Feeling Lonely in A World Of Connection
It has never been so easy to talk to people as it is now. Distance is hardly an issue and you don’t need to memorize phone numbers, or even know them. Social media has made connecting with others a breeze, or has it? It has been reported that 3 out of every 4 people experience loneliness. Given all the methods of communication we have at our disposal, that statistic may be surprising, but if we look a little closer it isn’t all that surprising at all.
First, we must define what loneliness actually is.
The truth is you don’t have to be alone in a room to experience loneliness. You can be in a crowd, at work/school, or even surrounded by family and friends and still experience loneliness. This is because it’s not something physical that you can point out, it is a feeling, so it is internal.
Now let’s figure out why someone might feel lonely.
There are many reasons why someone may feel lonely and everyone processes loneliness differently. It could be that you have no one to talk to or hang out with, or it could be that you are at a crossroads in your life and not sure what your next step is. Maybe you are in a conflict with a close loved one, or you’ve moved to a new city where you know no one. You could be going through something and feel like no one would understand it. I could go on and on with examples, but I think you get the idea.
When it comes to dealing with loneliness, everyone has different methods. Some address it head-on and try to figure out how to feel better. Then there are others that choose to ignore it and hope it goes away. Then there are those that don’t even know what they are experiencing is loneliness. They know something feels off but aren’t sure why or what to do to fix it. I’ve definitely fit into the last two categories many times. I’d be lying if I said that I no longer experience loneliness. I do, but I’ve found a few things to do that make me feel a little less alone and figure out why I was feeling that way in the first place. I’m sharing them with you today right here.
Sometimes social media can be too much. Especially when everyone else’s lives seem so much more exciting than your own. It can be easy to fall into the comparison trap and make you feel even more lonely. The remedy for that when you are already feeling lonely is to unplug, for a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, whatever amount of time you need. This can be as simple as putting your phone on do not disturb or shutting your phone off completely. However, if you are doing the latter for more than a day make sure there is an alternate way for you to reach someone or someone to reach you, in case of emergency.
Do something you enjoy
If you are feeling really down, sometimes it is nice to get your mind off of it for a little while to get you in a better headspace. A good way to do this is to do something you enjoy. Go for a walk, watch your favorite movie, listen to your favorite album, go see a friend or family member, meditate, create something, do whatever feeds your soul and brings you joy. What brings you joy? Let me know in the comments below.
It is vital to eventually work through why you are feeling the way you are feeling. Once you identify why you are lonely you can take steps to get ahead of it next time those feelings start coming. There are so many ways you can journal. You can follow a prompt, write whatever is on your heart, or even doodle. The important thing is to get your feelings out on paper instead of in your head. If you are interested in journal prompts, I have a free seven-day journaling challenge in the Morning Routine Breakdown e-book. Download it here if you haven’t already
Reach Out To Someone
You may be feeling lonely simply because you need to talk to/be around someone. If that’s the case reach out to someone and have a conversation, better yet plan to actually meet up and chat face-to-face.
Join a Virtual Community
In the event that you may not have people in your life that you can talk to a virtual community may work for you. There are so many Facebook groups that unite people in different ways, from hobbies to location and even careers. Consider joining a few that speak to you and find your people there. Be in mind that it is the internet so practice safety first as you are getting to know people online.
Remember This Feeling Will Pass
Sometimes loneliness just happens out of nowhere and you aren’t prepared or don’t know how you are going to feel better. In these moments remember that it does get better. It may take some time but one way or another your loneliness will pass.
Going off the last point, if you have tried everything you can think of and you are still feeling down for an extended period of time, you may want to look for help. You may be experiencing something more than loneliness. Counseling is a great option here. I’ve personally been to counseling and am considering going back again. Getting professional help doesn’t make you weak. It actually takes a lot of strength to admit you are not in a good place and need help getting better. I’ll discuss this point further in a future blog post.
I hope one or more of these tips have encouraged you if you are feeling lonely or has given you something to keep in mind if you ever start to feel lonely. As always, I’d love to know what you think. Let me know in the comments below.