December 2, 2015

How To Cure Loneliness: 10 Ways To Break Free

We are not meant to be alone. We do better in groups, not just for our survival, but for our emotional needs as well. Feeling loved, cared for, and appreciated are all basic needs that we have as humans, and it can feel extremely lonely when we don’t have some close and intimate relationships in our life.

Loneliness can bring about more than just a sense of sadness. It can result in frequent colds, depression, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and even a quicker progression of diseases. Loneliness brings on a psychological stress that affects our immune system in a big way and keeps us in a state of constant inflammation.

Some people define wellness as the absence of abundant inflammation in the body, so it’s no wonder you don’t feel well when you are lonely. Chronic inflammation, which comes from chronic stress on the body, depresses the immune system, damages the arteries, destroys nerve cells, and basically lays out a red carpet for diseases.

So, loneliness can make us mentally and physically sick, and our internal messaging system can start screaming at us to find a way to undue that loneliness. When we can’t, we become even more mentally and physically sick, which makes curing loneliness crucial to our wellness and happiness.

In other words, if you are feeling lonely, then how to cure loneliness is something that is on your mind because your internal messaging system is telling you need to. The good news is that you can cure loneliness! There are cures! And, if you’re wondering, there is no bad news!

10 Tips On How To Cure Loneliness

1. Try To See The Connection We All Have

You are not on this planet by yourself. You have neighbors. You have coworkers. You pass other people every time you go out of your home. There are billions of people on the planet and you are just one of those people. When you start to view the world as a place full of people, it becomes harder to feel lonely. Your awareness of what is going on outside of yourself helps you feel more connected to everyone else, regardless if they are in your life or not. We are all connected.

Think of it this way: If The Walking Dead became reality tomorrow, your neighbors and the people you meet will need you and you will need them. There is always a sense of connection that pulls us together in a time of need. While this insight may not bring people into your life directly when a zombie apocalypse isn’t taking place, it should help you feel that you are not as alone as you think and connections can be made under the right circumstances.

2. Allow People In

A lot of people are fine in social crowds and can have a good time with others, but still keep people an arm’s length away from them because they are scared of letting people in. If this sounds like you, then it’s time to start letting people in. Make the decision right now to start allowing people into your life.

You can’t mistrust everyone in life and expect to cure loneliness. If you always have a suspicious way of viewing others, then you will always feel disconnected from other people. Therefore, don’t be scared of rejection or hurt, it’s a part of life and you are strong enough to make it through those periods if they come along.

This doesn’t mean you have to trust everyone who comes into your life. Trust is earned, and over time you will see their true colors and whether you should trust them or not. But, it does mean you should welcome new relationships of any kind into your life and enjoy the process of it all.

3. Get Curious About Others

When I was younger, I thought I was going to get into a career where I could study human behavior. I’ve always been fascinated by how people work and why they do what they do. This curiosity has allowed me to accept many different relationships into my life with open arms and feel connected to everyone I come across.

I have found that when you are curious about others, you listen better and you show more interest in them, which are two things that encourage them to want to stay in your life. You also stop caring what people think about you or how they will judge you as you can’t help but talk to them and discover more about them. Being curious helps you approach others in a way you would likely never do without the curiosity.

So take an interest in other people. Try to learn what experiences have made them into who they are and what beliefs they currently hold that dictate their life choices and behaviors. If you allow them to be the way they are, without judgment, you will find that you will easily form new relationships and even feel connected to others who aren’t directly in your life because of your curiosity.

4. Improve Your Social Skills

Allowing people in and getting curious will help you improve your social skills a little bit, but being lonely often stems from a lack of interpersonal skills that makes it hard to form new relationships and maintain those relationships. For instance, if you find yourself being anxious around other people, then that anxiety will make relationships awkward and eventually people will start to migrate away from you.

It’s important to work on the social skills that you are lacking. This includes things like:

– Not getting upset or overreacting around others
– Not overpowering the conversation
– Listening to others effectively
– Being kind and considerate
– Use body language appropriately
– Smiling at others
– Working well with others

If you know you’re lacking in any of these areas, seek help for them. You won’t be able to form intimate relationships (where you are actually liked and feel valued) until you master the art of being social with other people.

5. Improve Your Self-Esteem

Everyone can benefit from improving their self-esteem, but especially people who want to know how to cure loneliness. Your self-esteem dictates how you think about yourself and other people, which dictates how you act in social situations.

For instance, if you feel like you are a loser and you immediately think the worst of other people, then you are going to act in a way that is not very warm towards other people. You may across as defensive and give them an accusatory look as you question their motives, which will not help you win them over.

Boosting self-esteem takes time. It takes a lot of compassion towards yourself and a lot of awareness about who you are and the beauty that lays inside of you.

Women’s rights activist, Zainab Salabi, told a great story about how she started to see her own beauty and self-worth. She met another woman who told her that she needed to look into a mirror and meditate on her face. Zainab found that when she focused on the pupil of her eye, she started to see this exquisite beauty in that pupil as well as the beauty she had inside. This boosted how she felt about herself instantly. It was powerful, and it could be powerful for you too.

6. Stop Trying To Define Which Relationship Will Cure Loneliness

When you hold on to the belief that only an intimate relationship will cure your loneliness, how can you expect to feel fulfilled in anything but a happy intimate relationship? Moreover, how can you expect to let in another relationship that will help you feel less lonely? You will be too busy trying to find the ‘only’ relationship that can help you cure loneliness, and you will go blind to the relationships that are trying to make their way into your life.

All relationships are important on how to cure loneliness. Feeling connected to other people and having other people in your life is the goal, not feeling like you have someone to have sex with for the rest of your life or a romantic fairy tale (that doesn’t usually come true by the way).

Moreover, some people in intimate relationships are actually pretty lonely. Their partner doesn’t get them or fulfill their needs, but they are forced to be around them almost all of their free time. They have someone in their life constantly, but they are still lonely.

Therefore, don’t put a definition on who is allowed to come into your life or what kind of relationship is acceptable. Strangers, co-workers, friends, and family all have the power to make you feel popular, cared about, and loved.

7. Get Out More Often

If you are lonely, then aim to spend as much as time as possible out with others. It’s the quickest action you can take on how to cure loneliness. All you have to do is make plans to go somewhere else instead of home and, preferably, to a place where you can interact with other people. Volunteering, a side job, or even just classes going on close to home will all help you get out and increase your chances of making friends.

I know one senior lady who regularly goes to the senior center in her town. Her husband refuses to go. Guess which one of them feels less lonely in life? It’s the woman who goes out and laughs with other people, plays games with others, learns things with others, and interacts with other people on a regular basis.

8. Focus On Quality Not Quantity

Some people have a ton of relationships in their life but still feel lonely. This is, in part, because their relationships are not satisfying a need they have, such as constant companionship, belonging, or someone to turn to in times of struggle and in joy. If you don’t have at least one person in your life who can satisfy your needs, then you will feel lonely.

The cure is to find quality people and build quality relationships. This means you have to take some time out to spend time with the person, listen to them, support them, be honest with them, share yourself with them, and have fun with them. You need to accept and respect them for who they are, which will help you remove judgment towards them. All of these things will help you build a quality relationship that banishes loneliness.

9. Love Yourself Like No One Else Can

No relationship in your life is going to provide you with the happiness and satisfaction that you can provide yourself. When you love yourself and are happy with yourself, you won’t feel lonely. You will be too busy doing good things for yourself and following your passions in life. There’s no time for sitting around dwelling on your lack when you are busy having fun.

Loving yourself helps you do good things that make you feel happy. For instance, going on that vacation – even if you have to go alone – is one way to help you feel alive and on purpose without having someone else in your life. This is the very reason that other people who are alone don’t feel or act lonely. They are completely content with themselves. Just make sure you don’t close yourself off from other relationships and become too content with just yourself!

10. Let Go Of The Past

As long as you are stuck in what has happened, how you have been hurt, or what you have failed at, you won’t do any of the above. You need to let go of the story you are holding on to. You need to let go of the story that is defining who you are. You need to stop letting your story dictate how you live your life.

Your story was written by your past experiences, fears, observations, and failures, but it is just a story. The person you are right now does not have to be the person you always are. We are all able to constantly change, grow, adapt, and become more of who we want to be, so you have the capability to escape your story and create a better one.

In short, you need to start writing a new story about yourself by living a new story. For example, just because you use to be shy doesn’t mean you still have to be shy! You can write a new story for yourself where you are outgoing and friendly, and then put yourself in that story.

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