Feeling lonely doesn’t only happen when you’re alone. In fact, some people enjoy time to themselves.
On the flipside, just because you’re around other people doesn’t mean you can’t feel lonely. You might even feel lonely when you’re in a room full of people. When you don’t feel connected with anyone or you feel like no one understands you, you might feel as though you are completely alone even if you’re around friends or family.
Some of us can be on our own and feel very comfortable and peaceful, while others will feel lonely when they’re by themselves. Then there are people who feel alone and lonely even when they’re with friends or surrounded by people. You’re trying to connect with someone, but you feel alone because there’s no depth of connection.
There’s a big difference between being alone and feeling lonely.
Being alone is simply being on your own. Whereas loneliness is a feeling we experience when we get caught up in judgments and insecurities about ourselves or our relationships.
Loneliness is a normal, human experience. But when left unchecked, it can be bad for your emotional and physical health.
Whether you occasionally feel a little lonely when you’re at home by yourself or you experience a deep sense of loneliness that never goes away, it’s important to address loneliness in a healthy way. I’ve often wished people would either speak from their heart or just enjoy the silence.
Here are few things you can do right away when you feel lonely.
- Acknowledge it
Don’t waste your energy fighting your feelings or trying to suppress your emotions. Everyone feels lonely sometimes. And feeling lonely doesn’t mean you’re a loser and it doesn’t mean you’re weak.
- Connect with your old buddies
Sometimes it’s easier to connect with old friends than it is to make new ones. Perhaps you lost touch with your college or roommate over the years. Reminiscing about old times may help you connect again and you might find that you’re able to establish a relationship moving forward.
- Read a Book
This is my favorite thing to do. Reading a book helps you get inside the head of characters or narrators. It’ll help you understand how other people think and it can help you feel more connected.
- Join a Group or Club
Look for community activities that might be a good fit for you. From book clubs, gardening clubs to business groups, you will likely discover there are many ways to connect with people in your area.
- Engage yourself in a hobby
Merge yourself in honing your skills in something that interests you. Experiment with different activities, from fishing to pottery to painting or learning music, until you discover things that you love.
- Perform an Act of Kindness
This is something close to my heart that connects me who I am. Doing something nice for other people can help you feel better. It may also help you feel more connected to the community. Find something you can do; you might contact local charities or animal shelters to see how you could volunteer or offer assistance.
Just remember, you’re not alone!
There are other’s just like you (well, not exactly like you, you’re unique!), who have these same thoughts and feelings and who are experiencing loneliness as a result.
As you come to understand more about your own experience of loneliness, you’ll discover you understand more about others. Loneliness is inherent to the human experience and the world needs more people who understand.