8 Ways To Be Less Lonely

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surviving-loneliness

Are you feeling lonely?

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

go-where-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 …. 

Allanah Hunt
Allanah Hunt is an author and founder of Power And Freedom where she works to encourage people to reclaim their personal power to create a life of freedom and joy. Your past does not dictate your future unless you allow it to! “It is only as you take responsibility for your life that you discover just how powerful you truly are” - Allanah Hunt
Allanah Hunt

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24 Comments

  • Lovely post Allanah/Elle, which hopefully will help many people – this is an issue that so many suffer from. I often give people the exercise of going to a cafe, restaurant or the cinema (apart from a saturday night!) as an exercise to help them realise it’s really quite ok to be alone, but it’s amazing how many people are terrified of it. I’m lucky enough to love my alone time, but I can see how it’s a scary thing for people. It can bring up a lot of issues.

    • Great exercise Ellen…and how wonderful that you can enjoy your own company…it definitely makes like a lot easier if we like ourselves enough to be with ourselves. After all we’re going to be together for a long time! 🙂

    • Thanks Ellen – so many people have a fear of being perceived as a ‘misfit’, that going out alone somehow makes you ‘unlovable’. In fact it takes courage to go out on your own when the world is composed of couples and groups. However, its liberating when you actually take this step and face your fears. Besides, people watching is great fun!

  • Great advice. It never ceases to amaze me that the same practices as listed here are the same ones that improve almost ever area of our well-being. Self-awareness, self-care, gratitude, and gravitating towards the positive will work for whatever ails you! (Throw in some exercise – even better!)

    • Isn’t that the truth Debbie. I honestly believe that there are universal practices that help our mind, body and spirit reach the heights they were meant to…and all we have to do is follow them. I say all, because clearly it isn’t the easiest thing in the world otherwise everyone would be living in Nirvana! 🙂

    • Hi Suzie – unfortunately people hide so much of what they are feeling that they don’t let the very people they need the most, know just how desperate they are. If only they could let down their guard just a little bit, they would find there are people who would love to reach out to them. <3

  • Hi, thanks for sharing all these wonderful reminders. Loneliness is a difficult phase that we sometimes go through, being surrounded with people who cares for us makes a big difference, it lifts our spirits high and allows us to see the bright side of life. Beautiful post.

    • Hi Noah…it’s odd that in a world filled with people that we would have those who are so terribly lonely and really don’t know how to experience life in a different way. Thankfully we have an awesome community here of people who encourage and support others to live a life of possibility and promise. 🙂

    • Thank you Noah. We could all pay a little more attention to the people around us and reach out to those who may just need a friendly smile or a kind word. It can make such a difference to someone’s life.

  • Well done, Allanah !
    I particularly resonated with “write down 10 things you Love about yourself” .
    My chums might say that’s because I’m a big-head but actually it’s because I agree that it is so vital to start by loving yourself. It’s important to ease up on self-bashing and to invest more time relishing the beautiful and unique being you are. (not “you” you but “everyone” you)
    Thank you, Allanah !

    • Hi Joseph…I absolutely agree with you. I think many people just don’t appreciate how amazing they are…so maybe a little shift in the concept they have of themselves could allow them to begin to acknowledge their brilliance. 🙂

    • Thank you so much Joseph! If we can’t and don’t love ourselves, truly connect with ourself, then how can we expect others to do so? Self-love has nothing to do with having a ‘big head’ and everything to do with taking care of yourself, being responsible for your own wellbeing and therefore having the strength to be there for others. <3

  • Hi Elle,

    I really love Allanah’s post and thoughts about loneliness. I resonate so much because in the past, I was feeling so disconnected from the world to come and realize that this disconnected started from within. So I realized that by not knowing who I am and what I want in my life, eventually I would attract the wrong people.

    Our society has created so many barriers between us. Especially with technology, it is easier to get distracted and feeling less lonely. When someone takes our iPhones and laptops away from us, it is when we realize how lonely we are.

    Thank you for the great tips, they are such great reminder!

    Zaria

    • Hi Zaria…and welcome. I love your awareness that your world experience begins within. So many people could so easily change their lives with just this one understanding. Bravo to you. I’m happy that what Allanah had to say reminded you of your truth. 🙂

  • Your lone time is the best least you can get to catch up with thing when you was tied up in a relationship but then again you must learn to love yourself first before you can really enjoy been alone

  • hi! I just want to share my experience. When I was in college most of my friends have boyfriends at that time. And one time, one of them broke up and in a few weeks she was really in a hurry to find a new bf. I asked her why? She said, “So that I can have a company going to the church, going to the mall or watching films at the cinema.” I was surprised with her answer. She couldn’t go alone and felt ashamed to be seen alone. I think it’s scary if you feel like that. I enjoy going alone (watching movies at the cinema, shopping, eating, etc.) it’s my alone time where I can internalize what’s happening around me without the opinion of another. I can do that like every week without feeling ashamed. I feel a sense of freedom when I am alone.

    • I love your story Sarah…and wonderful you for loving your own company. I think the idea that you can filter your life experience just through yourself without someone outside of you validating or otherwise, is brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

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