Tag Archives: loneliness

How to Stop Feeling Lonely: Learning to Date Yourself

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

Leaving Loneliness: How to Stop Feeling Lonely Have you ever noticed how sometimes the most alone you feel is when you’re surrounded by others?

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.

Develop a Healthy Self Image to Avoid the Pain of Depression and Loneliness

Your self image creates the way you look at and measure not only yourself, but also your role as a friend, spouse, parent, employee, and every other role you have in this life.

A Bad Self Image Puts Healthy Relationships at Risk

If your self image is negative – if you lack self love and self respect – it puts you at risk of ending up unhappy and lonely – no matter how many people are around you or love you.

Your self image is how you see yourself and your role in this life – and it can be incredibly hard to change if you have a negative sense of self because it is our natural reaction to (generally external) events that happen in our lives.

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No one else can develop a more positive sense of self esteem for you, it requires determination and effort on your part, but it is worth the effort.

When you begin to increase self confidence, it feels like a window is opening inside of you, letting in sunshine and positivity.

(It’s not a real window – obviously – it’s just an emotional sense of well-being.)

A poor self image doesn’t blossom into full fledged self confidence overnight – and it is unlikely to happen in a big, life changing “zap.”

Your self image most likely didn’t get damaged from a single tiny incident, so it takes more than a single tiny incident to restore.

Depression Is Only One of the Dangers of Poor Self Esteem

According to the University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center, there are several consequences of poor self-esteem:

  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Problems developing friendships
  • Problem in romantic relationships
  • Impaired academic performance
  • Poor performance at work
  • Heightened vulnerability to chemical dependency

Avoiding the pain of these situations can give you a pretty powerful reason to want to increase your level of self respect, but knowing you need a healthy self image doesn’t tell you how to build confidence so you can get one.

Luckily, there are tools to help you recognize unhealthy patterns and to improve your self confidence.

Tools for Developing a Healthy Self Image

Mastering a Healthy Self Image: The Guidebook to Real Happiness and Enormous Success
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You can use positive self talk, journaling, and visualization to help yourself from within, in addition to asking for help from others, to help increase your willpower and to keep you focused on building a better self image.

  • Positive self talk: Give yourself a break! Instead of saying negative, self-deprecating things about yourself, like, “I’m such a clutz,” or “I’m so stupid.”
    • Focus on the things you do well – and make a point to say something about your positive aspects, at least inside your mind, and never speak the negative.
    • If you catch yourself thinking or saying negative things about yourself, make a conscious decision to stop.
  • Journaling: Use the same approach to daily journaling that was mentioned above, but instead of speaking the positive words about yourself, write them – even if it’s only one positive sentence every day.
    • If you’re really depressed and down on yourself, to where you can’t think of one positive thing to say, you can seek help from a loved one or a professional, or find some positive self image quotes and write them in your journal.
  • Visualization: Visualization is a powerful tool in building a positive self image, or anything you want out of life.
    • You can use the positive things you write in your journal as the basis for visualization, or use a guided meditation, or plan out your own self guided visualization to increase your self confidence.
  • External help: While asking for help can be the hardest thing to do when you’re self image is damaged, it is a powerful tool if you feel able to ask for help – and there is always help available if you reach out for it.
    • Help can come in the form of a loved one who helps you see the good in yourself, or a professional counselor.

There are so many reasons to take action and avoid the risk of depression and loneliness that comes from having a damaged self image, but the real and best reason is that you will feel better if you build a healthy sense of self and increase your self confidence.