There really is no one ironclad stereotype when it comes to loneliness.
How to Deal With Loneliness
If you’re suffering from chronic loneliness – which is an epidemic that’s increasing in our society according to numerous studies – please know that it is possible to transform this experience. And you don’t even have to put in too much effort in most circumstances.
As someone who has had a lot of experience with loneliness (I’ve spent a large portion of my life lonely and isolated), I’ve compiled a list that I hope will help you below:
1. Learn to have fun by yourself again
This was perhaps the most important method I used to overcome my loneliness.
When we lose friends or family members, or simply drift away from everyone around us, we tend to lose all sense of fun and playfulness, preferring to wallow in our misery instead.
Realize that you can have fun alone and that you don’t need to rely on others to make you happy.
The person who can enjoy life alone can never have happiness taken away from them – to truly understand this is liberating!
I started by sticking flyers about diarrhea all over the walls and mirrors of a woman’s bathroom. I never knew fecal matter could be so freeing! Start by doing something small that you enjoy. If you used to like being wacky, be wacky. If you used to like being reckless, be reckless. Take small steps first.
Regain what you have lost, by yourself. You will be a stronger and better person that way. Why? Because you won’t rely on, or use, other people for your entertainment.
2. Learn to laugh again
Laughing has been scientifically proven to benefit your health. But what happens when you’re lonely? Well, chances are, you don’t laugh much. At all. (I know that I didn’t.)
When you really think about it, it’s unfortunate how much we rely on others to make us happy. That’s why learning how to laugh again, by yourself is so important. It empowers you, and once again, it allows you to not use other people for your entertainment. They’re not vending machines after all!
If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, try putting on a funny film. Not only does it take your focus away from yourself and your misery, but it reboots those endorphins in your brain again. Funny pictures can also help, like those found on reddit.
3.Practice mirror work
Spend quality time with yourself, just like with a friend or someone you love. One powerful way of doing this is by practicing something called mirror work. Mirror work is simple, and all it requires is a mirror, openness, and some free time.
To practice mirror work for the purpose of connecting deeply with yourself, spend five minutes a day gazing gently at yourself in a mirror. I understand how bizarre that might sound, but staring deeply into your eyes and smiling every day really makes you feel happy. But don’t believe me – try it out for yourself!
One result of this strange practice is an increase in self-love and self-acceptance – especially when you pair this practice with loving affirmations such as “I accept you,” “I forgive you,” “I love you,” etc.
Every day we tend to look at ourselves in the mirror to pamper and preen, but we only do it superficially. But have you ever stopped to stare at yourself – earnestly? Try it, and you may be blown away by how much self-awareness you can develop.
4. Become your own best friend
I’m sure you’ve had a best friend in the past that now, for one reason or another, has drifted away. How did they treat you? Most people would say something along the lines of “nicely”, “considerately”, or “kindly”.