We’ve All Been There: 14 Ways To Help Cope With Loneliness

Posted on August 31, 2016 in Staff Picks, Story Of A Suicide

By Mansi S. Mehta:

Editor’s note: Youth Ki Awaaz joins hands with the NalandaWay Foundation, founded by Sriram Iyer, to help break the silence around mental health, failure and suicide. Through Iyer’s book, “The Story Of A Suicide”, we’ll be talking about dealing with depression, loneliness, rejection, stress and various other issues that affect many of us, today. You can read the book here.

Have you ever been lonely in a crowd? If you have been then you know that the feeling of loneliness could be awful. People feel lonely for a number of reasons, including simple social awkwardness and intentional isolation. Some people may even feel lonely when they are surrounded by people because they lack meaningful connections with them. Everyone has experienced loneliness in some way or the other and surely, it has never been pleasant.

It is important to understand and appreciate the difference between loneliness and solitude. Loneliness causes unhappiness and reminds us that feeling connected to others is essential, whereas solitude demands being left alone and enjoying one’s own company. There is nothing wrong with solitude. In fact, people who can enjoy life alone can never have happiness taken away from them as they truly understand how liberating that can be!

On the other hand, loneliness can lead to despair, depression, and pessimism. But, if taken right measures, loneliness can sometimes, provide a wonderful opportunity for healing, reflection, and growth too. Dealing with loneliness can take many forms, including meeting new people, learning to appreciate your alone time, and reconnecting with your family.

Here’s a list that might help you cope with loneliness and rise above it.

Dos

1. Identify the reasons why you feel lonely. If required, take some time to figure things out in order to make productive changes.

2. Practise meditation. It is a great way to get in touch with your feelings and understand where loneliness is coming from.

3. Consider talking to a therapist about how you have been feeling. It can prove to be helpful in understanding loneliness and working through it.

4. Realise that you are not alone. Reach out to a friend or a family member to talk about how you are feeling.
Move forward. Instead of persistently dwelling on how lonely you are, do things to take your mind off it.

5. Join activity classes, clubs or volunteer at local charities to make new friends.

6. Spend time with your family and friends. Repair frayed relationships.

7. Be a pleasant presence. Let people around you enjoy your company. Be amiable rather than being critical.

8. Become your own best friend and counselor. Explore your problems instead of wallowing in self-pity and loneliness.

Don’ts

1. Don’t be afraid of having fun by yourself. Realise that you can have fun alone and that you don’t need to rely on others to make you happy.

2. Learning how to laugh again, by yourself is important. It empowers you and makes sure that you don’t need others to entertain you.

3. Don’t neglect yourself, mentally or physically. Neglecting yourself when you feel down is tempting but taking care of yourself always marks the beginning of recovery.

4. Don’t be afraid to break down or cry. It’s a cleansing process that helps you move towards positivity.

5. Don’t be afraid to own up to loneliness. Don’t fear it. Acknowledge that it is a part of life.

6. Don’t entertain self-defeating thoughts. Instead, adopt wholesome and positive outlooks.

Dealing with loneliness can be really challenging. If you have gone through such experiences or seen someone you love go through it, do write in about it because reading about your experiences might help someone out there, cope a lot better.

This post on dealing with loneliness was originally published here.

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