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Do you look around and see nothing but happy couples, families and groups of people hanging out together?
Do you feel like you are the only ‘single’ on the planet?
Loneliness is officially recognised as a ‘disease’ and is a real threat to your health and wellbeing. In fact, loneliness has been linked to specific life threatening conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, risk of stroke as well as cardiovascular disease. And it’s not just affecting the elderly!
Gone are the days when we each had a role to play in our community, where there was a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose.
In a world where technology replaces person to person communication, financial worries often leave you feeling powerless and ‘real relationships’ are sometimes short-lived, loneliness has become an issue of our age.
How many smiles hide broken hearts?
“I smile all the time so nobody knows how sad and lonely I really am.”
We spend so much time ‘being entertained’ that we have forgotten how to create connections with others and more importantly with ourselves. And the lonelier we feel, the more we reach for the instant distraction of technology which keeps us in a cycle of isolation.
So how can you break the cycle?
Connect With Yourself
I spent many years feeling as if I didn’t fit in the world. I tried to make friends but I was awkward, shy and seen as ‘odd’. And the more I was teased for being weird, the more insular, ‘shut down’ and uncomfortable I became. Eventually people called me as a ‘snob’ due to my strong desire to protect myself from being hurt. I just didn’t feel I belonged anywhere.
It wasn’t until many years later thatI finally started to build a connection with myself and began the process of understanding who I am. The amazing things was, that as I did so, I started to understand that it wasn’t important what other people thought of me, it was only important what I thought of me.
I learned to fit with me; to belong with me.
And it has transformed my life.
I no longer feel alone, isolated and sad.
I revel in my ‘me time’ and as I have become aligned with myself, I have made friends, forged new relationships and find myself attracting new opportunities to become involved with others.
My life has completely opened up and yours can too.
At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one’s lost self. Brendan Francis
Here’s eight ways to help you discover who you are:
1. Identify Your Core Values
Discover what is important to you by asking questions about what you see, what you hear and what you feel. Not everything you think you know, is true.
2. Write In A Journal
Write your feelings out and learn to ‘read between the lines’. Clues to who you are and to who you are showing to the world can be found in these pages.
3. Enroll In A Class
Learning something new is a great way to discover more about yourself and to meet new, like minded people at the same time.
4. Practice Self-Care
Often when we feel lonely, we become insular and become unmotivated to take care of the basics. Make healthy food choices, exercise and get the blood pumping around your body. Your brain will thank you for it!
5. Go Where The People Are
When I lived alone I made a conscious effort to take myself out on a date at least once a week. Sometimes I would go to dinner (I took a book for company but found it was much more interesting to ‘people watch’), I would go to the cinema or just for a walk in the park on a day when people were out enjoying the weather. I would sit on a park bench and watch the world go by and often someone would come and sit with me. I would smile and comment on the weather and often a conversation would evolve.
6. Be With People Who Make You Feel Good
As strange as it may sound, some of the most lonely people in the world are surrounded by others.
Being alone is scary, but not as scary as feeling alone in a relationship. Amelia Earhart
If you are constantly putting others needs before your own or making time for everyone except yourself then loneliness can follow. There is nothing more frightening or destructive than feeling alone in a room full of people or in a relationship where the other person doesn’t ‘see you’.
Over time, this will completely erode your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.
7. Give To Others
Getting out of your own head can be as simple as finding someone who needs help or volunteering at a local shelter or local charity. Not only will you connect with others but you have the privilege of watching yourself be kind and caring.
Being appreciated and appreciating yourself are fabulous ways to break through loneliness. And you never know; you may meet your new best friend or find a new passion in the process!
8. Write 10 Things You Love About Yourself
You might ask, “How will this help me be less lonely?”, but in fact this exercise has a powerful impact on the way you see yourself.
“I’m learning to love myself and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
Focusing on the good allows you to see more good and builds self-esteem which helps you develop the confidence to share them with others.
Do not allow loneliness to destroy your life.
Always remember, there are many other people who are lonely too, who are just waiting for someone like you to bring sunshine into their day.
Expand your current boundaries and watch your loneliness vanish ….