Why Am I So Alone And How Do I Fix It?
By Sarah Fader
Updated October 18, 2019
Reviewer April Brewer , DBH, LPC
You're the person that everyone calls when they want to commiserate or celebrate, and you never let them down. You've been the cheerleader for everyone else all the time you've known them. Now, you're wondering why you feel that your friends are not as supportive of you as you have been for them. You find yourself wondering, "If I have so many friends, why am I so alone?" or "Who is my cheerleader?" If this sounds like you, it's time to focus a little more on yourself, make your needs and wants a priority for once, and what will truly make you happy and have a fulfilled life.
Feeling Alone Breeds Discontent
When you feel alone, it's easy to have a pity party. You start dwelling on all the things that bother you. You hate your job. Friendships no longer feel satisfying. There are many things that you want and need to do, and you don't feel like doing any of them. You spend your time sleeping too much and mindlessly dwelling on everything that's wrong in your world.
Is it loneliness? You can feel loneliness even in the presence of others because being lonely is a state of mind. If you think you have mistaken being alone for your feelings of loneliness, here are a few pointers to assist you with working through these feelings:
- Feeling lonely is natural. Initially, it is normal to feel lonely after a breakup because your life is experiencing a change. It is better to acknowledge the feeling of loneliness rather than fight it by perceiving it is a negative emotion or masking it by getting prematurely involved in a new relationship or returning to your ex.
- Process and accept your emotions. It sometimes is frowned upon to express your emotions and others will encourage you to "stay strong." Is this healthy? You are human, it is normal for you to feel various emotions. Somehow, it seems to have become the normal expectation that we should "be happy" or "be strong" all the time. This perspective is unrealistic, it is normal to feel different emotions and understand why you feel the way you feel to foster acceptance and aid in the healing process of the breakup.
- Love yourself first. The idea of being alone may sound a bit scary. However, being okay with being alone, is an important element of one's happiness. Learning to be alone allows you to develop independent happiness, that isn't dependent upon being in a relationship with another person.
- Explore new interest & engage in hobbies. Identify past hobbies and leisure activities that you used to enjoy that you may no longer actively engage in. Engage in new interest, this will help create healthy distractions from focusing on negative thoughts and may offer the opportunity to meet new people.
- Try to journal. Using a journal offers the opportunity to express your thoughts, feelings, and plans in writing, and often people share that they feel a sense of relief and fulfillment after completing this activity. Also, expressing your thoughts and feelings about your ex in a journal could allow you the opportunity to review your journal entries at a later date and provide you with deeper insight to help you gain the clarity that you need to move forward in your life.
Is it loneliness? Shake it off. Let go of the past and focus on your future. You don't need to do it on your own. The credentialed counselors at BetterHelp.com can help you to get unstuck and move forward in a new direction. A counselor can help you to better understand why it is that you feel so alone and what you can do to change that.
Why Am I So Alone and How Did I Get Here?
You feel alone because you have lived your life vicariously through those that you love and care about. You've let them define who you are and what you need to do to live a happy and productive life.
What you haven't done is pursue the dreams that lead to your own happiness. Perhaps you've spent more time dreaming about what things will be like when you reach the goals you have for yourself, and not enough time working towards them. Let's not forget that your friends worked hard to get where they are.
To move forward, you need to stop living in the past and stop focusing on everyone else. Pursuing happiness doesn't mean that you turn away from friendships, it just means that you prioritize yourself first, and friends second.
If you know what makes you happy, start moving in that direction. If you're still figuring things out on how to build happiness, start trying some new things to find a sense of purpose.
Building Lasting Happiness.
Though it may seem that our level of happiness fluctuates, we all experience a baseline level of happiness. But, how do we build and maintain lasting happiness? If you are looking for some ways to build on your happiness here are some tips:
Be Grateful. Having daily gratitude will highlight even the smallest things that you are thankful for in everyday life. Example things to highlight are:
- Something good that happened to me today was……………………
- Something that I accomplished today was……………………………
- Something I saw someone do good today was……………………...
Be Kind. The saying "treat others the way you want to be treated" can be incorporated by displaying the simple act of kindness to others. It will not only brighten up the recipient's day but also uplift your mood as well.
Be Active. Exercise and engaging in physical activity has been found to improve both your physical and mental health by increasing energy levels, improves the immune system, improve quality sleeping patterns, stimulate brain growth, improve your confidence, and your sense of accomplishment.
Be positive. Make an effort to identify positive things that occur or that you feel throughout your day. Giving more attention and focus on the positivity rather than the negativity, will benefit by improving your mood and outlook in life.
Be mindful. Mindfulness is when you are aware of your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations at the moment, in addition to nonjudgmentally accepting your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. The experienced benefits of mindfulness are fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, fewer experiences with ruminating thoughts, improved fulfillment in relationships, improved ability to healthily regulate emotions, improved ability to adjust to unpredictable or stressful situations and increased mental processing speed with memory and focus.
Be social. Try not to neglect relationships with family and friends. Strong social bonds that people build with others have the ability to positively impact one's happiness. If you find that your social relationships may need some work, it is never too late to reconnect with a family member or friend and work on rebuilding the relationship.
Taking Steps to Get Out of a Rut
Moving forward may mean stepping out of your comfort zone. It's a little unsettling at first, but you'll soon see the value in it.
Do you need additional education or training to pursue a truly satisfying career? If you need to get training while working full-time, there are many options for online classes in nearly every field. Visit a local college or technical school to explore the possibilities.
Do you need to develop talent? Carve out time in your schedule to practice your craft or seek additional training with an industry mentor.
Do you need to find a better balance between work and life? Set up a session with a life coach to give you some guidance and support.
Being alone isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes we even choose to hold it all inside, until we feel as if we will spill over. All which may have negative outcomes. Feeling lonely might be just what you need to get unstuck. Take some time to sort through what you need to be happy and start pursuing it today. Don't be afraid to ask for the help you need. Talking to a qualified therapist at Better Help, an online therapy platform allows you an alternative option, the opportunity for a nonjudgmental listening ear to help provide you a sense of clarity and guidance to help improve your daily life and meet realistic goals in your personal and/or professional life.