11 March,2019 | Reading Time: 4 minutes
Let’s answer a small bunch of questions before we begin this shall we? Do you feel like no one knows you? Do you doubt whether you are important to anyone? Do you sometimes wonder whether you truly exist? Do you think you have no truly meaningful relationship?
If you answered “yes” to a few of them. People who feel lonely and isolated tend to be more prone to depression and other mental health issues.
Despite huge technological advances and increasing ways to “stay connected”, we have become increasingly disconnected from each other and feel more lonely. The current COVID pandemic situation has only exacerbated these feelings across the population. People feel more isolated and anxious. It is very important that we battle our lonesomeness, and learn to overcome our grief and loneliness.
Whatever be the reason for your loneliness, know that more people are willing to support and nourish you than you think!
Being self-aware and emotionally aware will always help you in dealing with mental health issues.
Is it that you feel disconnected from the world? Is it that you feel that you have no one to confide in? Despite having a lot of friends, do you feel alone and misunderstood? Or is it that you feel unimportant? Trying to comprehend your feelings from an outsider’s perspective can help you put a distance from overwhelming emotions. It also provides context and clarity of thought.
For example, if you feel disconnected from the world, you are not rooted in the present. You need to take steps to enjoy the present moment – perhaps, you can try mindfulness techniques.
If you feel alone, despite having many friends, it implies that you do not find meaning in your relationships. Try to enrich your relationships – have heart-to-heart conversations instead of superficial ones. Spend time and effort to understand one another.
Once you have identified what exactly is missing in your life, that is causing you to feel alone and lonely, take steps to overcome it.
Loneliness can be caused by many reasons. It can diminish your self-esteem and make you more prone to depression. Here are a few tips on overcoming loneliness:
We have become more accustomed to technology and “virtual life” than connecting in real life. However, studies have shown that having face-to-face social interactions can improve our mood and reduce depression. It also reduces the feeling of loneliness. Hence, look people in the eyes and talk to them. Listen to conversations with an open heart and try to be as mindful as possible. Building stronger interpersonal relationships can reduce feelings of loneliness.
Restructure your leisure time to include your hobbies. Hobbies not only provide relaxation but also give meaning and joy to your life. However, try to have creative hobbies and not just consumptive hobbies.
Creative hobbies are leisure activities in which you create something, or improve a skill – learning a musical instrument, playing sports, gardening, etc. This gives you a sense of accomplishment and long-term joy. Consumptive hobbies are activities in which you are a passive consumer – shopping, watching movies & series, etc. While these hobbies lift your mood temporarily, it doesn’t provide you with long-term joy.
A good trick is to use your consumptive hobbies to create something. If you like watching movies, perhaps you could start a blog on movie reviews. If you like reading, you could join a book club and share your ideas and make friends!
Just ensure that your hobby is something you enjoy doing for fun, and not something that causes you stress.
Man is a social animal. Isolating ourselves can have adverse effects on our mental health. So, strengthen your old friendships and build new ones! Take time to give a call to your old friends and have a conversation. An easy way to make new friends is to join a class or club for a hobby of your interest.
In a club or class, you will meet other individuals who share the same interest. Furthermore, chances are higher than they are also looking to make friends with similar people. So, if you join a cricket club, you will meet others who are interested in cricket, like you. If you join a language class, students there would be looking to make friends practice, and improve their language skills.
It is easier said than done. However, emotional awareness and self-discipline can help you control your negative thoughts. Both, wallowing in self-pity and being constantly anxious about the future, causes you to get caught up in your thoughts. When you feel very alone, call a friend, and strike up a conversation. If you feel isolated, go out and do some activities with your loved ones. Go for a walk around the park or play with your children. Take action to control and stop your negative thoughts.
Volunteering for a cause you believe in provides a sense of purpose and direction. It also serves the same purpose as taking a class or joining a club – meeting others, being part of a subgroup, and having new experiences. Additionally, it can help you be more grateful for what you already have in your life. Join a group that helps around the neighborhood if you can.
Adopting a furry friend as a pet is not only an act of kindness but can also help you feel less lonely. A pet can reduce your stress levels, provide companionship and combat lonesomeness. Pets also give unconditional love which can reduce feelings of loneliness.
Above all, be kind to yourself. Practice self-care: having healthy & balanced meals, exercising regularly, and getting proper sleep. Maintain your hygiene. These simple steps can impact your mental health significantly. Take care of both your physical health and mental health.
Also, stop hurtful self-talk or self-blame. Instead of going into a spiral of negative thoughts, practice self-affirmations or meditation.
Seeking the help of a therapist can provide you with methods and techniques to deal with loneliness. If you are dealing with grief and overwhelming loneliness, you can always talk to us. You can call us at +91 97414 76476 or visit our website to speak to a mental health professional.