What to do when you feel lonely
It is quite scary how many of us feel lonely. We often think that a lonely person is one who has little to no friends, but this is not always the case. Whether you feel lonely or not depends neither on the people around you nor on the number of friends you have. Loneliness is a state of a person's inner experience and assessment of whether they feel important and necessary for something or someone. Unfortunately, loneliness may bring about unpleasant emotions – anxiety, depression, and hinder your favourite activities.
There are many reasons why we feel social distant. According to psychologist John Cacioppo, loneliness may be caused by relocation, divorce, death, and low self-esteem. Very often, the feeling of loneliness can also be triggered by not having a close friendship. It is crucial to have a friend with whom we can openly share our experiences, be ourselves, and feel confident. It is the friendship that makes us happy and protects us best against loneliness.
To break out of emotional isolation, requires regaining a sense of community. Try the following tips.
Ping your friends you haven't been in contact within a long time. Knowing that support is available from a friend increases feelings of security and helps to protect against stress.
Think about what type of people you would like to hang out with. What qualities do they have? What activities do they engage in? Maybe they exercise a lot, perhaps travel, read a lot or surf? Try to engage in the same activities and learn new skills – this will help you become what you want to be.
Another way to stay busy is by helping others, which can also boost your emotional wellbeing. You can volunteer during the coronavirus outbreak from home or in your community, but follow the government guidelines if you are going out.
.Communicate with optimism
It's normal to be afraid of being rejected. However, to build a relationship, you need to show your willingness to communicate. Keep in mind that such simple things as a smile or a compliment are what it takes to start a beautiful friendship.
.Open to your friends and listen to them
Tell your friends not only about your accomplishments but also about your feelings and fears. Talking only about superficial things does not create a close connection and makes us feel lonely, even when we are among friends. Also, give your full attention to what your friend has to tell you, instead of only sharing your own experiences.
# 1 // Think about a new skill you would like to learn
Some skills will be applicable in practice, while others will develop your mind's sharpness and flexibility. Try browsing mobile apps: language learning and social apps (Duoling, Qoorio), various historical quizzes (Learn World History, World War 2 Quiz), anatomy games (Teach Me Anatomy, Anatomy Quiz), simple math problems and complex tasks (Maths formula, Math Tricks) or geography quizzes (Flags of all World Countries, World Map Quiz). Or perhaps you are into astronomy, biology, music, art or cooking?
# 2 // Do as many activities as you like
Spending more time doing things you like can redirect your thoughts from loneliness. If you have the opportunity to go outside, a trip to the park can help. If you need to be at home, fun radio shows, podcasts or comedy clubs on YouTube are an excellent way to fill your mind. Physical activity can also lift your spirits and help you get away from unpleasant thoughts. So walk or run outside as often as possible, and if you want to do a calmer activity, try breathing exercises in the Mindletic app.
# 3 // Think about who you could help
Volunteering contributes significantly to the wellbeing of society. It strengthens social ties as it gives you an incredible feeling too.
You can volunteer for both long and short periods. Some opportunities in Lithuania:
# 4 // Listen to TED Talks
Check out the fantastic collection of TED Talks about the feeling of loneliness here.
# 5 // Tidy up your home
Do you know the state of peace you experience when everything is in order? When we clear our physical space, the emotional space frees up as well. The organizational task activates the logical part of the brain, which can be an antidote to loneliness. Start from one place – two clothes drawers, one kitchen shelf, etc.