We all go through times in our life when we feel completely alone, when everyone around us seems to be on a different course and when we just can't find someone to talk to.
It's tough to know how to deal with these hours or days…do we break down and cry, do we retreat from everyone around us…or do we bust through and force ourselves to get out of our rut?
What is most apparent about these times in our lives is that we are often NOT alone, many others feel exactly the same we do even though you swear that are the only one that sits at home being lonely.
So, going through evenings like this is nothing to be alarmed at, I have often found that going through a night like this can make the next day look much brighter. However, if this becomes a pattern where you go through night after night, day after day – you do want to take some extra steps to try and break out of your loneliness.
Here are 4 things you can try when feeling lonely to break out of your rut.
1. Exercise – Get Active
I have found it tremendously hard to stay in a funk and to feel lonely when you get out and exercise. Something as simple as going for a 20-minute jog can completely change your outlook, make you feel good about yourself, change your perspective and suddenly you see the light where there was previously only dark. The challenge, of course, is that when you are feeling lonely and struggle with depression it can take every ounce of willpower you have to take that first step toward being active. So, what you want to do is begin by visualizing the pleasure associated with getting out and releasing adrenaline (a drug) to your brain through some vigorous exercise. Making it a priority with positive visualization will help you get out and becomes active.
2. Do Something Social
Even the most introverted of you reading this can gain some pleasure just being around other people. Go out to a park where there are others around, hit a gym or yoga class, hang out in a coffee shop – anywhere you can find other people to be around until soon you find you don't feel so lonely. Ideally you can pick up the phone and call someone to just have a coffee or go for a walk – if not just make sure you get yourself out and around people.
3. Find Your Purpose
When you live a life of purpose you will find that periods of darkness, times when you are feeling lonely and downtime become so much less impacting on your life because you have confidence in your future and know where you fit into the world. One of the basic human emotions is "fitting in" or "being accepted" – when you live a life of purpose you have decided where you fit in and no longer have to rely on your friends or those around you to give you meaning…instead that meaning comes from deep inside.
4. Look Ahead Not Back
No matter what may have happened to you socially in the past (bad relationships, friends that mistreated you, lost someone close to you) – that past does not define your future unless you allow it to. So, right now, take charge of defining your own future – know that no matter how bad things have been in the past you will get many, many other opportunities to meet good, reliable and happy people. Changing your attitude will improve your chances of that happening sooner.
Isolated bouts of feeling lonely are not necessarily a bad thing in life, it helps us look within and appreciate the people we do have in our lives…but when loneliness becomes all-encompassing, chronic and debilitating you need ways to break free. Try these methods to help you overcome those feelings of loneliness and help others around you that may still be struggling.