We all feel lonely from time to time. Loneliness can happen when you have no contact with people. You feel you have little importance or no value in other people’s life. You are excluded from events or you may feel you have little in common with people. However, if you feel lonely for long periods of time it can bring depression and deep feelings of isolation.
Loneliness can happen to anyone
Extended periods of loneliness can happen to anyone. Young and old people can feel lonely. Often when you are surrounded by people who seem to get on with each other and get feelings that you are being excluded this can increase your loneliness. Loneliness will affect your happiness and make you look sad and you will start to feel depressed from it. Dealing with loneliness is difficult. Your loneliness can make you feel negative, critical and judgemental. This means when you are in social situations find yourself being excluded as people become wary of you.
Often when people are lonely, they do nothing about it. They just hope it will go away. However, it will consume them more and more and they become depressed. Loneliness and depression often come together. Your self-esteem will be lowered and you will start to believe that people do not want to be with you. So what can you do?
Dealing with loneliness
- Start by acknowledging your loneliness. Own up to it. You then need to be able to express your feelings over your loneliness. You can do this through writing a diary, an imaginary letter, drawing or talking to other people. By expressing your feelings you may find a connection to what is causing your loneliness. By expressing anger, frustration, loss or sadness may help you explore where the loneliness is coming from.
- Talk to someone about your loneliness and depression. This can be a professional like a counsellor, vicar or an understanding friend. Talking can help you accept yourself, change your thought patterns and help boost your self-esteem.
- Don’t avoid your friends and wait for them to come to you. You will need to make an effort to invite them for a cup of tea or go with you to a café. When you meet friends, focus on them and listen to them. Do not become self- absorbed and just talk about yourself.
- Become active. Become involved in a club or social activity of something that you really enjoy. When are you busy and enjoying yourself, it can take your feelings of loneliness away and can change our mood. When you go to a club, do not go with expectations of meeting friends. Just go and enjoy yourself.
- Only mix with people who make you happy. If someone is critical of you or negative towards them it will increase your loneliness. Therefore only mix with people who are happy to be with you and bring out the best in you.
Remember loneliness is nothing to feel embarrassed about. You just need to help yourself to stop feeling lonely to help stop you feeling depressed.
I often feel lonely in my children’s school yard. I am sure I am not the only parent. When do you feel lonely? What do you do to stop feeling lonely?
Hazel provides counselling in Sheffield or online counselling and can help with loneliness and depression. You can find out more information by clicking here.