10 Things to Try When You’re Feeling Lonely
Here are a few ways to ease the pain of loneliness.
1. Don’t blame yourself in any way, shape, or form.
Trust me, it will only make you feel worse. Blaming yourself for how you feel is never skillful, productive, or kind. A host of causes and conditions have come together in your life to create this painful feeling. It’s not your fault.
2. Seek relief from a non-human “friend.”
There are lots of possibilities—a pet, comfort food, a favorite book or a nature show on TV, or even just sitting outside for a while. We can find solace in many things that ease the pain of loneliness. Experiment and see what helps you feel better.
3. Connect with a human friend if you can.
Think of someone who is always supportive or who simply makes you laugh, and give that person a call or send them an email. You may resist doing this at first because it can be hard to reach out to others when you’re feeling lonely.
4. Do something creative, no matter how simple.
It need not be earth-shatteringly creative. Try a coloring book or a jigsaw puzzle, make a collage, or experiment with needlework of some kind. Or think outside the box and come up with something that is fun and soothing for you to do.
5. Help someone in need.
Helping others eases loneliness because it makes us be less self-focused. It could be an elderly neighbor or even a charity.
6. Call to mind others who are feeling lonely and send them kind and compassionate thoughts.
Wishing well to others who are lonely creates a special connection between the two of you. Even more, when you realize that you’re not alone in your loneliness, you’ll feel less lonely.
7. Visualize some place you’d like to be—a fun gathering, the seashore, a sporting event—and see if, just for a moment, you can feel happy for those who are there.
Feeling happy for others even when they’re doing what you wish you could do can make you feel as if you’re there with them, and that eases the pain of loneliness. Even if feeling happy for others only lasts a short time, it’s soothing and healing—and amazingly, it can even make you feel happy!
8. Treat loneliness as an old friend who’s dropped in for a visit (despite not having received an invitation).
This is a way of not resisting how you’re feeling; resisting only makes you feel worse.
9. Remind yourself that life is not always fun and that tomorrow is a new day.
Nobody gets their way all the time and, let’s face it, life isn’t always fun. This is true for everyone. The bottom line is that loneliness is one of those unpleasant moments in your life.
If you can be patient with your loneliness, it’s likely that by tomorrow, it will have eased a bit. Then, the next day, it’s likely to have eased even more. All emotions are impermanent. They arise and pass, arise and pass.
It’s almost impossible to feel lonely when you’re singing. I’ve tried it, and it works. Sing solo or let your favorite singer keep you company as you sing together.
I know from personal experience that loneliness can be hard to bear. I hope this piece has given you some useful ideas to try.