Dealing with loniliness
Reviewed by our psychologist : Mirte Verkuijlen
There are certain practical steps you can take if you’re trying to tackle loneliness. You can manage your feelings in different ways so that they have less of a negative impact on your daily life.
For example, it might help to talk to someone about it or make a list of all the people you could call for a chat. If you start small, you’ll be able to figure out what’s working for you in your battle against loneliness.
In this article
- 5 ways to deal with loneliness better
- Practical tips against loneliness: here’s how you can help yourself
- Help with loneliness
5 Ways to Deal with Loneliness Better
- Just because you feel lonely doesn’t mean you are
You might feel lonely, but that doesn’t mean “you are lonely”. Most likely this is just the way you’re experiencing a situation. It’s important to be able to separate your feelings from your physical reality. Even if you’re having plenty of social interactions, you can still feel lonely. It’s good to be aware that this is a feeling and you can work on it.
- You can influence your feelings
Changing your behavior will affect the way you feel. If you keep worrying that you’re lonely, try to recognize and label these thoughts as worries. When you find yourself swept up in worries about how lonely you are, it’s good to distract yourself or think more helpful thoughts. To do so, focus your attention on something else. For example, read an interesting book, watch a TV series you’ve been dying to see or clean out your closet.
- Practice self-compassion
If you’re looking to combat loneliness, distraction alone won’t do the trick. You need to practice self-compassion so you can get better at managing your feelings. This means acknowledging that you’re not perfect, but at the same time, recognizing what you do well. Even if you keep making mistakes, you should be proud of the things you do manage to accomplish.
- Take small steps
Ridding yourself of feelings of loneliness won’t happen overnight. That’s not a bad thing, it just means you need to take small steps. Invite a friend over for coffee or give someone a call. That may seem scary now, but once you’ve given it a try, you’ll be really proud of yourself for taking that first step.
- You get what you give
Try to give and share more with other people. This is the best way to draw people towards you. Initially, it will help you to deal with your feelings of loneliness better. Over time, you’ll also find that you’ve built up a support system.
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Practical tips against loneliness: here’s how you can help yourself
- Make a list of people you know
Gather together the names of some people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Make a shortlist of people you’d like to contact again in the near future.
- Ask other people how they’re doing
Start a conversation by asking the other person how they are. Give people a chance to talk about themselves before shifting the topic to whatever you’d like to discuss.
- Write down your thoughts
Write down what you’re thinking and describe any feelings of loneliness you might be experiencing.
- Offer to help other people
Offer to help friends, neighbors and other people in your community: you could babysit their kids or help with chores.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help yourself
It’s also okay to ask for help when you need it. Let people know if you could use an extra pair of hands.
- Practice your small talk
Practice making casual conversation with somebody you trust so that you can hone your skills.
Help with Loneliness
If your feelings of loneliness are very persistent, then it might be advisable to seek some professional help. You can meet with a psychologist 1-on-1 and work through your feelings of loneliness in behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy or acceptance and commitment therapy can both really help here.
Do you have any questions about dealing with loneliness, or what you can expect from professional help? Give us a call and we can discuss it with you personally.