How to Combat Loneliness

Loneliness is crippling. It’s a component of depression. It certainly impairs health. There are studies now that say that it is the root cause of addiction! Fortunately it is something that can be remedied with these two steps.

Enjoy Yourself

Everyone needs time with others. Humans are social creatures. Being social is part of our design. We need people for stimulation, growth, to help acquire resources to live, for entertainment, sex, breeding, and to feel connected.

Everyone also needs alone time. That is also part of our design. We need alone time to rest, reset, get centered, and do solitary things.

Many people feel the key to combating loneliness has to do with being with other people. If you’ve ever felt most separate and lonely in a crowd, you know that it isn’t. One key to combating loneliness is to enjoy being with yourself. When you are great company, you don’t feel separated. You feel stimulated, engaged, and happy.

So be good company. Be upbeat, interested, and a joy to be around. It will make your social time and alone time much better.

Also know yourself. So many people don’t enjoy their own company because they aren’t expressing their authentic self. They are busy being a caricature of who they think they ought to be. If you aren’t in alignment with your true self, how do you know who that is? How do you express it?

Feel the Connection

Being scintillating company isn’t likely to be enough. There are plenty of high energy, positive people out there who still feel lonely. You also need to feel the connection. Connection to what? Yourself. Other people. Your ancestors. Nature. The universe.

We’re all always connected. All is one. There really is no other way to be. However, we don’t always have the awareness of that oneness. (This is similar to always being ourselves without having the awareness of who that is).

To help you understand what I mean, imagine a baby playing peek-a-boo. You’ve seen this, right? They are confused when you disappear and delighted over and over when you reappear. Well, you didn’t really disappear, did you? No, you just put your hands over your face so that they couldn’t see you. From their limited perspective, it appeared that you were gone. The same is true of oneness.

Most of us are not aware of what oneness feels like. So when someone leaves our sight, we think we are alone. It feels very real to us, but it’s an illusion.

Now imagine a kid going to kindergarten for the first time. Mommy drops her off at school and she feels that she is never going to see Mommy again. Mom’s actually just at home or at work. Once the child does this a few times and Mom doesn’t disappear, she starts to trust that she will be there.

Be that child. Tap into that connection while you are with your cat, dog, child, or partner- whomever is safe. Now disengage. Can you still feel it? It may take some time, but with practice you can do this. Or even if you never get to the point where you can feel it, trust that it is there.

If you want your security and connection to grow, practice connecting with everything – the flowers, the river, the clouds, the rain. Everything is energy. The energy of a fire is different from the energy of a person, but it’s all connected. The more connected you feel, the less separation that exists. When you aren’t separate, you can’t feel lonely because you know the whole world is inside of you.

 

Posted in coping, self-help and tagged .