9. Listen to calming music
Don’t make the mistake of listening to depressing or dark music to match your mood. While dark music can provide a nice emotional release, often it just winds up making you feel even worse.
Instead, try listening to up-beat, classical, or ambient music (this will increase the endorphins, or happy chemical, in your brain).
If you want some keyword suggestions, get YouTube up on your browser and search for “happy relaxing music,” “ambient music,” “binaural beats positive energy,” “emotional healing music,” and so on. I particularly love listening to wind chimes and hang drums: they’re light, ethereal, and uplifting.
10. Learn to love joy more than misery
It’s quite possible that you’re in love with your misery at this very moment in time. I know this sounds bizarre and a little shocking, but see this article which explains this concept more in-depth.
Speaking from personal experience, I realized at some point that I was accustoming myself too much to a miserable way of life. After a while, when all we know is isolation and depression, we tend to grow accustomed to this way of living. It becomes the norm. And in a sickly way, it even provides us with a sense of comfort.
This means that when we try to break our “norm” of isolation and depression we become uncomfortable, suddenly thrown out of our comfort zone. This fear can lead to self-sabotaging behavior that is designed to try and regain that sense of comfortable (yet stagnant and miserable) safety. Becoming aware of this can truly liberate you when learning how to deal with loneliness.
11. Understand that it’s possible to be alone, but not lonely
It’s a simple mindset shift, but it makes a world of difference. Sometimes the loneliness we feel is a byproduct of what society tells us. After all, we are all sold the idea that being in a heterosexual relationship with 2-3 children and a job is meant to be the pinnacle of normality and non-loneliness.
But is it?
Why should we believe and adopt this idea and let it affect OUR happiness?
Just because we find ourselves alone, divorced, widowed, friendless, what-have-you, doesn’t mean we’ve failed. Nothing in life is permanent, even the position you find yourself in now. So then, why should we allow ourselves to be pressured to feel like there’s something “wrong” with us when everything is temporary.
It is absolutely possible to be alone but not lonely. In fact, some of the most isolated people in the world have also been the most successful and/or happy (think of spiritual ascetics, monks, saints, writers like Emily Dickinson, innovators like Einstein, and artists like Greta Garbo who famously stated “I want to be alone”).
We explore the benefits of solitude more in our book The Power of Solitude.
12. Find an animal companion
If you can’t, don’t want to, or don’t have the time to connect with other people at this point in life, an animal companion is a wonderful way to feel emotionally connected to another living being.
Adopting a dog, cat, rabbit, bird (or whatever you resonate with) from a local shelter is not only an act of compassion, but it ensures that you’ll have another living being to spend your days with.
Not only that, but often animals have a way of reconnecting us back to other humans. Dogs, for example, are a beautiful way of forming connections, even fleeting ones, with other dog owners at the park.
13. Reconnect with your soul
Right at the heart and core of loneliness is often a disconnection from our innermost Self.
In other words, loneliness is often not a lack of company, it’s a lack of quality connection with your deepest self.