Ending Loneliness Made Easy

If you’re like most people, you’re lonely from time to time. It’s a normal emotion and a part of life.

Loneliness is simply a difference between the level of emotional intimacy you desire and the amount you actually have in your life. Some people can be quite alone, yet still not feel lonely. Others can be surrounded by friends much of the time and still feel some degree of loneliness. So, being alone and being lonely are not exactly the same thing.

Loneliness may be caused by a lost relationship, low self-esteem, poor social skills, retirement, or several other circumstances.

Unfortunately, many of the common coping mechanisms do not help solve the source of the loneliness. Things like overeating, drinking or drugs, oversleeping, withdrawal, and reminiscing about better days are not helpful. Withdrawing from others might remove the possibility of rejection, but it won’t eliminate you loneliness.

Try these strategies to eliminate the loneliness from your life:

1. Develop yourself. Focusing on self-growth will also help to minimize your feelings of loneliness.

* Engage in positive self-talk. Remind yourself of your good qualities and all the great friends you’ve had in the past. Remind yourself that loneliness is entirely within your control. When negative thoughts creep up, replace them with something more supportive.

* Take a self-inventory. What changes could you make that would make you feel better about yourself and possibly more attractive to others? Are there any negative habits you could replace? Would you feel better about yourself if you had a more current wardrobe and lost 20 lbs?

* Improve your interpersonal skills. Read a book or take a class on social skills. Learn how to be a great listener. Strengthen your confidence in social situations. Get some practice talking to strangers. While you’re just standing there in line at the grocery store, you might as well say ‘hi’ to someone.

2. Form new relationships and rekindle old ones:

* Volunteer. Go someplace that interests you and needs your help. There are so many options available, but pick something that really appeals to you. It will get you out of the house, make you feel useful, and you’ll meet other volunteers with similar interests.

* Participate in hobbies that involve others. A yoga or art class is a good example of something that involves others. Taking online guitar lessons in the comfort of your home would not be suitable. Join a tennis league or book club. The possibilities are endless.

* Create a list of old and current friends. Each day, contact a different person from your list. Not everyone will respond, but many will. Suggest getting together for a cup of coffee.

3. Make your own action plan. Come up with your own ideas for putting an end to your loneliness. List the actual steps you will take and set some deadlines. Don’t wait until you feel better. Take some action steps and the good feelings will follow.

If you try the above ideas and still haven’t made significant progress, get a check-up with your physician. Perhaps you have some depression or anxiety that is contributing to your loneliness.

Loneliness is common, but that doesn’t mean you should just accept it without attempting to remedy the situation. Work on yourself and take some steps to vitalize your social life. The world is full of people and many of them are lonely too. Reach out to others. Many of them would love to hear from you.

Glen Murdoch

Glen Murdoch is the founder and CEO of The Life Coaching College. He has a long history of working with Athletes and Teams as a Performance Coach and Analyst and has developed Australia's number 1 Life Coaching College.