How to Deal With Isolation and Loneliness to Improve Your Wellbeing In 7 Steps
I sometimes use the expression “I can be in a room of familiar faces but have never felt so alone”.
You know what i’m talking about, that sinking feeling of unbelonging.
No matter if someone else entered the room, no matter how many people entered the room, no amount could cure what was plaguing me.
In the same breath, I like the feeling of isolation and loneliness, I indulge in it. There’s a peace in there for me, an escape from what can be a chaotic existence at times.
You could say I have a nasty itch for solitude.
Loneliness is a very complicated mental and emotional experience. Amplified from feelings of anxiety and depression which can cause us to withdraw from the world further.
More often than not, all of us have experienced some level of abandonment in some form, could have been for a long time or even a short time, regardless we remember the painful feeling that came with it.
Whenever we are reminded of this feeling from a trigger, often a painful memory we get an ache of abandonment distress that we experience as loneliness.
This can happen anytime and anywhere, it can happen sitting by a fire with a group of friends or even after making love.
The feelings of isolation and loneliness are different for everyone and yea they are a horrible feeling but i’m going to try change your perception of them and try show you how isolation and loneliness can be used to your advantage.
Here are some tips for recognizing loneliness for what it is and utilising it to become one of your biggest strengths.
Loneliness Is a Feeling, Not a Reality
The most important realisation to come to grips with when figuring out how to deal with isolation and loneliness is knowing that loneliness is a feeling, not a reality.
When the feeling of loneliness starts to settle in, it’s because something has happened that’s set off a memory of that feeling, It’s not because you are actually isolated and alone.
Your mind is constructed to pay attention to pain, and that includes painful and scary feelings; hence why loneliness grabs our attention.
Once loneliness has grabbed our minds attention it works frantically to try make sense of the feeling.
You start to question: Why am I feeling this way? What’s wrong wth me? Does anyone like me? Is it because I’m a loser? Is it because they’re all just mean?
Theories get created, theories about why you’re feeling lonely can become demented with facts and turn into reality.
Then the problem just becomes bigger and bigger until it can get out of control.
It’s not true.
So when you’re feeling isolated and lonely just realise that they are feelings, it’s your mind playing tricks on you, accept it without overreacting.
Reach Out to Others
An instant reaction to feelings of isolation and loneliness is to withdraw into yourself, your thoughts, and your lonely feelings.
You believe it’s some kind of defense mechanism, security, a sanctuary, but in reality it’s not, it’s not helpful to do that at all.
Loneliness might have a positive to it amongst all the negatives. It might just motivate you to reach out to people and build friendships, which I believe is the healthiest thing to do if you’re sad and alone.
Fight against the thoughts and just send a message, people do care about you.
Take Notice of Self Sabotaging Thoughts
This one going to be short and sweet.
We know when the feelings of isolation and loneliness are coming over us.
It’s important to take notice of when those feelings of isolation and loneliness do happen and reverse engineer off that moment to try and discover what brought it on.
Once you realise the trigger to those feelings you can knowingly work towards reducing their occurrence as much as possible.
Make a List of People Who Can Support You
Another way on how you can deal with isolation and loneliness is to make a list of people who can support you.
It’s important to remember that there are people out there who love and support you.
Think of any of your friends, family members, or acquaintances who create a positive environment that you can surround yourself in
Write yourself a list of people to lean on in times of need, especially when you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to.
But keep your options open, avoid leaning on a single person because you don’t want to rely so heavily on them and you don’t want them to be put under any unnecessary pressure along with the relationship.
Look For Activities
If you can establish a new hobby that puts you with like-minded people, that’s a positive remedy for isolation and loneliness.
What have you always wanted to do? Ask yourself, have you always wanted to paint or learn photography? Look for classes or groups that have to do with the hobby that ignites your soul.
It’s a great distraction.
The goal beyond learning a new hobby is to find a place where you’ll be around people, even if you’re not necessarily making friends.
If you happen to meet somebody, that’s just a bonus.
Look For Activities You Can Do Yourself
Yep you’re not seeing things, the above tip does say “Look for Activities” but Ironically, if you only ever try to cure your loneliness by surrounding yourself with people, it can be remarkably short-lived.
As soon as that person leaves, you’re lonely again.
Have a list of activities you enjoy or would be willing to try when you’re lonely like a rubix cube, puzzles, drawing or writing.
The idea is to distract yourself from the acute loneliness in a healthy way.
This is my own personal favourite as someone who chooses to see the glass half full.
Loneliness isn’t always a bad thing, it can have some extremely powerful benefits to personal growth and discovery.
You can use loneliness as an opportunity to get to know yourself better.
Take yourself to lunch or dinner, a movie, the park, an art gallery, a concert or any place you’ve always wanted to go.
Many people seek relationships to control their emotions and feeling lonely can be the motivation and the opportunity to learn to do that for yourself.
Remember this, the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself, it’s life’s cruelest irony.
In The End
There are many ways on how you can deal with isolation and loneliness, but I can’t stress this enough, if you’re feeling lonely right now, it’s only TEMPORARY, it doesn’t mean you’ll feel isolated and alone forever or you’ll never find a community that loves and cherishes you.
You are the creator of your life, you get to go out and make new relationships, you get to go out and experience the world, you get to keep finding yourself in new and exciting ways.
You’re never alone in this world.
I would also like to mention, by no means am I a health or psychology expert and saying these tips are what one must do to overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness. These are just what have worked for me in the past and feel they could work for others.
If you need further help I do recommend contacting the many helplines available to us like:
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