Loneliness is a feeling that comes from the realization that our present intimate relationships aren't meeting our needs. You don't have to be alone to feel lonely, despite the term. When we feel alone, undesired, or isolated, loneliness can arise. Loneliness can occur as a result of:
- We're surrounded by a lot of people, yet we don't feel entirely at home
- We're surrounded by a lot of people but don't get the support or connection we need We lose someone significant in our lives, such as a spouse, family member, or close friend
- We're lonely and want to be with other people
Well-being necessitates some form of social assistance. There is no right or incorrect social network; different sorts of social circles, friends, and connections satisfy different people. It's all about how you feel. Your connections are probably in excellent shape if you feel supported and understood. If you're lonely, it's possible that you're missing key components in your relationships.
You are not alone if you are lonely due to a lack of friends. Around one-quarter of Canadians are unhappy with the quantity of friends they have.
What is the best way for me to deal with loneliness?
Loneliness can exacerbate the feeling of isolation. For example, loneliness might make you feel as if you don't belong, making it even more difficult to reach out. This may appear to indicate that you don't belong, which can make you feel even more alone. Loneliness is a painful sensation, yet it is still only that. It is modifiable. The cycle of "loneliness thinking" begins to break down when you confront feelings of loneliness or begin to make changes in your life.
Consider why you are lonely
Do you ever feel lonely because you don't have someone to talk to? Do you shut yourself off from the rest of the world? Do you ever feel lonely, even while you're surrounded by people? Understanding your position can assist you in taking action in the areas that are most important to you. This isn't always simple, so if you need assistance, go to a counselor.
Compare yourself to others as little as possible
It's easy to feel left out when you look around at other people, yet looks may be misleading. People want people to see their best side, but don't be deceived by what others send out into the world. People on social media, in particular, might seem as though everyone else is surrounded by friends, yet social media is only a controlled snapshot. Remember that you might feel lonely even though you are surrounded by people. Feelings that you aren't as excellent as others are simply that—feelings, not facts.
Allow yourself some time, especially when making major changes
During changes such as beginning a new school, relocating to a new city, or starting or quitting a career, it's typical to feel lonely. It might take some time to settle in and discover your new home when you're going through a shift. Loneliness can just be a pit break on the journey.
Consider what else is going on
Loneliness may be exacerbated by how you're feeling in other areas of your life. Mental health issues such as depression or social anxiety, for example, can trigger a slew of troubling thoughts, making it easier to avoid social interactions. Other health issues might make it difficult to connect with others and make people feel alone. In other cases, dealing with issues in other areas of your life might help you feel less lonely.
Make the most of the time you'll have to yourself
Time alone may be used to pursue a hobby, acquire a new skill, immerse yourself in a good book, listen to music, or reconnect with nature. Consider speaking with a mental health professional if being alone causes you to engage in problematic thoughts.
Make an effort to improve your own social relationships
Here are some pointers to assist you in forming the relationships you require.
- Make a plan. Consider the kinds of connections you'd like to have. If you enjoy chatting in small groups, for example, search for opportunities to meet individuals in smaller groups. Look for relevant groups or organizations if you're seeking for help and knowledge with a specific issue. Take use of your hobbies or abilities by joining a sports team, taking a course, or joining a group to meet individuals who share your interests.
- Take it easy. Developing confidence is a continuous process. Set reasonable goals for yourself. If you're feeling particularly alone, learning to feel at ease in public places such as a bustling coffee shop might be a smart first step.
- Be active as well as patient. Building relationships takes time. It may seem intimidating at first, but try starting discussions or suggesting ways to spend time with others. Accept that you may need some time to feel connected and a member of the community.
- Accept the fact that you will not be everyone's friend—and that's fine. You're probably not friends with everyone you meet (and some people may not get along with you). This has nothing to do with your worth or value. It just indicates you haven't met the correct people or groups yet.
- Make an effort to maintain good connections. If you're the one who isn't being heard in your relationships, developing assertiveness skills can help you communicate your demands in a polite manner. The other person is a partner on an equal footing, and their needs are important as well. Your relationship may deteriorate if you make it all about you and your demands.
- Identify and overcome obstacles. Is there something preventing you from pursuing the relationships or activities you want? Child care, for example, can be a barrier for new parents, while transportation or mobility issues might be a barrier for seniors. If you're having trouble finding a solution, seek assistance. Child care may be provided by a family member, and transportation may be provided by a community group.
- Strengthen familial ties. Consider strategies to strengthen your bonds with family members if you have a helpful and supporting relationship. You may not meet each other in person due to geography or other considerations, but phone conversations, video chats, email, and other kinds of contact can help you keep in touch.
Do you require further assistance?
Persistent loneliness has been related to sadness, anxiety, and an increased chance of developing various health issues. Consider seeking help from a mental health professional if loneliness is harming your life.