Tag: lifestyle

5 Tips To Banish Loneliness


Photo by Myles Tan/Unsplash

Loneliness is not a very accommodating or welcoming emotion. It is also not a given. Yet far too many of us experience this powerful and debilitating emotion from time to time. While most are able to get past it without too much trouble, there are times when loneliness seems to hang around and is difficult to overcome.

While there can be no substitute for professional counseling should feelings of helplessness, despair and hopelessness persist for more than a week or two, these tips should help give loneliness the heave-ho.

Find something to do

When you’re lonely, feeling like you’re enveloped in loneliness, you’re likely spending too much time thinking about your situation and not really doing anything. Those who obsess over being lonely are going to be convinced there’s nothing they can do about it. That’s a misconception that should be put to rest.

The first step is to identify something you can do today, and get busy doing it. What that is doesn’t matter much. Doing something, other than thinking, you gets you out of your present surroundings and mindset.

Go out in the garden and yank weeds. Sweep the garage. Wash the car. Spend some time talking with your neighbor. Call a friend and meet for coffee, lunch or a movie. Go for a walk. Any of these will provide a change of scenery and get you outside your dismal thoughts for a while. When you’re actively engaged in doing something, you’re not suffering from loneliness.

Be good to yourself

The tendency to beat up on yourself when you’re blue is not beneficial. Unfortunately, we all do this, even without meaning to. We stumbled and made a mistake at work that was costly, we got into an argument with a significant other or friend and now find ourselves not talking with each other, the bills pile up and we’re not sure how we’ll get out of this mess. Instead of talking about what’s bothering us, we bottle up our emotions. The result: We feel a tremendous sense of loneliness.

When we hurt, we need to take care of ourselves. This self-care likely took a back seat to other pressing problems. Sleep may have suffered, as well as diet, lack of exercise, pushing ourselves past our limits. It’s time to hit the reset button and do something that will help us regain our equilibrium, make us feel physically better (a long soak in the tub works for some), and quashes feelings of loneliness.

Be with others

Most people who say they’re lonely spend too much time alone. While you can experience loneliness in a crowd, most people find the interaction and distraction of others takes away the lonely feelings – at least temporarily.

The best antidote to being lonely is to get out and be in the company of others. Friends are an excellent go-to resource, but groups involved in a hobby, recreational activity, educational or leisure pursuit, skills building, community get-togethers and travel also work.

When you are with others, listen, smile, communicate in a reciprocal fashion and be in the present. Should thoughts of loneliness seek to intrude, remind yourself that you’re taking active measures to counter that negativity. Find someone to talk with and strike up a conversation. It’s hard to think about being lonely when you’re chatting about something you enjoy.

Go somewhere new

The discovery process is an almost guaranteed way to get past loneliness. When you activate your curiosity gene and pursue something that intrigues or interests you, the inevitable result is that you follow your enthusiasm as far as you can. There’s no room for feeling lonely when you’re eagerly going after that beckoning beacon.

Take a drive using a different route than you normally take. Or, chart a course for a day trip that allows you to check out a small town, state or national park, wildlife refuge, botanical garden, museum, a restaurant you’ve long wanted to try. While you’re on the road, anticipate learning something new, meeting people, making memories.

Not only will this help dispel any loneliness you may have felt before starting out, the good feelings will remain with you on your trip home.

Help someone

If you’re wrapped up in yourself, feeling sorry that you’re lonely and not able to get past it, another method to employ is to go out and help someone. This doesn’t mean that you walk the street looking for a person who’s down-and-out. There are other more effective ways of helping others that you can use.

Go through your closets and find usable clothing that you no longer wear and donate it. There are many charitable organizations in desperate need of clothing. The still-working small appliances, electronic devices, dishes, furniture items, linens, toys and other items also are much in demand for those less fortunate. When you donate, it’s good for the recipients and it’s good for you.

Perhaps you know of a neighbor who’s elderly, unable to get out, a widow or widower or single parent. Bring a food item, flowers, a board game or just call and ask to come by for a visit. If you experience loneliness, you can imagine how a shut-in must feel. Two people visiting have more of a chance of dispelling loneliness than either one sitting alone ever will.

Remember that you don’t have to suffer loneliness. But it is up to you to do something to get past it.


This article was originally published on Psych Central.

*  *  *

Related Articles:

The Incredible Value of Dreams

How to Be Fair to Yourself

Self-Care: The Most Important Person to Take Care of Is You

Are You Lonely Tonight? How To Combat Loneliness

How To Be Flexible With Your Perceptions

How I Learned To Overcome Stress

*  *  *

To automatically get my posts, sign up for my RSS feed.   

Want to get my free newsletter? Sign up here to receive uplifting messages and daily positive quotes in my Daily Thoughts. You’ll also get the top self-help articles and stories of the week from my daily blog and more.

I also invite you to like me on Facebook, facebook.com/suzannekane.net follow me on LinkedIn,  on Twitter, @SuzanneKanenet and Google+.





10 Quick Ways to Beat Stress

Photo by Sander Smeekes

Photo by Sander Smeekes

Frazzled that you’ve got too much to do and not enough time to do it? Feeling the stress rise up and choke your breath away? If you need quick relief, here are some easy hacks that can help beat back stress.

Lie on the Ground and Stare Up at The Sky – This is an easy stress fix. Look for a grassy area, find an empty spot, and lie down. Cradle your head in your hands if that feels more comfortable. Stare up at the sky, watching the clouds move across your field of vision. If it’s nighttime, lose your thoughts gazing at the stars. Your problems will drift away in no time. There’s something about the vastness of space that makes even the most pressing worries seem trivial.

Sing Your Heart Out – This might best be accomplished in the shower, but any place you can find where you’ll be undisturbed – like a path in the park – will do. Belt out your favorite song or one that you remember the lyrics to. The process of breathing oxygen in and exhaling with the notes you sing will help lower your blood pressure and tamp down your stress level. In addition, research shows that the reverberation of the sound of your voice helps you relax.

Try Aromatherapy – A few drops of essential oils, such as lavender, on your wrist or the back of your neck can work wonders to ease stress. Buy a vial or two in an aromatherapy shop, Aveda, Whole Foods or other store where they sell such items. It’s an inexpensive way to have a stress-buster always handy.

Indulge in a 5-Minute Chair Massage – While you may not have time for a 50-minute body massage, almost everyone has five minutes they can spare for a relaxing chair massage. The massage therapist will ease out the tension and stress in your temples, neck and upper back and you’ll walk away feeling great relief.

Refresh with an Ice-Cold Glass of Lemonade – Who doesn’t instantly recall lazy summer days at picnics and family outings with refreshing glasses of ice-cold lemonade? Transport yourself back in time by sipping some delicious lemonade right now. Savor the sweet tanginess and feel your stress disappear.

Visit the Pet Store – If your errands or route take you near a pet store, take 10 minutes and pay a visit. Watching the puppies and kittens frolic in their cages, eager for someone to take them home, is an instant stress reliever. You don’t have to actually buy an animal to get this benefit. It’s just so cute watching them, you’re bound to smile. Stress? What stress?

Take the Kids to the Zoo – This remedy requires a little more time, but it’s so worth it. Feel like a kid yourself again by taking the family to the zoo. Even a petting zoo will work wonders to banish stress.

Get 15-Minutes of Shut-Eye – It’s amazing what a short nap can do to revitalize and refresh. If there’s a couch or two chairs you can place together in a quiet spot at work, or you can recline slightly in your car or other area, allocate 15 minutes for a little nap.

Use a Cold Gel Pad on Your Eyes – Maybe you don’t have a lot of time, but you do have access to a cold gel pad or ice pack you can place over your eyes. Do this for about 10 minutes and you’re going to feel amazing afterward.

* * *

While you’re here, why not sign up for my free newsletter? I post highlights from my blog, my Daily Thoughts and more.