We’ve all felt lonely before. Sometimes, the feeling comes out of nowhere, and it’s hard to pinpoint the cause. Other times, it’s the aftermath of a specific situation like loss, stress, trauma, or major life changes. Either way, there’s not always an easy fix, but there are ways to cope with loneliness.
Therapists share six things you should try the next time you feel lonely.
Take advantage of technology
Thanks to technology, there’s always someone available to talk to. “Even a simple text or email can help you feel connected to others,” says Brittany Rushin, a marriage and family therapist. If your go-to people aren’t around, you can take the opportunity to connect with someone new or get back in touch with an old friend.
Your interactions with others don’t necessarily have to be full-fledged conversations. “It can be as simple as taking a walk and smiling at people, going to a cafe and talking to the barista, or stopping by a bookstore and simply enjoying the company,” says Rushin.
Sometimes, the answer to loneliness is not to get rid of it but to explore it. “Writing about the situation can be freeing and help you gain a new perspective,” shares Rushin.
When you show yourself love, the need to receive love from others can decrease. When you have some time to yourself, Rushin suggests taking a bath, getting a massage, or getting your nails done.
If you have errands to run, that may be just the thing you need to break your loneliness. “Simply shopping amongst others – sharing chatter in the vegetable aisle or parking lot — can reduce loneliness,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Carla Marie Manly.
Invite someone over
Perhaps the most obvious solution is to request some company. “It’s easy to get stuck thinking that you’re the only one who is lonely,” says Manly. “Get used to inviting friends or acquaintances to go on a walk, share a cup of tea, or cook dinner together.”
P.S. Did you know that your negativity can actually mess with your brain chemistry? Yep, here’s why you might want to reconsider viewing the cup as half empty.
xx, The FabFitFun Team