What makes us real happy? Some people might think that having great fame or fortune is the key to happiness, but the surveys shows that good friends and family are the real prize. They enrich our lives and make it meaningful. Our need for love and connection is innate. You could be surrounded with people the whole day long, you could be married and have a family and still experience deep, pervasive loneliness for the lack of real connection. They are many reasons for people to feel lonely and isolated.
The world we are living has changed drastically. Society has changed. The development and the overuse of the modern technology have greatly impacted on our communication and relationships. We move away from our support networks – for work, for training, for college, for university. If we have children we are usually no longer surrounded by our relatives to support us. For mums being at home, the company of babies and young children may be special, but it can also make them feel lonely and isolated. Vast numbers of people get divorced and no longer have the companionship of a partner to share life with.
Whatever the reasons, there are many people in our society who experience a deep feeling of loneliness that can cause depression and many other psychological issues. If you are one of them, there are few things to consider that can help you shift your perspective and improve the way you feel.
First. Turn your eyes away from your pain and look around.
Loneliness tends to make us withdraw and focus on our own pain and need. We might expect others to approach us but if that doesn’t happen we can become filled with self-pity, bitterness and other negative emotions. Instead of expecting others to meet our needs, we can choose to turn our eyes away from ourselves and look around us. We will be surprised to find out how many people are feeling exactly as we do. The pain we are going through will make us more sensitive, empathetic and able to understand and support people going through tough times.
Those who have a mission to serve others are too busy to think about their own needs. When our focus shifts from ourselves to others, our whole perspective of the world will change. We will become more proactive, happier and more fulfilled.
Second. Find a purpose.
We all have times when we just go with the flow. We get up in the morning, go to work, do our daily chores, watch our favourite TV show and go to bed until the next morning comes round. Then we do the same thing again. The days pass by and the feeling of emptiness, dissatisfaction and loneliness grows with each day. We need to realise that there is something more to life, something we are destined for. You might choose to neglect that inner urge suppressing it by indulging in pleasures, or you could decide to talk to someone and seek help. You must, at this point, look for support from your family or a close friend. Seek out a life coach who can stir you up, remind you about your inner strength, hopes and dreams and help you redefine your purpose. Finding your purpose will set your life on a totally different path. Finding your purpose will give you a clear focus. It will empower you to overcome the negative feelings and rise above your circumstances.
Here are few practical things that you could do to help overcome the feeling of loneliness:
Join a group, a Church or Community that share your interests and faith.
Being part of a community will give you a sense of belonging and will encourage you to expand your interests and hobbies. Go to meetup.com and find a group in your city. There are plenty of meet-up groups catering to every interest, job, city and hobby. It’s a nice way to make new friends and share common interests and goals. Whatever group or Church you choose, make your first step to go along. You might feel uncomfortable meeting new people at first, but don’t let such feelings stop you. Join the community of your choice. Go along and attend regularly. Remember, building relationships takes time. Be patient and be approachable.
Choosing to use the power of giving is one of the most important things you can do to transform your life and the lives of others. Maybe you think that you don’t have anything to give away. The truth is that you have far more to give than you realise. You can give your time, your knowledge, skills, money, encouragement, kindness, and love. Your giving will enrich someone else’s life whether you are aware of it or not and you will receive back more than you give.
It’s impossible to feel lonely when you’re feeding the homeless, reading to kids at an orphanage, or listening to an elderly person in a care home. Helping the less fortunate will also fill you with immense gratitude and enrich your own life.
Read a good novel or watch a movie based on a true story.
Losing yourself in a good story or identifying with a powerful character will stimulate your imagination, boost your energy and fill you with a sense of adventure. It might even inspire you and give you new ideas to explore for your own life.
Running is scientifically proven to make you happier. Exercising increases the neuroplasticity of your brain and releases neurochemicals called endorphin, which help to elevate your mood. Even just getting out of the house for a walk or going to the gym can instantly lift your mood and scatter any gloomy thoughts.
Wherever you are, whatever state you are, know that you can change the way you feel by choosing to have a different perspective. If you decide to shift your focus from yourselves to others and you start looking for ways to interact with people, to be open and approachable, to start giving away, slowly your lonely and depressive feelings will be replaced by feelings of warmth, joy, enthusiasm and a deep satisfaction.
I will finish with a wonderful quote from my daily calendar:
“Are you lonely, O my friend? Share your little with another! Stretch a hand to one unfriended, and your loneliness is ended.”
If you feel that you need extra support, please don’t hesitate to contact me for a free non-obligatory 30 – minute session.