7 Tips For How To Deal With Loneliness
Updated March 11, 2020
Reviewer Juan Angel
Have you ever felt all alone in the world? We all do sometimes and it isn't easy. When you're going through a difficult time and feel there's no one to turn to for support, it's hard to know what to do. But those who are feeling isolated or alone should know there are always people who care about their wellbeing.
How Do You Deal with Loneliness?
Humans are social creatures by nature. You long to connect with others and you want to be loved. It's normal to want to have someone you can love in return. Learning how to cope with loneliness isn't simple, but there's much you can do to regain that feeling of value and belonging. There are effective ways you can deal with loneliness, and professional help is available if you're in need. This article will cover tools to cope with, and move past, loneliness.
First, it's important to note that even if you feel lonely right now, you're not alone. Millions of people are going through similar struggles. It's estimated that over 40% of all people will experience loneliness at some point in their lives. Even those who appear connected and popular can feel isolated from others.
Many people successfully overcome feelings of loneliness through therapy, and those who have signed up for online therapy at BetterHelp find it a valuable resource for combating loneliness. These therapy sessions help people change the way they look at the world, and open up to new possibilities. Some may also benefit from antidepressants prescribed by a doctor to treat associated depression issues. Regardless of whether or not you're a good candidate for medication, or what mode of therapy works best for you, it's important to seek treatment when you're feeling down. You're not alone in this fight.
The 7 Tips for Dealing with Loneliness
Below we're suggesting seven methods for dealing with loneliness, all of which will be helpful in their own ways. Consider which methods might be most useful to you.
1. Accept That Loneliness Is Normal. Just knowing that others around the globe are experiencing the same feelings of loneliness can be helpful. As mentioned earlier, 40% of people will experience loneliness at some point in time. That number may seem high-after all, the internet and social networking makes it easier than ever to connect. But loneliness is subjective. It's possible to feel lonely even if you have a significant other, children, or lots of friends.
So if you're looking for an answer on how to cure loneliness in your own life, just realize there are millions of others feeling the same way. This normal emotion is one that almost everyone experiences at some point, and it's something that you can overcome.
2. Recognize the Effects of Loneliness So You Can Combat Them. Loneliness can be felt. Studies show that being lonely can make you feel colder than those around you, can increase cholesterol and blood pressure, and can even stop your immune system from functioning properly. Loneliness can also disrupt your sleep. Because loneliness puts your body on 'high alert,' it can make you more prone to sleep problems. Insomnia and lack of true rest can both be a result of loneliness. Loneliness leads to self-destructive habits. Drub abuse, gambling habits, and other self-destructive actions have all been linked to loneliness. Finding a cure for loneliness can prevent these habits from developing in the first place. Last, loneliness can affect your mental health. As it increases, so does depression. One of the main signs of depression is no longer wanting to do things you used to enjoy, including spending time with your friends. If you think your feelings of loneliness may be a small part of a more bigger problem, you should consider seeking help from someone who specializes in treating loneliness.
3. Seek Professional Help. Meeting with a mental health professional is one of the most helpful steps you can take if you're trying to overcome loneliness. A therapist can help you explore the factors behind your feelings. Other issues surrounding your loneliness can be addressed as well. For example, if you've recently lost a family member or close friend, you may be experiencing both loneliness and grief. Having an experienced professional to support you through the healing process can make all the difference.
Sometimes, you might even feel lonely due to your location. Military members who are deployed or spouses who are separated from family and friends often experience a sense of loneliness that seems unsolvable. If you are in an area where you have few resources, mental health or otherwise, seeking professional help might seem impossible. It can be the same for those suffering from depression. In situations like this, a program like BetterHelp can be beneficial. BetterHelp is unique because counseling takes place through an online platform that you can access from any place you feel comfortable. And many people find the BetterHelp program a lot more convenient and affordable than in-person counseling.
4. Nurture Existing Relationships. Loneliness can make us pull away from our relationships, even when we desire them the most. By nurturing the relationships you already have, you can put yourself on a path to overcoming loneliness. When the people you once loved or connected with feel distant, it can be hard to take the first step towards fortifying those bonds. Here are some ideas for connecting again:
- Schedule time each day (or week) to call or visit a friend.
- Invite someone out for lunch.
- Start up conversations with neighbors when you can.
- Use social media to reconnect with those you've lost touch with due to time or distance.
- Join a group or club with interests you share.
5. Practice Positive Self-Talk. You might be asking what getting rid of negative self-talk has to do with loneliness, but the two go hand-in-hand. When you're feeling lonely, and you start to think something like "Ugh, I hate my life, no one wants to spend time with me," you're adding to your loneliness. Now you're not only missing social connections but also taking a beating to your self-esteem.
Make an effort to catch these thoughts and replace them with a positive message instead. The process of positive self-talk takes practice, but it can be part of a simple cure for loneliness. If you decide to seek out online therapy, then you'll learn all about these positive self-talk techniques. It's a good way to combat negative feelings and it can significantly improve your life.
6. Find a Hobby. Boredom adds weight to loneliness. If you're already struggling with feelings of loneliness or social isolation, the cure isn't watching Netflix by yourself every night. Instead, find something to occupy your time. Make sure that what you choose has some social aspect to it. Taking pictures in the park and joining a gardening group through Meetup are both good options. Doing a jigsaw puzzle alone in your apartment, not so much. Take some time to explore hobby options and then get out there. The "getting out there" part is usually the hardest.
Hobbies that you do by yourself can still be fun, but try to get yourself out more. You might love watching movies or playing video games alone, but sometimes this isn't going to be the right answer. Do your best to pick out some fun new hobbies that will place you in social situations. It could wind up being the push that you need to improve your social life and it can be a cure for loneliness.
7. Find Volunteer Opportunities. One way to combat loneliness is to put yourself in places where you can meet new people. That's why people go to places like bars and clubs, right? But sometimes just going to public places doesn't do the trick, especially for people whose loneliness is worsened by issues like shyness or social anxiety. By volunteering, you're not only putting yourself in a place where you can meet people, but you'll also be focused on a task. This can help prevent feelings of awkwardness that might arise if you don't have a particular purpose. It can also give you something to look forward to if you're struggling to find meaning in your life.
Another great thing about volunteering is the people you meet are likely to share your interests. For example, if you love animals, you might consider volunteering at a local shelter. This is a place where you're sure to meet other dog or cat people that you can connect with. It'll be much easier to connect if you're with others who like the same things you do. Not sure where to start? Ask around locally or use an online platform like Create the Good or Volunteer Match.
BetterHelp Can Make a Difference in Your Life
Signing up for online therapy at BetterHelp is something that can make a difference in your life. Signup is easy, and the matching process is personalized so that you're paired with the perfect counselor for you. Depending on when you sign up, you might qualify for a free trial that will help you decide if counseling can help you deal with your loneliness. These professionals understand what you're going through and can teach you the best coping methods.
You can reach out to an online therapist today without even having to leave your house. These therapists are available to speak to you at any time and there are many different therapy options available. Don't wait to contact a therapist if you're in need. These compassionate professionals will be happy to help you with your loneliness and any other struggles you might be going through. Take a look at some BetterHelp counselor reviews to see how they have helped others in your situation.
BetterHelp Counselor Reviews
"Peter is very caring. He is a good listener and gives me good tools to deal with my problems. I feel supported and less alone. I highly recommend him as a counselor. He has helped me through very difficult times."
"I have a lot of high stressors happening in my life right now, it has been extremely beneficial to have someone from the outside looking in to help me see what I do not and be able to have someone helping guide me through it. I appreciate being able to have a constant conversation and send a message when it is most convenient. I have a busy life right now and knowing I have someone to talk too (if I need too) every day has made me feel less alone and capable of achieving my goals."
FAQ's (Frequently asked questions)
1. How do you know if you're lonely?
If you're feeling alone and isolated and you crave human connection, it's safe to say that you're lonely. Loneliness and Depression can go together depending on how you're feeling. Experiencing loneliness once in a while is normal, but if you are feeling lonely more than once in a while, you may want to seek the help of a mental health professional.
2. How does loneliness affect you?
You could feel lonely in a crowd once in a while if you are not comfortable in that setting. You may also end up feeling misunderstood or, like what you have to add to a situation, isn't worthwhile. Loneliness is a feeling that affects your emotional state, but it can also affect your physical wellbeing. Potential effects of loneliness and isolation include a weaker immune system, higher blood pressure, mental health conditions, and even an increased risk of mortality. Once you realize that loneliness is affecting you, it's essential to seek the help of your support system. If you feel like you don't have close friends or family, you can talk to a mental health professional like a therapist.
3. What do you do if you feel lonely around other people?
Sometimes, when we're in situations where we don't feel understood, we feel lonely. You may feel lonely in a crowd when you're with people who make you feel like you don't feel like you fit in. It could happen at school, at work, or even among your family members. You may experience loneliness and Depression together, and they may feed into one another if you feel this way. It's important to understand that even when you feel like you're alone, you're not; there are a lot of other people out there going through similar things. Some people understand you and care.
4. How do you know if you're feeling lonely and depressed?
If you're feeling down, misunderstood, and as if there's no hope, you may be experiencing both loneliness and Depression. Depression makes you feel isolated, and like you don't want to reach out for help. Being depressed can inherently make you feel alone, so it depends on the person; the symptoms of Depression vary from person to person. Some people may feel a lack of energy, trouble reaching out to friends.
5. How do you overcome loneliness if you have social anxiety?
Loneliness and social anxiety can go together because if you're anxious about being around others, you're unlikely to go to social events and meet other people. However, it's essential to challenge those anxious feelings, get out there, and experience life. If you feel like you're experiencing social anxiety, you can talk to a therapist who can help you work through it.
6. What are some ways to decrease loneliness?
One way to decrease loneliness is to acknowledge that loneliness is a feeling that we all feel. The best way to reduce isolation is, of course, to seek out other people. Sometimes, this means reaching out to old friends, and sometimes, this means making new ones. You can try going to a class you want to take, such as a dance class or an art class. You can also meet people through online groups of free community events in your area. If a mental health concern is the cause of your loneliness, talk therapy can be beneficial, as can group therapy. The most important thing to do is to look at why you're feeling lonely and make the jump to put yourself out there. It can be intimidating, but there are a lot of other people in your shoes, so don't be afraid. Almost wherever you go, someone is feeling the same way.
If you try these tips and are still having trouble overcoming your loneliness, seek the advice of a trusted friend or family member. Using your voice to ask for the things you need can help you moved past these temporary feelings and into the life you deserve. Loneliness does not have to be a permanent feeling. You can get help and move on to happier days.
Don't hesitate to reach out to an online therapist if you're in need. They'll be happy to assist you and you'll always have someone to turn to when you're feeling blue. The biggest mistake that you could make is to assume that you need to face this battle alone. There are always going to be people who want to help.