Why do you feel lonely?
I’ve seen people who feel desperately alone get the ridiculous advice to just suck it up and focus on other things. While that might work sometimes, loneliness is a feeling that will always come back during the times that you simply can’t distract yourself with other things. It’s a feeling that eats away at you as you look around and don’t see a soul that you can relate to and feel supported by. Feeling alone is painful, and people who don’t feel alone can’t possibly understand the depth of the pain that someone who feels truly alone is feeling.
The Pain Of Feeling Alone
Feeling alone hurts a lot. It causes physical and mental pain, it affects your sleep, and it affects your ability to feel peaceful with your life. It can make you feel run down and affect your immunity negatively. In other words, if you are saying, ‘I feel so alone’, and you feel like crap, then loneliness is likely the reason you are sluggish in all areas of your life.
It’s important to start tackling loneliness now, not tomorrow or a month from now. The longer you let loneliness play a huge part in your life, the more damage it can do to your body.
You can put yourself at risk for disease and you can shorten your life thanks to the decreased immune system functioning and increased inflammatory responses. You can also set yourself up with anxiety and depression, which can affect your ability to create strong relationships in a negative way, which can make loneliness become a permanent part of your life.
Start taking action now. You have the ability to heal your loneliness, you just have to muster up some desire to stop feeling lonely so that you can take action.
You Don’t Have To Be Alone To Feel Alone
Are you saying ‘I feel so alone!’ despite the fact that you are surrounded by people? Does that just feel wrong to you? Well, it’s perfectly natural.
Feeling alone has nothing to do with how many relationships you have in life. It has everything to do with how much affection you receive and how affectionate you feel.
If you are not feeling that loving vibe towards or from the people in your life, then you will not feel the connection that is required to stop feeling lonely. Furthermore, if you are surrounded by negative people and have many negative relationships, that will create a feeling of being alone in this world with no positive support and affection.
And, if you can’t keep relationships in your life or can’t find a relationship that offers you the type of connection you want, there is a good chance you will feel alone.
It’s important to note that some people are natural hermits or solitary people and don’t require a lot of connection in their lives. They may have acquaintances that they talk to once in a while, but for the most part, they are fine being by themselves. In other words, there is a difference between being alone and feeling lonely.
Lastly, if you are different from other people and don’t feel as though they understand you, that can cause a huge wave of loneliness in your life.
For instance, transgender youth, who often feel different from their peers, are at higher risk for feeling lonely and the negative consequences that come from that. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey in 2011, 41 percent of transgender people had attempted suicide. However, transgender youth with the support of their family were 82 percent less likely to attempt suicide than their peers who feel unsupported.
In short, even though you are surrounded by a world full of people, or even a household full of people, you can still feel alone. Your feelings are a direct result of your thoughts, so they are a valid feeling for you at this moment.
The important thing to remember is that there are things that you can do to affect your thoughts in many positive ways, which can help alleviate the feeling of loneliness.
When You Feel Alone, It’s Important NOT To Resort To Self-Defeating Behaviors
Many people who feel alone try to fill in the loneliness with addictions. They may gamble as often as possible. They may overeat. They may do drugs, drink excessively, or get caught up in meaningless sexual relationships.
They believe that these behaviors are going to help them feel better, but in the end, they actually make things worse.
Self-defeating behaviors are behaviors that will always cause a loss in the end. They will always make you feel worse because they will make you hate yourself, feel lost, or feel out of control, and they will make you feel even more alone as you beat yourself up over your inability to shake them.
Intimate Relationships Are Not Always The Answer To Cure Loneliness
According to my friend who runs a popular dating website, a lot of people are looking for love for one big reason: to cure their loneliness. In fact, he says many people include the reasoning they are looking for love – ‘I feel so alone’ – right in their profiles. The problem is that many of these people find someone and then are met with a whole bunch of other problems that actually end up making them feel lonelier.
For instance, one guy fell in love with a woman who seemed to fit his life perfectly. He had felt lonely for so long, that he was not allowing himself to see the truth behind the matter. She wasn’t a good match for him. In fact, she didn’t even love him. She was just using him to pass the time by until she found someone more suitable. When she did find someone else she dumped him quickly and his heart was broken, and he felt even more lonely than before he had met her.
Finding love is not the cure to loneliness. It can be if you find the right person. And, keeping yourself open to finding love is definitely something you should do. But, don’t make it your only mission in your quest to become less lonely. If it fails, and you don’t have backup methods to help you feel supported in life, then you are going to be in a devastating place that you don’t want to be in.
Two Steps To Heal Your Loneliness
You can’t snap your fingers and stop feeling lonely. It just doesn’t work that way. But you can decide to take action in your life and engage in behaviors that help you feel more supported, loved, and connected to others.
Step 1: Decide To Take Your Loneliness Into Your Own Hands
You might be waiting for someone else to come up and swoop you out of your loneliness, but that is a bet you shouldn’t be willing to make. The chances are that no one will ever come, and if they do, you won’t be able to recognize the power they have to cure your loneliness because you are so focused on negative things.
You need to get up and take the initiative to heal your loneliness. You need to decide that you no longer want to feel lonely and that you are going to do what you can to heal yourself. You need to feel the desire to stop feeling lonely and start feeling like a part of something amazing, and then let that desire motivate you to work on strengthening your relationships and building new ones.
You may also need to take off the blinders and admit where you are going wrong in relationships. When we feel lonely, it’s easy to blame everyone else for that loneliness. But, often, we are pushing people away with our beliefs, behaviors, or attitude.
For example, I had a friend who was very uncompassionate. He only thought about himself, and he never listened to other people’s problems or even validated that they had problems. Over the years, he pushed everyone away from him. Nobody wanted to be around him. Nobody wanted to date him. He had even been kicked out of a few organizations he belonged to. He messaged me and told me that he was lonely and he couldn’t understand why he didn’t have any relationships left in his life. When I told him that his lack of compassion was the biggest problem, he didn’t listen. He chose to believe that it was everyone else’s fault and not his. Now, five years later, he is still alone and unable to figure out why. I feel bad for him, but only he is capable of fixing his part in creating his loneliness.
Take some time to sit down and decide what part you are playing in your loneliness. Following are some questions that you may want to ask.
– Am I unwilling to give to other people and just want to take from them?
– Do I prefer to do things on my own time and in my own way?
– Am I unwilling to compromise?
– Can I be mean or insulting to other people?
– Am I shy and unwilling to participate in events that help me connect with others?
– Am I accepting losers and abusers into my life that always end up hurting me or make me feel isolated?
All of these things, and more, can be worked on to help you build stronger relationships. You just need to be strong enough to admit where you are going wrong.
Step Two: Connect With New People And Reconnect With Important People In Your Life
It’s important to not isolate yourself when you feel alone. You may want to hide away from the world that doesn’t understand or support you, but doing that will always make you feel worse. It’s important to get out and search for those relationships that will help you feel less lonely.
I’m not talking about getting online. Yes, connecting with people online can help you feel more connected, but it probably won’t help you heal your loneliness. It won’t help you get out of your head as much as you need to and it won’t help you build relationships that you can turn to in times of trouble.
Getting out and talking to people in person is the best way to feel less lonely and more involved in the world around you. It is the best way to feel connected and valued. It helps you fill a void that can’t be filled by typing to a one-dimensional person online. It helps you build that multidimensional connection that creates strong relationships.
What you decide to do will be personal to your interests, but a few examples include:
– Go back to school. Even taking one course can help you connect with like-minded people and make friends who truly enjoy your company and want you in their life.
– Go to church. If you are at all religious, or even curious about a religion, go and attend a session at your nearest church. You should feel welcomed as soon as you walk into the church. (If you don’t, find another church to attend.) And, you should feel like you are a part of a group that shares important time together and grows together. Many of my friends find that their church is what makes them feel alive and part of a bigger plan. They never feel lonely because they are always being invited to different church functions or parties being held by particular people in their congregation.
– Get involved in a community event, such as a community cleanup or a volunteering opportunity. This will help you get out and spend time with other people so that you can connect, laugh, talk, and let go of the pain of loneliness.
You may even want to reconnect with people you once knew or currently know. This is really important if you are in a relationship and still feel lonely. It’s not healthy to let that lack of connection hang around for too long.
You need to decide if you want to continue the relationship or let go of it. And if you want to continue it, you need to change the dynamics of the relationship or you are never going to get rid of that lonely feeling.
For instance, if you and your partner are having problems, and that is causing you to feel lonely, then it’s important to reconnect with them and make building a stronger relationship a priority. That may mean spending more time with them and less time at work. Or it may mean scheduling in date nights or an hour or two every night of quality time. Or it may mean scheduling an appointment with a counselor who can help you build back your intimate relationship that helped you feel the exact opposite of loneliness.
You can also call up an old friend who always supported you and see if you can build a relationship with them again. Don’t let the fear of connecting hold you back! There is a chance that reconnecting could help you heal the loneliness you feel and get back on track. It’s well worth the risk.