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How To Cope With Loneliness

How To Cope With Loneliness

Neasa Murphy

Feeling lonely is an extremely common experience.
You may associate loneliness with being alone or not having lots of friends, but there are actually lots of reasons we feel lonely sometimes, whether we’re around other people or not.
With social distancing in place and uncertain times ahead, you may be feeling a lot of things, and loneliness is likely one of them. While the pandemic isn’t helping, it’s important to know that loneliness happens to all of us, even under normal circumstances.
There are lots of things we can do to cope when we’re feeling lonely, so don’t despair. Here’s our advice on how to cope with loneliness…

Try to understand why you’re feeling lonely

Sometimes we don’t even understand why we’re feeling a certain way, and this only increases our anxiety around the issue. If you’ve had a busy day around lots of people and still feel lonely, you might wonder how this is possible or be hard on yourself for not being able to control how you’re feeling.
However, feeling connected to others isn’t just about being around people, it’s about having honest, quality connections with those people. So maybe you’ve had plenty of interactions with others, but if those conversations weren’t meaningful, you might still feel lonely, and that’s totally normal.
Sometimes worries or stress about school, work, or anything else can also make us feel lonely. This is more about feeling alone with your problems than feeling like you don’t have enough friends, and this is also totally normal.

Find ways to reflect and relax

It may seem like the obvious solution to feeling lonely is to surround yourself with people, but sometimes we need to be a friend to ourselves first. Like we said earlier, sometimes a worry we have about school or anything else leaves us feeling alone, and it can be beneficial to take some time to deal with those feelings before being around others.
Journaling, meditating, or even walking can help us work through problems during our alone time. This way, when you do go to meet a friend, you’re in a better place and you can enjoy the interaction more. Again, it’s not just about connection, it’s about quality connection.

Reject your fear of rejection

Research shows that when we’re feeling lonely, we’re more likely to focus on negative signals from other people than positive ones. This means we might convince ourselves someone doesn’t want to be around us or doesn’t like us, even if they do. This can lead to a negative cycle of avoiding being around others because we’re afraid of rejection and continuing to feel lonely as a result.
To break this cycle, we have to be kind to ourselves and believe we are good company for others. You don’t have to be funnier, more fashionable, more outgoing or more anything to be a good friend. We all have a unique personality to offer the world, and if we keep telling ourselves we aren’t good enough, no one will ever get to see it.
You are worthy of friendship and connection, just as you are.

See Also

Give yourself time, Rome wasn’t built in a day

Often when we look for advice on loneliness and friendship, we’re told to join a club, make friends at work or get out more. While all these things are good advice, it’s important to remember that real friendships take time to develop, and these are the friendships that really help with loneliness and connection.
It’s totally normal to go through different phases in life and find that sometimes we’re very connected to others and other times we’re more alone. If you’re trying to break out of an alone phase, try to be patient with yourself. Put yourself out there, try new things, but don’t expect instant results. You’re a person, not a magician, and connection will come with time.
Have you ever had to try figure out how to cope with loneliness? 

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