There is hardly anyone who does not sometimes feel lonely. This sensation is particularly strong during the holidays, Valentine’s Day, periods of intense tension, and highly contagious ailments. It is therefore of immense benefit to talk about curing loneliness and escaping the trap of solitude.
The sheer amount of people in the United States who feel lonely is very large—61 percent of those polled in a January 2020 Cigna study of 10,000 adults reported feeling lonely.
Before delving into curing loneliness lets briefly discuss its impact.
Apart from being physically distressing, loneliness has a variety of negative consequences:
- Depression: In a survey presented in the Lancet Psychiatry in 2021, researchers discovered correlations between isolation and depressive symptoms in a population of people aged 50 and over. Additionally, research indicates that isolation and depression can mutually reinforce and perpetuate one another.
- Physical health: Numerous studies have established a correlation between emotional stress and lowered immunity. Other research establishes a correlation between isolation and depression and decreased health and well-being. As a result, individuals that are alone are predisposed to a host of health problems.
- Physical pain: Research indicates that the brain regions associated with social isolation are often associated with physical pain, providing a theoretical basis for the experience of a “broken heart.”
How to overcome or cure loneliness
Lets first define loneliness. Loneliness can be defined as a distressing sensation that occurs when a person’s social relationships are deemed lacking in number and, most importantly, in nature. Loneliness is a very subjective experience; one person may be alone and not feel lonely, while another may feel lonely while being surrounded by others. Loneliness is generally regarded as a defined trait by psychologists, meaning that people have distinct known points for feeling loneliness, which they fluctuate across depending on their life circumstances.
Though loneliness is highly debilitating, it can be overcome! What does curing loneliness entail? Here are 21 ways on overcoming loneliness.
1. Develop an attitude of self-kindness. Curing loneliness requires that you should be kind to yourself. It is important to cultivate self-kindness through tough times. Self-blame is counterproductive when we are alone. Therefore, limit your negative self-talk, take care of yourself, and allow yourself a break in general. Perhaps a stroll through the woods or a day at the spa can help you cultivate an attitude of self-kindness.
2. Make the most of the current moment. When you feel positive about something, immediately communicate it with everyone, and I don’t mean “share” via social media. You might share with a buddy by calling or messaging them. Alternatively, share with your coworkers. Bear in mind that the good stuff you will tell may not have to be monumental. You should easily have rolled out of bed on the correct side and thought, “Hey, I’m feeling fantastic today.” Through exchanging these experiences with others, you will cultivate little moments of savoring and attachment that will help you transcend isolation.
3. Make genuine connections in everyday life. Curing loneliness is a possibility when you know what to do. One very important steep you must take is to consciously connect to others.
Connecting in real life can be more difficult than it used to be. We frequently default to our smartphones—convenient, it’s and it’s now culturally acceptable. However, we will alleviate our depression by strengthening our in-person relationships. This is accomplished by staring people in the eyes, listening attentively, being mindful, and avoiding distractions provided by our phones or other technology.
4. Have a look at how you invest your free time. When we are alone, we always want to withdraw into a corner and disappear. At other times, our never-ending to-do list can leave us too tired to engage in social activities. However, choosing to spend each night alone on our tablets, watching Netflix, or playing on Facebook might trap us in a cycle of isolation. We have constructed an existence for ourselves that is devoid of meaningful social connection, and the only path out is to begin living differently.
If, on the other hand, we use our isolation to inspire us to connect with others, we will reinforce our relationships. By choosing to deal with our isolation through mutual help, we build more social moments with the people that matter in our lives, which usually alleviate our loneliness.
5. Increase the interactions with others. Face-to-face social experiences have been shown to boost our morale and alleviate depression. Social activities, such as observing worship events or participating in athletics, are often likely to benefit our mental wellbeing. Therefore, find opportunities to increase your contact with others.
6. Communicate with strangers. A number of studies showed that even apparently insignificant encounters with strangers, such as talking with a bartender or waiter, will help us feel more socially linked, thus reducing isolation. So say hi to other people, ask them how they’re doing, or talk regarding anything else on your mind. These little gestures will make a huge change in helping you feel less alone.
7. Increase your online activity. When you choose to go online, instead of passively browsing the web or using social networking, do something that requires the active involvement of other people. You might, for instance, play games with others, talk about a topic of interest, provide suggestions on a blog, or make a video call with a buddy. The more interaction you have with someone online, the more social you would definitely feel.
8. Share with others online. The term “sharing” has been co-opted on social media to refer to what is really “humble boasting.” We write about cool stuff we did, delicious meals we cooked, and a lively party we attended—all of which we did not share with the people who read our posts.
Rather than blogging about your activities, redeem the term “sharing” for what it really means—to send a tiny or significant portion of what is yours to another. You may use your mobile to exchange tips, words of encouragement, or even empathy. As a consequence, the relationships are more likely to be positive and kind.
9. Stop putting too much focus on yourself. It’s almost unavoidable in today’s technology-obsessed environment that we begin to feel we lack sufficient resources. Bob purchased a new vehicle. Sherri purchased a this off. Sonja obtained a new role. Additionally, we see fabricated or unrealistic images—models with flawless waistlines and muscles we feel inadequate. As a consequence, we become more concerned about how we fall short of expectations.
Rather than concentrating on what you can acquire, redirect your attention on what you can offer. You may sell T-shirts online and use the proceeds to benefit a good cause. You could invite friends to make a charitable donation in honor of your birthday. By donating to others, you divert attention away from yourself and still doing well, which helps you feel more social and less alone.
10. Put an end to the negative thinking patterns. We could repeatedly reflect on what we should have done better to avoid feeling so isolated. We ruminate on activities, individuals, and reasons because we feel, incorrectly, that speaking about our isolation repeatedly can help us resolve it. Unfortunately, it serves us no good to wallow in our emotions rather than take the necessary steps to feel stronger. To break these negative thinking loops, we must act—we must do something new that interrupts these feelings and alters our perception of the universe. For instance, if I’m feeling bored, I’ll go to the gym or plan lunch dates with friends. Additionally, it assists.
11. Create an atmosphere of excitement. Awe (as when we see the birth of a new baby or the grandeur of a mountain) causes time to slow down and allows one to be more receptive to connection. Everything about feeling insignificant in a large universe helps to make us see ourselves as a member of something larger, which might help us feel less isolated. Therefore, open yourself to something that inspires awe—for example, deserts, unique environments, or new foods (for starters, here are some mindful exercises).
12. Invest in interactions. If we invest all of our resources on material possessions, we would have less money left over to spend on encounters with others. And it points out that investing in events is much more beneficial to our emotional wellbeing. Therefore, be inventive and do what you wish to do for others. For instance, I could go canoeing, wine tasting, organize a beach party, or host an arts and crafts night. Which community activities might help you feel less isolated?
13. Give attention to the important matters. How do we hope to alleviate our loneliness if we do not understand what induces it? It’s difficult. As a result, it is beneficial to begin paying mind to the present moment. What are the circumstances that cause you to feel alone? And what interactions have you had that have made you feel linked or as though you belong? Identifying these times will assist you in reducing depression, as you can minimize your involvement in activities that make you feel alone and maximize your involvement in activities that make you feel involved.
14. Begin with creating a vision board. I have a vision board taped to the wall beside my desk to serve as a reminder of my priorities. A significant portion of my vision board is dedicated to connecting—to creating culture, networking, and sharing time with relatives. Occasionally, I have difficulty adhering to it, but the vision board serves as a reminder. After you’ve identified the activities that help you feel less alone and more social, it might be beneficial to build a board, spreadsheet, or schedule about what you’ll do—something to hold close by to remind you of the stuff you need to do to overcome isolation.
15. Take care of your network. Occasionally, and though we are linked to a large number of individuals, we can feel alone. Therefore, it could be beneficial to contact certain individuals and arrange for time to meet up. Schedule at least one social hour a week—coffee with a friend, brunch, or happy hour. If an old relationship can be rekindled.
16. Join an online community of like-minded individuals. You will now meet people online that share almost every passion, including politics, food, and athletics. Joining one of these mission-driven organizations will help you feel more linked to others, even though you lack connections to in-person experiences. You can meet new people or form lifetime friendships. You might also check out a few communities to determine which ones better suit your personality and help you feel less alone.
Though you must exercise caution when meeting people online (and, of course, never giving away personal details such as your bank account number), you will find genuine help, communication, and lifelong connections with people you meet online.
A note of caution: social networking can potentially exacerbate feelings of alienation and trigger FOMO, or “fear of losing out,” so make sure to check in with yourself whenever you begin to feel this way.
17. Volunteer online or in person. For certain of us, it’s difficult to locate others with whom to share time, let alone communicate. As a result, we must recruit new members. One way to do this is to work for a cause, either remotely or locally. Simply ensure that you are collaborating with others. Collaborating on a significant issue with someone will help you overcome depression.
18. Take care of yourself. When you suck at anything, it’s important to exercise self-compassion. Bear in mind that everybody loses, and there is no need to be a bully to yourself, to feel bad, or to belittle yourself. The mentality would not assist you in reducing depression, either now or in the future. Other than that, consider speaking about yourself in a compassionate, kind, and helpful manner—you’ll be more able to accept any errors you created in attempting to alleviate isolation and potentially perform better next time.
19. Adopt a Pet. Pets, — particularly cats and dogs, have several advantages, one of which is the prevention of loneliness. Taking in a pet incorporates the advantages of altruism and companionship, and it combats isolation in a variety of ways.
It will introduce you to other individuals—walking a dog introduces you to a group of other dog walkers, and an adorable dog on a leash attracts attention. Pets also have unconditional love, and can be a wonderful antidote to depression.
20. Stay busy. You can cure loneliness by keeping your mind busy. Create a date for yourself to distract yourself from your sense of loneliness. Do you have a passion you’ve always dreamed of or a home renovation project on your to-do list that you’ve been putting off? Take the time to indulge in yourself and your passions while keeping your mind busy.
21. Consult a Therapist. According to research, isolation and depression symptoms will reinforce one another, suggesting that the more alone you are, the more sad you feel, and vice versa.
At times, just “going out there” and meeting new people is insufficient. When you’re around them, it’s easy to feel sad, which may be a symptom of loneliness or social anxiety. If this describes you, it might be prudent to pursue psychotherapy to alleviate feelings of isolation, especially if you already have other symptoms of depression.
Certain types of counseling, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), may assist you in changing your emotions and behaviors in order to make you not only feel less alone but also provide the tools to avoid it. Whatever you do to fight loneliness, remember that you are not alone and that there are many ways to increase your sense of connection and cure loneliness.