How To Cure Loneliness
I’ve gone through many periods of loneliness in my life but looking back those feelings of loneliness ended up leading to the most transformative actions in my life. Anytime you’re unhappy I believe that action is the cure. If you’re feeling lonely take it as a sign to change your habits and mindset to help you start feeling better. Always remember that how you feel now is temporary and if you start taking action you can radically transform and shift your mood and life. I’m going to share with you some of the actions I took when I was feeling lonely that ultimately allowed me to build a happy life for myself. I know it can seem overwhelming and hard to think about making changes when you’re feeling lonely and crappy but trust me when I tell you that you can do it. Now is not the time to play small. If you’re feeling lonely now is the time to get dead freaking serious and get to work.
Get a Hobby
Feeling lonely is the perfect time to try something new. Signup for a new class to get out of your house and help you meet new people. Feeling lonely is a great reason to get out of your comfort zone. Try pole dancing, cross fit or signup for an art class. Trying a new hobby can help you get out of your new environment. A lot of times when I feel like I’m stuck in a rut trying something new can help me reset my mindset. Plus a new hobby will give you new opportunities to connect with new people you might not have otherwise met. Instead of focusing on how lonely you are you can focus on how excited you are about your new hobby/class/thing. Simply changing your focus from how you feel alone to how excited you are can make a huge difference in how you feel. Try out a few different things and try to find an enjoyable way to pass the time. The more time you spend enjoying yourself the less time you have to sit around and think unhappy thoughts. When loneliness hits me I know that distracting myself is key. I love to dive into big creative projects when I’m feeling lonely. When I get really wrapped up in a project it’s easy for me to feel thankful I don’t have anyone around distracting me or needing my attention. I love being able to spend entire evenings and weekend working on a creative project. This blog was actually born out of a breakup and it really helped me stay busy and not sit around and focus on how much I missed my ex. If you’re interested in starting a blog check out this post and get to work. I know blogging isn’t for every but just find something and start moving.
If you’re really struggling with loneliness try reaching out to old friends. When I first moved away to go to grad school I was really lonely and homesick. I found that talking on the phone to old friends helped me from feeling lonely and disconnected. If you’re feeling lonely try reaching out to old friends and see how they’re doing. It’s easy and natural to lose touch with people but it can be really nice to reconnect with old friends. If you’re really struggling with loneliness plan a trip to visit a friend or family that you can look forward to. Whenever you feel the feelings of loneliness focus on planning your upcoming trip instead. Oftentimes our brain will lie to us when we’re sad or depressed and make us feel more isolated than we really are. Everyone’s situation is different and I certainly don’t know your life or situation but if you’re feeling lonely it’s probably worth brainstorming and thinking if there are any old friends you could reach out to and reconnect with. If you don’t have anyone you can reconnect with come and connect with other women working on their mental health over in my free Facebook Group.
Work On Your Mindset
A lot of the pain that comes with feeling lonely is from your mindset. Try not to let your mind focus on negative thoughts like how miserable you are and how you wish you had more friends. Use this as an opportunity to practice mindfulness and take control of your thoughts. I have a podcast episode about how I trained my mind to be more positive after ten years of clinical depression you can check out on iTunes or Podbean. If you let your mind focus on lots of negative things you’re going to feel negative and crappy. Plain and simple. I know how hard it is to focus on positive things when you are used to feeling crappy all the time. However, I believe it is so worth the effort to reprogram your brain and choose to focus on positive things. Every time you find your mind drifting to thoughts that make you feel crappy (I’m so alone, no one loves me, etc) gently redirect your thoughts to something else. Think about all the things that are going well on your life and take a few moments to feel thankful for them. If you’re really struggling to feel thankful try a gratitude meditation. It has taken me a ton of practice to be able to maintain a positive mindset throughout the day but I can tell you the results are totally worth it. Try writing a gratitude list about all the reasons you are thankful for having this time to yourself. This will help you focus on why it’s a good thing you don’t have many people are you instead of only focusing on how unhappy you are and how lonely you feel. I know being lonely feels really crappy but it can end up working in your favor in the long run. The biggest life-changing decisions I ever made happened because I was feeling lonely and unhappy.
If you’re feeling lonely take the time to turn inward and spend some time journaling. I have a whole list of journaling prompts you can check out here. If you’ve never journaled before I recommend starting the morning pages practice. To do this practice you just commit to free writing three pages in your journal every single morning. The point of this practice is just to write whatever comes to mind and not judge anything that you write. This practice has helped me sort out a lot of heavy emotional baggage I was carrying around. It gives you a completely safe place to express yourself and you don’t ever have to worry about anyone else seeing it or judging you. Usually, when you feel lonely you have a crappy mindset and are focusing on all the feelings and thoughts that make you feel lonely. Journaling is a great way to evaluate your thoughts and create new beliefs that empower you.
If you’re really struggling with loneliness I recommend reaching out to a therapist. A good therapist can help you reprogram your thought patterns and help you see your situation differently to help you cure loneliness. I suffered with clinical depression for ten years before I finally went and talked to a therapist. One of my biggest regrets is not going sooner. Now I regularly talk to a therapist and schedule extra appointments when I’m going through a stressful season (I use BetterHelp and I am able to schedule extra sessions at no extra charge). Therapy has had such a huge impact on my life and I really recommend it if you’re struggling with any area in your life and you’re ready to make big changes. Talking to a trained professional can make a huge difference in your life. A good therapist or coach can give you advice and insight that your friends and family just aren’t able to.
Most of the time when I feel lonely I have been doing things that I know are bad for my mental health. Sitting around my house, eating junk food, not exercising and watching TV are all bad for my mental health and make me feel crappy. I know when I do these activities I am more likely to feel lonely. Identify what triggers your loneliness and what combats it. Make a plan to start eliminating some of the things that make you feel crappy and add more of the things that make you feel joyful. Make it your mission to spend time doing things that make you feel good every day. When I take care of my physical and mental health it is much easier to have a positive attitude about any challenges I face. Make doing enjoyable things a priority and when you’re feeling lonely decide it is your mission to find joy in the present moment.
If you’ve been telling yourself a lot of negative stories it is imperative that you start listening to positivity. Find a podcast that inspires you or listen to some self-help books on audiobooks. You need to start putting positive messages into your brain to help you turn off the negativity. If you keep telling yourself over and over again that you’re lonely and unhappy you will be lonely and unhappy. Putting positive messages in your ears gives you something else to focus on instead of thinking about how much you dislike your situation. A lot of your mood is determined by what you choose to focus on and the thoughts you let into your brain. Decide to make a commitment to consuming more positive content to help you change your thoughts to become more positive. I am naturally a pretty negative person so I know how hard it is to stop having negative thoughts and focusing on what makes you unhappy. However, I also know what a huge difference becoming mindful of my thoughts has made in my life. One of the major factors that helped me change my thought process is consuming a TON of personal development podcasts and audiobooks. I listen to positive content for hours every day and it has had a huge impact on how I view struggle.
Enjoy Your Own Company
I used to be one of those people that couldn’t stand being single and because I hated being single so much I had a string of pretty terrible relationships. I finally decided I had enough and that I had to reframe how I viewed being single. I decided to see all the extra time I have to myself as a blessing and that’s when I started my blog and my online business. Usually, when you’re lonely you have a lot of free time. Start working on a project you are really passionate about or that you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t started. This is the perfect time to draft your book, start your YouTube channel or do whatever it is you’ve always wanted to try out. The best thing is you can go all in without anyone distracting you. This is the perfect time to start a side-hustle and build up some side income or go all in on your art or whatever it is that makes you feel excited.
If you follow me on Instagram you know that I am a big believer in setting goals. Having a vision for the future can help you get excited for the future and help you cure loneliness in the present moment. Ever since I read this book I break my yearly goals down into quarterly chunks. I think most people fail at achieving their goals because they don’t have a strong enough reason why they want to achieve them and they don’t have a clear and exciting vision for the future. Don’t be afraid to dream really big. I often have a little voice pop into my head that says I couldn’t every actually achieve what I want and I have to tell that voice to shut up. You deserve the best version of your life that you can imagine, don’t talk yourself out of what you really want. If you really struggle with setting goals that excite you I recommend you check out The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul. Here are some of my favorite questions to ask myself when I am setting goals.
- Script out your perfect day. Where do you wake up? Who are you with? What do you do? How do you feel? What do you eat?
- If a genie appeared and gave you unlimited wishes to design your life what would you ask for?
- A year from now what do you want to be different in your life? What are your relationships like? How is your health? How do you feel? How much money do you have?
- What can you achieve in the next 90 days that would move you closer to your dream life? Set quantifiable goals for the next 90, 60 and 30 days.
- How will your life be different if you achieve these goals? Why do you want to do it? Think of some compelling reasons why you must achieve these goals.
- What obstacles stand in your way from achieving these goals and how can you prepare for them?
- How are you going to celebrate once you hit your 90-day goal? How will you feel?
Whenever you’re feeling lonely focus in on the vision you’re creating for your new life. The period before I launched this blog was one of the most difficult of my life. However, I finally got so unhappy that it motivated me to make big changes in my life. I decided to stop being so scared and finally start creating content and putting it on the internet which was something I had wanted to do for a long time but I was too scared. If you’re lonely or unhappy use that as leverage to make a big change or to get out of your comfort zone and improve your life.
I hope this guide on how to cure loneliness gives you some new ideas to try if you’re feeling lonely and inspires you to start taking some actions. If you don’t like how you feel try changing on what you are focusing on and how you are spending your time. When I let myself focus on how lonely and unhappy I am it just makes it worse. I try to force myself to find the good in my situation even when I really don’t freaking feel like it and that helps me from digging myself into a hole of loneliness and sadness. I also try modifying my actions and how I spend my time. I know that spending a lot of time in my house, watching TV, not exercising and eating junk food all make me feel worse. When I don’t feel my best it’s easy to fall into a hole of unhappiness. If taking action feels overwhelming right now identify a few small things you could stop doing and make a commitment to eliminate them. Once you have those under control find a few things you could start doing that would make you feel better and start building those habits into your lifestyle. I have a whole podcast about my mindset trick to build new habits you can check out here.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. You can download a free printable list of hotlines here and join the free mental health support group on Facebook here. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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