Loneliness is a natural human emotion. You can feel lonely while you’re alone or even when you’re in a crowd. When you don’t feel connected to anyone or feel that no one understands you, you may feel entirely alone even when you’re surrounded by friends or relatives.
Loneliness can be caused by life changes that lead to social isolation, such as relocating to a new location, grieving a death, or the termination of a relationship. Loneliness has been connected to mental health issues such as depression in some circumstances. People who have poor self-esteem may also feel lonely if they are unable to build social connections.
While everyone feels lonely at times, spending too much time alone can be harmful to your physical and emotional health. Studies have shown loneliness to be as hazardous to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes each day. Loneliness has also been linked to cognitive decline and the development of severe psychiatric disorders.
What to Do When You Feel Lonely
Whether you occasionally feel lonely at home by yourself or you have a strong sense of loneliness that never goes away, it is critical to treat loneliness in a healthy way. When you’re feeling lonely, here are some things you can do right away.
#1. Admit that you are lonely.
Don’t waste your energy battling your emotions or attempting to suppress them. Everyone feels lonely at times. And being lonely does not imply that you are a loser or that you are weak. It simply implies you’re human.
#2. Connect people from your past.
It’s sometimes simpler to reconnect with old acquaintances than to make new ones. You may have lost contact with your college roommate over the years. Maybe you have a cousin with whom you don’t speak too regularly.
#3. Read books
Reading a book allows you to enter the minds of characters or narrators. It will help you comprehend how others think and will make you feel more connected.
#4. Discover something new
Getting passionate about what you’re learning, whether it’s a new language or a new ability, may help you feel better. It may also provide opportunities to meet new people.
#5. Take up a new hobby
Creative outlets can lift your spirits and help you live in the present moment. That means fewer terrifying ideas about “being alone forever” and less ruminating on negative previous episodes like “I can’t believe she said that to me.”
What to Do When You Feel Lonely at Night
For people who sleep alone or live alone, the long, dark hours of the night can be exceptionally lonely. The truth is that nocturnal loneliness can impact anyone, making them feel sad or terrified. Though it is necessary to realize that you are lonely, you do not have to suffocate yourself and suffer through your nights in despair. You may do significant things to make your nights feel fuller and more joyful.
#1. Create a sleep schedule.
Going to bed and waking up at around the same time each day allows your body to fall asleep faster, making you feel less anxious in bed.
#2. Get moving.
Try jogging, dancing to your favorite tunes, leaping on your bed, or learning karate on YouTube to keep your body moving and your mind off your feeling of loneliness.
#3. Look for ideas.
Nights are renowned for bringing out the worst in us, especially when we are alone. However, you can combat this by searching out positive things to help you cope with your loneliness.
#4. Immerse yourself in a different universe.
Read a good book, watch a favorite movie, binge-watch a TV show, or browse the internet. All of these solutions will switch your brain to a different channel, diverting your attention away from the reality that you are lonely.
#5. Connect with someone.
Find someone you can talk to at any time of day or night, even at 2:30 a.m. This might be your partner, a sibling, a parent, or your best friend.
#6. Go out.
Getting out of the house in the evenings leading up to bedtime is one approach to avoid midnight loneliness. This does not imply that you must remain outside until the sun rises. Simply go to the movies with pals, enjoy a late dinner with a classmate, or grab drinks with office gals.
What to Do When You Feel Lonely and Depressed
Because loneliness and depression are frequently related, resolving one can often assist the other. We recognize that being proactive and taking on specific duties can be quite difficult, but if you are willing to push yourself, these steps might be beneficial.
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#1. Make a gratitude list every day.
When you’re lonely and depressed, you may find yourself focusing on the unpleasant aspects of life, which can make you feel even worse. You can fix this by making a daily thankfulness list in which you jot down five things you’re grateful for or happy about each day.
#2. Examine and improve your existing relationships.
Which persons in your life make you happy? Make regular plans with them and work hard to keep these relationships going. A standard phone call or video chat might also be a fantastic method to connect.
#3. Expand your network of support.
If you are dissatisfied with your social contacts, consider what you might do to create more meaningful connections. What activities do you enjoy, or do you want to try something new? Consider joining local groups or clubs to meet others who share your interests and with whom you might spend time.
#4. Seek professional help for loneliness and depression.
If you’ve discovered that no matter what adjustments you make to your lifestyle, you still feel lonely and melancholy, you may need some assistance to feel better.
#5. Explore therapy.
If you can’t seem to shake strong feelings of loneliness, isolation, and other depression symptoms, you may want to consult with a mental health expert as part of your depression treatment. Look for a therapist who has a cognitive-behavioral background, which has been demonstrated to aid with depression and loneliness.
What to Do When You Feel Lonely in a Relationship
If you’ve been feeling lonely in your relationship, here are some strategies on what to do when you feel lonely in a relationship.
#1. Talk about your feelings with your significant other.
Remind the other person that you are not blaming or condemning them, but simply want to express your sentiments. Then express how lonely you are. Perhaps you both need to make some changes. This could also be due to feelings you have that predate the relationship and that you need to address.
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#2. Take a social media break
Make a phone call instead of texting your lover. Or, even better, meet them for a quick drink at your favorite café. Concentrate on bonding with your spouse.
#3. Make a nice gesture for them.
If your companion is interested in history, get them a Civil War book. Alternatively, offer to take the kids out for ice cream after school so your partner, who works from home, may take a break and play a video game for a few minutes.
Consider others and give back. If you both enjoy animals, you may volunteer at an animal shelter. Or call out to see if you can collaborate on a Habitat for Humanity house.
#5. Give your partner hugs
Show physical affection. When you hug your lover, you release oxytocin (also known as the “cuddle hormone”). You will feel a sensation of connection when you touch each other. You will also have stronger sentiments of connection, bonding, and trust.
#6. Nurture other relationships
Make a call to a friend or spend time with your sister. Don’t neglect your other vital ties. You’ll be reminded that you love others and love yourself.
What to Do When You Feel Lonely in Your Marriage
There are actions you may do to feel more connected in your marriage if you are feeling lonely or alone. Finding the source of the problem, talking with your partner, and spending more quality time together are all good places to start.
#1. Speak with your spouse
The first step is to express your feelings to your spouse and check whether they are feeling the same way. If you’re both feeling lonely, there’s probably something you can focus on jointly to reconnect and establish a stronger bond.
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#2. Avoid placing blame.
It’s critical to avoid blaming yourself while you attempt to overcome loneliness in your relationship. This may make your spouse feel assaulted and defensive.
#3. Spend more quality time together
Another critical step is to spend more quality time with your partner. The responsibilities of daily life, such as family and work, might make it difficult to concentrate on your relationship. Making time for a date night, going to bed at the same time, and talking about your days are just a few examples of how you might feel more connected to your spouse.
#4. Consider couples therapy.
You can acquire proven ways to bring you closer together by chatting with a couple’s therapist. Use this professional to guide you individually or together on how to avoid feeling lonely in a relationship.
What to Do When You Feel Lonely After a Breakup
Consider the following suggestions on what to do if you feel lonely after a breakup:
#1. Accept your feelings of loneliness after a relationship
You’ve recently lost someone significant in your life. They are both physically and emotionally gone. You may also feel isolated and alienated from others. While you grieve and heal from your divorce, you may suffer periods of loneliness, which is a normal part of the healing process.
#2. Avoid a second-chance relationship
Don’t rush into another relationship because you’re lonely after a breakup or divorce. If you’re utilizing a rebound relationship to avoid loneliness or the feelings that come with a breakup, you should think twice. Instead, spend some time recuperating with yourself before resuming your dating life.
#3. Start a new routine
Losing a relationship can also imply that your way of life has shifted dramatically. If you lived with your spouse or partner, you most certainly had a regular daily schedule. The older the relationship or marriage, the more ingrained the daily ritual is likely to become. A split can completely upend everything, leaving you feeling disoriented and lost. Mealtimes, sleep schedules, and even exercise regimes can all fall by the wayside, negatively influencing your health and fitness.
#3. Get involved
Getting involved with other people, whether by volunteering or joining a club, can raise your brain’s endorphins and make you a happy person. Look for volunteer opportunities or groups of like-minded individuals. Be open to making new acquaintances and forming a new support network.
#4. Take care of yourself:
Find things that are unique to you. Every day, try to find a few enjoyable moments. Maybe you’d want to go for a stroll or hike, take a bubble bath, do some yoga, read a good book, or listen to your favorite music. Spend your time doing whatever provides you with immediate pleasure. Developing excellent routines like this can help you combat feelings of loneliness once your relationship ends.
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It isn’t unusual to feel lonely from time to time, but due to increasing remote working and decreased face-to-face interaction, people may be experiencing such sentiments more regularly now. Whether you deal with periodic bouts of loneliness or persistent feelings of isolation, realize that you are not alone in feeling lonely (even though it feels that way). Exploring alternative coping strategies and seeking professional support can help you feel more connected.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does loneliness feel like?
Loneliness by definition. People who are lonely feel empty, alone, and undesired. Lonely people often seek human touch, yet their mental state makes it more difficult to connect with others. Many specialists believe that loneliness does not always imply being alone.
How do I stop thinking about loneliness?
Loneliness is something that can be conquered. Rethinking and regaining optimism Exercise self-compassion. Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings. Making contact with former acquaintances. Take a walk with a pal. Communicate with others. Consider becoming a member of a club, organization, or online community. Get yourself a pet.
How did I become so lonely?
Here are a few of the primary concerns that might lead to loneliness: Illness of the mind. Many mental diseases, such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression, can make people feel profoundly lonely. You may spend more time indoors if you are nervous about seeing others due to your mental illness.
What loneliness does to your brain?
Lonely people are more likely to suffer from serious psychiatric problems, cognitive decline, and dementia. “A sensation of loneliness has also been linked to health hazards comparable to or greater than obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes per day,” they wrote.