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4 steps to deal with loneliness

There are often times when we are alone – working remotely, commuting alone, or even living on our own. Just because we are alone doesn't mean we feel lonely. Sometimes we thrive in this 'alone time', allowing us to engage in activities that we enjoy ourselves. But many of us don't like to admit that we all feel lonely at times.

Certain situations, such as moving to a new city or a major life change such as divorce, can contribute to feelings of loneliness. Any events that can negatively affect your social circles can make you feel lonely. Mental health problems can also play a role. Someone with social anxiety may have trouble getting along with others, even if they crave human connection.

We may even feel alone when we are surrounded by other people. For example, you may feel alone when you travel to a country where you don't know the language. Often teenagers who feel misunderstood by their parents, siblings, feel lonely at home.

Confronting Loneliness

Loneliness, for whatever reason, is painful. Worse, it can lead to mental health problems, such as depression and Alzheimer's disease, and physical conditions, including heart disease and cancer. However, we can take steps to deal with loneliness and even change our mood.

Step 1:Practice gratitude

Studies have shown that gratitude can help us feel more positive and have stronger relationships. Think about the people in your life you value. For example, it could be someone from the past who had a major influence on your life, such as a mentor in your childhood. Or it could be someone you see more often, like the friend who recently helped you move.

Consider sending this person a handwritten card, contacting them via email, or calling them to express your appreciation. Not only will you probably brighten someone's day with your action, but you'll make yourself happier by fostering connection and being friendly. Even tacitly recognizing a good person or situation in your life can develop a sense of gratitude.

Keeping a gratitude journal, where you write about what you are grateful for, can improve your mental health. Gratitude in a journal helps us realize what we have in our lives, as opposed to what we lack.

For a more focused approach to the gratitude journal, follow the “three good things” exercise in which you write about three good things (big or small) that happened during the day. Try the exercise daily for a period of time, for example a week, and see if your feeling of loneliness has changed.

Step 2:Participate in meaningful activities

Pursuing your passions engages your mind and soul, reducing feelings of loneliness. Joining a sports team, book club, volunteering, or other activities you enjoy will also increase your chances of meeting others who have shared interests.

If you find yourself not seeing your friends as often as you'd like, consider hosting a recurring virtual gathering. If you have a date and time scheduled in your calendar (e.g. every other Tuesday at 2:00 PM), everyone is encouraged to automatically gather and it becomes easy to keep your ties with each other.

Step 3:Remember you are unique

Feeling “less than” can contribute to feelings of loneliness. Try not to compare yourself to others. It's only human to look at someone else and feel sad when their feelings on the surface or apparent situation seem happier than ours.

When we become addicted to negative social evaluations, we can sometimes get stuck organizing our behavior around avoidance. As a result, you may not behave in a way that benefits you the most, but you are feeding negative personal judgment.

Alone and lonely are not the same; Finding moments of solitude is healthy for the mind and body
Such comparisons can create a sense of distance from others. However, that increases our sense of isolation. It is important to realize that we never know what is going on in someone else's life.

We all have both good times and hard times in our lives – and keeping this universal truth in mind can help us feel connected. On the other hand, remember that you are unique:there is no one else on Earth like you. It can be satisfying to recognize that you are doing what you can with what you have.

Step 4:Connect with yourself

Isolation is different from loneliness because it is the state of being alone without necessarily feeling lonely. The word often implies that there is an opportunity to think or do things that we enjoy.

While there are several ways you can reduce loneliness by connecting with others, you should think about the relationship you have with yourself and how you can enrich it. If you can do this, you may feel less isolated.

Change your criteria for success. Don't ask:Do I keep up with everyone in my social circles? Do I keep up in a way that my mind says is similar to others? Instead, ask yourself:am I true to myself today? Have I been nice or a good friend? Have I done things that are consistent with what I value? By making small mental choices and small habit changes over time, you can gain a sense of self-esteem, esteem and comfort in yourself.

Set aside a certain time each day to check in with yourself. You can meditate, pray, practice yoga or read a few pages of a spiritual text. This exercise can be done in just five minutes, but it's helpful to do it every day to make it a healthy habit.

Connecting with yourself doesn't mean going in and ending it. We've all heard it, but it's so important to exercise and eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. What we eat has a direct influence on our body and mind.

If you suffer from anxiety or depression, consider cutting back on alcohol as it can make you feel worse. In addition, getting enough sleep – 7-9 hours a night for adults – is one of the most important things we can do for our health.