“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.“ – Wayne Dyer
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n this planet of more than 7 billion people, many of us still feel so alone from time to time. As paradoxical as that seems, most everyone can relate to these feelings and experiences them at some point in their lives. Are these feelings unnecessary? Not always; every emotion we feel can unearth a hidden lesson and deeper meaning that we might have missed by not paying attention to our feelings.
However, next time you feel a wave of loneliness overcome you, try to remember the following advice to help you sift through those emotions.
10 Things to Remember When Feeling Alone
1. Feeling lonely reflects your relationship with yourself.
How many times have you gone out with new friends, or even old friends, wondering why you feel so alone in a group of people? It happens to the best of us. But, if you dig into those feelings a little deeper, you might find that you actually feel disconnected from yourself, and therefore have trouble relating to others. Spend time nourishing your relationship with yourself, and give yourself the attention you deserve. Many people look for any sort of distraction to avoid themselves, whether it be people, alcohol, drugs, food, or shopping. Learn to enjoy your own company, and you will slowly start to improve your connection to yourself and the world around you.
2. There are always friends or groups with common interests out there.
Connecting with like-minded people can quickly dissolve any feelings of isolation, so consider joining local groups to make new connections. Do you like hiking? Cooking? Painting? Running? Well, in most big cities, and even smaller ones, you can find tons of organizations that have weekly or monthly meetups for a wide variety of interests. Maybe you just need to make some new friends that you have more in common with, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and introduce yourself to new experiences.
3. Most people have been in your shoes at some point.
Almost everyone on this planet experiences loneliness; we all are just trying to figure things out together, so you’re not alone in feeling alone. This life is just an experiment, and no one has all the answers. To reassure yourself, you could even ask someone at the bus stop or at work if they ever feel alone. Most likely, they will answer “yes,” and you might even make a new friend in the process. Don’t mask your feelings; just embrace them and don’t ever doubt that someone out there can relate to how you feel.
4. By allowing yourself to get lost, you will find yourself.
We all have grown up in a molded society that tells us who to be, what to buy, and what to believe. However, when you detach yourself from all the noise and expectations, and create your own path, you get to redefine yourself. Or, invent yourself if you never had the chance to. Don’t fear the unknown; just take a couple steps into new territory and let your curiosity replace any apprehension you may feel.
5. You originate from the same unseen force as everything else.
Every life form on Earth comes from the same place you did, which connects us all automatically. Our separateness is just an illusion, but a very powerful one at that. Next time you feel isolated, go outside into nature and look at the flowers blooming, the birds chasing each other playfully through the forest, or even just the clouds in the sky. Become still within yourself, and you will soon remember that you are an intrinsic part of everything that surrounds you.
6. Learn to go with the flow in life.
Whatever happens, just accept it and keep on walking your path. Everything you encounter, whether good or bad, will guide you on your journey back home and teach you valuable lessons. Oftentimes, we insulate ourselves from life out of fear, or because we have the same old memories playing on a loop in our minds. Don’t let the past dictate your present; just let the universe carry you along effortlessly, and allow your actions to proceed your thoughts. The best things happen when we don’t overthink, and just live.
7. Helping others helps us, too.
If you long for attention and understanding, chances are that someone else craves these things too. Take your mind off your own needs for a while, and offer your words or hands to someone else. This will help change your perspective, and remind you of all your blessings that others may not even have. Plus, it will help you form a bond with a stranger, and give you a sense of satisfaction knowing you made someone else’s life a little bit better.
8. All is always well.
Sometimes, we all just need to reassure ourselves and be our own rock when we feel depressed. Feeling human emotions should never be a cause for anger or embarrassment; just give into your feelings, and cry or get angry if you need to. Pick yourself back up, and tell yourself that you will always be there for you. You can’t be lonely if you love your own company, and part of that means consoling yourself on bad days. It’s okay to be human.
9. This is an opportunity to evaluate what you can change.
What makes you feel stuck and isolated about your current situation? Can you change it? If so, come up with some solutions instead of dwelling on the problems. If you don’t get enough human interaction on a day-to-day basis, consider doing something small, like going to your local coffee shop a few times a week. You can meet amazing people in any given place or time; you just have to put yourself in situations that allow connections to happen.
10. You can always love yourself.
Don’t wait until you feel bouncing-off-the-walls happy to love yourself. Don’t wait until you have lost thirty pounds, earned more money, gotten a new job, moved to a new place, made friends, or gone on a date to love yourself. Love starts and ends with you, so start loving yourself today. Love the pain and joy you experience, and remember to love your loneliness, too.