We all experience loneliness from time to time, whether that's moving to a new town, around the holiday season, Valentines Day, and during times of extreme stress. You may not know the ones around you are experiencing this because people don't always talk about feelings of loneliness or know how to cope with these emotions.
The strange thing about loneliness is that you can be alone, yet not lonely. You can also feel lonely in a houseful of people. It’s the disconnection you have from others, with no one to confide in, and the lack of meaningful relationships.
Although through technology we have been gifted with the ability to access each other which may make you feel more connected to the world when you find “friends” on social media but it doesn't ease the ache of loneliness.
When trying to push away the problem it can eventually have a negative impact on your emotional and psychical health. In fact loneliness has been associated with depression, sucide, and physical illness.
If we were to resort to curing your loneliness with surrounding ourselves with people, we might have a hard time maintaining that. “As a person leaves, you're lonely again.” Instead create a list of simple activities you enjoy or would be willing to try when you're feeling lonely: Cooking, watching a tv show, listening to a podcast, working out, meditating, or painting. The goal is to distract from the acute loneliness in a healthy way.
Social media can bring people together, but it can also make people feel terribly lonely, and experience FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out. A study from the University of Pennsylvania that was published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found a causal connection between social media use and feelings of depression and loneliness. So know that if your social media is making you feel more distant than connected, you're not alone. Consider deleting the apps from your phone and giving yourself a break.
Getting some sunshine and fresh air can do wonders for your mental health. Getting sun can trigger your body to produce endorphins and serotonin, which have positive effects on how you feel.
Whether it's an exercise class or a local community, joining a class automatically exposes you to a group of people who share at least one of your interests. This can provide a sense of belonging that comes with being part of a group. It can help give you something to look forward to during the day.
Strengthen existing relationships
You probably have people in your life that you could get to know a bit better, or connections with family that can be deepend. If so, try calling your friends more often, go out with them more, find other ways to enjoy your existing relationships. Find an activity or topic that could help strengthen your bond.
Get a pet
Pets, especially dogs, offer many benefits, and preventing loneliness is one of them. If you happen to rescue a pet that combines benefits of altruism and companionship, leaving you with several loneliness-fighters. Having a pet can connect you with other people such as walking a dog opens you up to a community of other dog-walkers. Pets provide you with unconditional love, which can be a great salve for loneliness.
Remember loneliness is temporary, even if you're feeling lonely now, that doesn't mean you’ll always feel lonely or you'll never find a community that nourishes you. You’ve just got to go out and create new bonds!