Everyone feels lonely from time to time, but for some, loneliness comes far too often.Loneliness is a complex mental and emotional phenomenon that has at its base a powerful emotion that has survival value for children. All of us have experienced some degree of abandonment, if only for a short time, and remember the painful and scary feeling that goes along with it.
Although depression doesn’t always lead to loneliness, feeling lonely is often a predictor of depression one year or even two years later, and it certainly leads to sadness, Dr. Hawkley says. Freeing yourself of feelings like being isolated by depression is part of the healing process.
Whenever we are reminded of this feeling or anticipate it in the future, we get a twinge of abandonment distress that we experience as loneliness. This can happen among a crowd of friends or even after making love. It can be pretty confusing and can put you off your game if you don’t know what’s going on.
Here are some tips for recognizing loneliness for what it is and dealing with it in the healthiest ways.
Realize that loneliness is a feeling, not a fact. When you are feeling lonely, it is because something has triggered a memory of that feeling, not because you are in fact, isolated and alone.
Reach out because loneliness is painful and can confuse you into thinking that you are a loser, an outcast.
Notice your self deflating thoughts.
Make a plan to fight the mental and emotional habits of loneliness.
Focus on the needs and feelings of others, the less attention on your lonely thoughts and feelings.
Find others like you. This makes it much easier to identify groups with which you will have something in common, a natural basis for beginning a friendship.
Always show up when meeting up with others.
Be curious, but don’t expect perfection or applause.
Kindness goes a long way..
Be persistent even if a particular group does seem to be a dead end for you, try another.