Loneliness and Practical Steps for Overcoming It

According to experts, loneliness is a universal human emotion that visits most of us from time to time.  However, loneliness is not necessarily about being alone. Instead, it is often the perception of being alone and isolated. Unfortunately, feelings of low self-esteem are often accompanied by feelings of loneliness.  Common symptoms include:

  • Thinking your problems are so unique that other people don’t understand
  • Feeling that other people have friends when you don’t
  • Feeling self-conscious in everything you do
  • Feeling extremely embarrassed when you do something wrong
  • Feeling disconnected and alone in a crowd
  • Feeling shy and afraid to be around others
  • Taking every comment or remark personally
  • Believing there is something intrinsically wrong with you
  • Believing no one understands how miserable you feel
  • Feeling hopeless and helpless
  • Feeling invisible

Thankfully, there are some practical steps to overcoming loneliness:

  • Remembering that feelings are not facts
  • Making an effort to meet new people by joining social groups and organizations
  • Spending time with loved ones and family
  • Avoiding songs, books, and movies that bring up feelings of loneliness
  • Taking care of and nurturing self – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually
  • Reflecting on good memories and counting the blessings
  • Learning new skills or hobbies
  • Seeing medical advice for long term depression or talking privately with a counselor
  • Spending time in prayer

The next time you feel overwhelmed by feelings of loneliness, remember that occasional bouts of loneliness are normal.  And, with the help of these practical steps, they too will pass.

 

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