In addition to feeling awful and being bad for your health, loneliness can trigger some pretty unusual behavior, but there are ways to take control and stop feeling lonely.
Before I share some tips for easing loneliness, I would like to share a few loneliness facts from Psychology Today. (Read on, or you can click the link if you want to check out the full article on the PT website.)
Facts About Loneliness
The reason behind that sense of aloneness – when around others – is that loneliness is subjective and based on the quality of the relationships you have with the people around you.
Interestingly, but not really surprisingly, according to Psychology today, most of the people who are lonely (the majority by over 60%) are married.
Loneliness reduces the effectiveness of the immune system and causes people to get sick, and more severely sick than they would otherwise- it also reduces longevity on a scale similar to that of a smoker.
How to Stop Feeling Lonely
Only the lonely can truly understand the pain another lonely person experiences, but being caught in a cycle of loneliness makes it hard to reach out to others in ways that can reduce loneliness.
The answer does not always come from reaching outward, though, because at the heart of loneliness, to move ahead and feel better about your life, you need to learn how to feel satisfied with yourself so you can overcome that lonely, unsettled feeling.
Learning to Date Yourself
“Don’t wait for the date, treat yourself as The One you’ve been waiting for!”
– Quote from the Dating Yourself Website
The concept of dating yourself basically means you treat yourself the way you would treat someone you are attracted to on a first date, but it goes deeper than a one-time date, too.
While it’s great and positive to “do” something for yourself, if you want to stop feeling lonely, you need to note the things that are positive about yourself and learn to look at yourself in a positive light.
Keep a journal or make notes about things that are positive about yourself and add at least one thing everyday – it can be as simple as making a note of a good hair day or a small gesture of kindness you do for someone at first – because if you’ve been struggling with loneliness and self-esteem issues for a while, it can be hard to find anything positive to note.
Re-read the notes about your good qualities every day and whenever you need a boost.
Set some goals that are so easy to meet you can’t help but crush them, then add each one to your notes – don’t worry, you will begin to set and reach harder goals as you gain momentum and your sense of positivity increases.
Look at yourself in the mirror at least once a day, give yourself a genuine smile, make eye contact, and say, “I love you.” (This is easiest if you’re alone in the room, so no one hassles you.) Don’t worry if you feel silly at first, it gets better, and easier to do this after a few tries – and learning to love yourself is really the biggest part of learning to date yourself and learning how to stop feeling lonely.