10 Ways to Deal With Loneliness -By Gertrude Flynn-White 5/7/2020
Hello! A few days ago a good friend called me and tried to throw a “Pity Party” for me because that person believed that I would be lonely living by myself. I explained that loneliness has never been an issue and shared some of the creative ways in which I try to maximize my time. That conversation prompted me to share some of the causes and effects of loneliness how these best practices can help to overcome this feeling.
As we try to accomplish our daily task, achieve our goals, and overcome our challenges, we are often faced with a feeling of loneliness. We may feel abandoned sometimes, but this should only last for a short time. A prolonged feeling of loneliness may result in mental issues like anxiety or depression.
Loneliness is not an emotion that is reserved for only single people. It is a state of mind and not a way of life. There are many single people who are not lonely because they find creative ways to occupy their time.
Many persons are in a relationship but still feel lonely. They often suffer from loneliness because they lose connection, or that “Spark” isn’t there anymore.
Sometimes the relationship started out perfectly well, but overtime, both partners gradually drift away from each other. Sometimes there are lingering unresolved issues, or something might be affecting the relationship, but the individuals are either not aware of what is affecting the relationship, or they know, but are unable to identify the underlying causes.
There are times when one spouse enters the relationship with an underlying issue buried deep within and expect the other spouse to fill the void. This usually creates a cause and effect scenario or misunderstanding which leads to bigger problems. Cigna, A Global Health Service company recently conducted an online survey of more than 20,000 US adults 18 years and older, using the UCLA Loneliness scale to examine loneliness. They found out that most Americans consider themselves lonely. Can you imagine? Now I know the “Why” and “How” questions are going to be asked.
So, whether the affected individual is single or married, it is called loneliness. Loneliness is not a condition that we suddenly wake up and find ourselves in. It is a series of choices we make, or issues not dealt with along the way that culminate in undesirable results. We know that the choices we make have consequences. We also know that our personality and our interaction with others, whether they be our spouses or friends, positively or negatively affect our relationship.
Loneliness, if not dealt with properly, can let you feel like a chained dog that is fighting to be freed. I’ve experienced both worlds, being single at one point, and in a relationship at another time, so I am speaking from experience.
Here are 10 things that will help us deal with loneliness.
- Embrace Change.
Change is a natural part of life. Many persons freak out when there is a sudden change in their lives and they experience difficulty making the necessary adjustments. The fear of change hinders success. Be proactive and always think outside the box. Always stay one or two steps ahead of a situation.
2. Meditate regularly.
Meditation helps to alleviate the feeling of loneliness. It lessens your stress level and provide calmness and relaxation. People who meditate regularly, sleep better, usually look younger than their actual age, and have better coping skills.
3. Maintain Social or interpersonal skills
Social and interpersonal skills are very important. They can help you build and maintain relationships, or they allow others to pull away from you. Find ways to socialize or connect with others and be civil about it. Nurture the relationships you already have. Use social media to connect or reconnect with those you have lost touch with because of time and distance. You could also join a group or club with interests you share.
4. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses
Identify your strengths and be willing to identify and improve your weaknesses.
Do frequent evaluations of yourself. Don’t brag about your strengths.
Let others see them in you. Search diligently for your weaknesses and be willing to eliminate or improve them. Never ignore them.
5. Be Self-motivated and self-sufficient.
You must be a real “Go-getter” Reach out to others and build good friendships.
Don’t be egoistic but instead, focus on the needs of others. Engage in activities that will motivate others but don’t do it for applause or praise.
Be persistent in pursuing you goals even when others think you will run into a dead-end.
Always create a balance between work and leisure.
6. Be Independent
It is important to be independent in a relationship.
You must develop your own sense of autonomy while still feeling you can’t do without each other.
Have your own space and stand your ground.
Being single is to embrace your freedom. You can be single and happy. Live in the present moment and plan.
7. Do not dwell on the past
WE must learn to leave the past behind.
It is extra baggage and will pull you back or slow you down.
Don’t let past mistakes consume you in negativity. Identify your mistakes and move forward.
Get busy and find creative ways to use occupy your time.
8. Be Positive.
Accept loneliness as a feeling and not a way of life.
The feeling of loneliness can only get our attention if we allow it.
Devote your time and energy to whatever will bring good results or propel you to fulfilling your purpose. Your thought process should be positive.
Don’t ever feel that you are lonely because you are a loser, or nobody loves you. This feeling will only generate negative energy.
Be willing to forgive. Unforgiveness is like carrying extra baggage. It wears you down instead of the other person.
9. Establish boundaries
Be polite, kind, compassionate, loving and helpful but you must set boundaries so that your personal aura repels the negative energy from others, and they don’t invade your personal space.
10. Seek professional help if necessary.
I hope these best practices will help you on your journey.
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