Loneliness is a difficult feeling. It can leave you feeling stressed and unhappy. Yet at the same time it’s hard to pinpoint why. This is because loneliness is a very individual experience. It might manifest itself as frustration at others, or feeling misunderstood.
When you’re in the midst of loneliness, there are a few helpful things to remember. These will help you stay focused and positive despite the circumstances. It’s not false positivity, either. Claim it for yourself and make it real.
Here are 5 things to remember when you feel lonely:
1. This, too, will pass
One of the things to remember about loneliness is that it doesn’t last. Recognize that you’ve felt lonely before. But don’t beat yourself up about it! You survived that last period of loneliness. You’ll survive this one, too. It’s been said that “You can come out bitter or you can come out better. There is purpose in your pain.” This temporary feeling does not define you. Remember these things the next time you’re struggling with loneliness. Mindfulness can be a good exercise here. It involves stilling your mind. Allow your thoughts to come and go instead of hanging on to them. Sometimes you might have to “fake it ’till you make it,” but that’s ok, too!
2. Take care of yourself
Overcoming loneliness starts from within. Make yourself a priority. Low self-esteem directly contributes to loneliness. Reverse the process! Part of recovering from low self-esteem is becoming your own best friend. This looks different for everyone. It involves surrounding yourself with whatever makes you happy.
Be gentle with yourself while you’re trying to remember these things. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings without judgement. Lonely people stay lonely when they try to ignore what they’re feeling. Or, worse yet, they keep dwelling on the past. They believe that old habits are things to remember instead of let go of.
3. Seek out positive and supportive relationships
Loneliness can be physical as well as mental. A key sign of loneliness is a feeling of disconnection from those around you. Lonely people also have an unfortunate tendency to self-isolate.
Instead, consciously reach out when you find yourself slipping. Good friends will help you come up with better things to remember. People love to be thought of! Sometimes all it takes is making that first step. Making that connection is a relief and a tangible reminder that loneliness can’t control you. Besides, loved ones can remind you of happier times. They’re great for taking your mind off whatever is bringing you down.
4. Reassess your priorities
You might also feel lonely because you’ve been focused on work and other projects instead of loved ones. Take a break! Decide what’s truly important to you. Of course, when it comes to your to-do list, you should remember these things. But try rewriting that list. What do you want to accomplish today? Pick something you’ve always wanted to do. It could be an art piece or learning a new language. That will also give you an excellent sense of accomplishment. It brings you out of your shell. Think of what your “why” is. Redefining your purpose helps increase your value to others, too.
5. You are important
Feeling valuable and loved can be among the hardest things to remember when you’re lonely. There’s the temptation to feel justified in your loneliness. Start believing that you’re better than that. Make a point of looking out for positive signs instead. That might seem easier said than done, but everything starts with baby steps.
One step could be to start keeping a gratitude list. Write down good things people did for you. Write down good things you did for others. A list of this kind illustrates that you are worthy of love. It rejects the assumption that you are doomed to feel lonely. You don’t need to be surrounded by people all the time to feel important. Don’t define your self-worth by what others think of you.
Understand that loneliness will happen. That’s why you should prepare for it instead of being afraid or feeling weak because you’re going through this. We are all lonely at one point or another. It’s how you handle loneliness that really counts.