affect how they feel about themselves. In these cases, getting to know yourself is one of the most important things you can do. People rarely take the time to truly get to know themselves, instead assuming that they already do. This is understandable, it’s hard for someone else to convince you that you don’t know you, after all, it’s you, and you are you. But, in real life, you will not always understand everything about yourself. Everyone changes over time, develops new habits, likes and dislikes, quirks, and the like. Many of these will reside deep within our subconscious and only taking the time to truly reflect will bring them to light. To complete this process, it might even be necessary to contact outside sources, such as family members and friends. Once you have this new grasp on who you are, you can then move on to the next stage.
Find things to appreciate within yourself
A large part of the feeling of loneliness comes from an inability to appreciate one’s own self, and the inability to find joy in being alone. Often, people start feeling lonely after breakups, getting fired from a job, and other events that have a sense of rejection. The purpose of this exercise is not to make you feel that you should be by yourself, but rather to help you feel comfortable when you are and to help you realise that you are someone other people want to be around. Once you are able to identify the particular characteristics that make you stand out from the crowd, you can really start to appreciate yourself. This will also raise your self-esteem as it makes you realise that you are someone special. Additionally, this will help you conquer any fear of rejection that you might have when you approach other people in the future.
Find ways to improve yourself
No one is perfect. We all have a few areas that we can certainly improve on, and if you have successfully conducted the first step, then you will have found one or more of these areas. You must then make the effort to improve yourself in those areas. Did you find that some aspect of your attitude or personality is often rubbing people up the wrong way? Then take steps to change, be conscious of your actions, apologise when you make those same mistakes, and try your best. Is your problem area more of a personal thing? Do you not like how you look, do you wish you were making more money, or is it that you don’t like how much you drink? Then find new ways to turn it around. Exercise more, seek out new job opportunities, get help. There is no part of yourself that cannot be improved. You just have to make the effort, and not expect anything to be easy.
Finding ways to socialise
When you lose someone close to you; maybe from a breakup, a death, or they simply move away, it is normal to feel like you have no one else in the world. This is just not true. Your loved ones are definitely irreplaceable, that will never change. But that doesn’t mean you have to be alone when they are no longer around. There are many wonderful people out there, some of whom are in the exact same situation that you are in, you just have to get out there and get to know them. Socialising will likely be difficult for you at first, so start simple. Try talking to the people already around you; those at your workplace, your neighbours, your school. If you are often on the internet or on social networks, reach out to those in the same circles to start. Other ways include volunteering in your neighbourhood, joining a gym, attending events you are interested in, and so on. An additional hurdle is that not everyone you meet will be worth your time. Sadly, there are bad people out there, and you have to understand that you do not have to socialise with these people, and they are not the only ones out there.
Sometimes it is especially difficult to get past social isolation by yourself. In this case, it is best to get someone else to help you. This help can be professional or from someone close to you. If you have loved ones who have no trouble socialising, it is possible to learn from them. They could also introduce you to their social circles and help you integrate into them. These people could provide you with a comfortable stepping stone to socialising and assist you where you might have trouble communicating. However, there are cases where you require the assistance of an expert in the field of social isolation. Professional help includes cognitive-behavioural therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and similar methods. All of these are designed to help you identify and move past traits restricting your social skills. Their aim is to improve your communication skills, solitary skills, and social strength. Professional help could also help you diagnose disorders that are causing you to feel isolated, to fear socialising, and to have trouble communicating.