Loneliness is a very uncomfortable, negative feeling that we do not like to be in. It is a feeling of emptiness, of feeling unwanted and being isolated by others.
Despite the term, you do not need to be alone to feel lonely.
If you want to listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post: Dealing with Loneliness
Loneliness vs. Being Alone
Being alone, is a fact. It’s a circumstance of what is happening. A lot of the time, we tend add a layer of our own emotion/ interpretation to that circumstance.
You can be with a group of people or in an intimate romantic relationship and you can still feel lonely. Similarly, you can be by yourself in complete solitude with yourself and you do not have to feel lonely.
How to Cope With Loneliness
When we feel lonely, often what we tend to do is we just want to get rid of this feeling. So we try to buffer it out.
We jump into another relationship right away. We call up some friends and spend time together with them all the time.
There’s nothing wrong with them. Everything is your own choice.
But you need to be aware of the fact that you’re not actually addressing that problem. Just because you’re spending time with people, it doesn’t mean you won’t feel lonely. You might not feel that temporary. But eventually, that feeling will come back again.
1. Sitting with Loneliness
When you feel lonely, do not run away from it. Do not buffer it out. Simply just sit with it. Let it be. Yes, you feel lonely. Yes, it’s very uncomfortable, but you don’t have to do anything about it.
There’s a certain power to holding space for that emotion.
The moment you acknowledge that it is there, it has suddenly lose a lot of its power over you.
You are in control now, friend. You can feel that emotion, AND you don’t have to do anything about it. What you will realize is that you are so much stronger than you think you are. You can bare that emotion.
2. Go People Watching
Once you’ve accepted the feeling and acknowledged loneliness for what it is, you can try throwing yourself back into scenarios with people again. But instead of putting yourself directly in the event, set yourself as a bystander.
Visit a coffee shop or sit in a park and just observe how to people interact around you. Look at people walking their dogs, or seeing how customers order coffee from the barista. You will realize that there are also many others in that place also just by themselves as well, jogging, reading a book or enjoying a good cup of coffee.
Practicing stepping back and observing others & the environment around you is a very great experience to understand that yes, you’re alone.
But in some way, we are all really alone together.
If you think about it, we are all our own individual beings in solitude. We’re all in solitude by ourselves, alone together on this planet. In a way, we’re all connected. And there’s just something so powerful and so beautiful about that.
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3. Find an Alone Hobby
Find a hobby that you can do by yourself. Find something that you really enjoy doing and you don’t have to do it with anyone else.
For example, I really enjoy cooking. It’s quite therapeutic for me to spend some time by myself and just be in that flow of creating as I listen to music or put on a good podcast show. Other alone hobbies I enjoy include reading, snowboarding, and hiking.
Finding a hobby you can do by yourself is very empowering because you are essentially learning, growing, and enjoying it by yourself.
You’re not relying on anyone else. And you don’t need to be.
You don’t need to depend on people to make you feel excited and joyful and motivated. You need to find those feelings within yourself.
Be your own cheerleader and your own best friend. Spend more time with yourself, learn from yourself, grow with yourself. Be there for yourself.
Loneliness is a very uncomfortable feeling. But as humans one of our greatest gifts is being able to experience all kinds of emotions.
I hope you find these tips helpful for you.
Let me know in the comments below— how do you cope with loneliness?