Like the globe is turning but you’re watching it instead of inside it?
Maybe you have everyone’s back—but no one has yours.
Perhaps you want to connect so badly with the world but for some reason, it’s difficult.
Maybe you’re single and have felt alone for too long.
Or maybe you just broke up and you’re being introduced into a world of loneliness.
You could be in a relationship and feel more isolated than ever.
Or have all the friends in the world yet nobody you can really trust.
You probably hate this new feeling of being alone.
Or maybe you’ve always felt alone.
Maybe you will always be lonely, you might think.
People find themselves lonely in many situations. It can be a temporary feeling, one that lingers or one that just rears its head every now and then.
If you can relate to any of this… please, keep reading.
Loneliness could have many causes. And just about as many solutions. While you may feel alone for many different reasons, realise it’s a common and normal experience. For some people, loneliness will go away with time. For others, we need to learn how to better connect with others, the world around us or ourselves. Here’s some thoughts on that.
Maybe the most horrible part about feeling alone is that it feels like it will never change. It feels like no one is there or no one cares and they never will either. But that’s not true.
It can be helpful to think of life as similar to “seasons.” Some seasons you may be close with family, friends or romantic partners. Other seasons, you may spend more time within yourself. Some seasons, relationships will be great. Other seasons, they’ll deteriorate, break and cause pain.
Even if you’ve never felt not alone, it doesn’t mean you won’t feel better in the future. Sometimes, we may not have evidence we’ll pull ourselves out of loneliness, but we need to choose hope anyway.
It’s okay to admit to yourself you feel alone and to allow yourself to cry and release that emotion. Sometimes, we try to fill out time and stay busy so we don’t need to remind ourselves of how alone we truly are. But all that does is push the “deal with it” date later down the line. So be okay with feeling how you feel. Feel it all. A better feeling is somewhere on the other side of it.
Knowing that other people feel alone won’t make you feel better, but it could help you feel more normal. Almost everyone has periods where they feel like or are alone. Even the people we may know well—the people that go to parties, have the seemingly best relationships and the best jobs—can feel lonely sometimes.
It’s easy to think otherwise with social media, right? But people share the highlights of their lives and rarely the low ones. Just like you may be shielding others from your loneliness, others could be shielding it from you too.
It’s a natural emotion. It’s also natural to yearn for connection. It’s a part of being human.
Often when we feel alone, we have negative thoughts about ourselves and what the loneliness means. For example, we’re alone because nobody loves or cares about us. We’re unworthy of other’s attention. We have no friends and it’s our fault because we’re not good enough too. While everyone is together enjoying life, we’re alone because something deep inside us is flawed, even if we can’t pinpoint it.
The bad thoughts are endless. But the fact is you’re lonely. And the other fact is that feeling lonely says nothing about you. Blaming ourselves give us reason why we feel that way. It helps us write the story. But not a true one. We need to stop and remind ourselves that we’re worthy of feeling connection, even if we feel the opposite. Realize that you can have these thoughts and acknowledge them without believing them.
Nobody wants to feel lonely but many times, our dark experiences can lead to great growth or understanding. Obviously, this doesn’t mean we should seek out bad feelings, but it gives us opportunity to make the best out of them.
If you’re in the pits of your loneliness, you might be able to see a reason for it. But probably not. And that’s normal and you don’t need to. But it’s worth considering that this feeling could teach you some lessons you’ll eventually be thankful for.
For example, my darkest lonely times have given me a better understanding of other people’s dark times, even if they don’t look like mine. I think it’s given me more compassion, empathy and weirdly enough—a better, more “worldly” connection with others.
If you feel alone but you aren’t really alone—it’s a good idea to ask yourself why. For example, many people feel alone in a relationship. Perhaps your partner isn’t affectionate, doesn’t understand you or can’t communicate about tough things. Or maybe your friend never seems interested in your life so you don’t feel you can talk to them. Over time, this can make you feel very lonely, even if you love them.
In these cases, you might want to revaluate the relationship. Is there anything you can do to improve it? Sometimes, there is. But remember, we can’t change other people. If there’s nothing we can do and we feel alone with them, we might consider ending the relationship to find people who deserve us. Yes, losing them could make you feel even lonelier. But it’s better to be lonely and truly alone than to feel that way with someone else.
Although the people in our lives should care, be there and support us, we also have to realize that it’s not their job to make us happy or kill our loneliness. Sometimes, the people in our lives are absolutely great—but we still feel alone. So what then? Read the next point…
Maybe you have some great people in your life but you’re still looking for your soulmate and feel lonely in the meantime. Maybe you already have everyone you need. But the loneliness still won’t go away.
One possible reason is that we need to get comfortable with ourselves and spending time in our own company. This is usually easier if you’re an introvert. If you’re an extrovert, you naturally want to be around people a lot—and that’s healthy! But it’s also healthy to learn how to be with yourself.
Know that it’s natural to be alone sometimes. It doesn’t mean you’re missing out, that the world is forgetting about you or that people don’t love you. Allow yourself to think, process your thoughts, get creative, cry, eat in restaurants alone, take up new hobbies, do calming practices (ex. meditation), etc. Get comfortable with being by yourself at times.
Being lonely and stuck at home make both of those things worse. When you’re feeling alone, go outside. Anywhere. Go for a walk. To the park. For a coffee. For a hike. To pick flowers. Try to pick somewhere in nature since nature has been shown to decrease loneliness in research.
Experiencing the world around you can help make you feel more in it. A little Vitamin D can’t hurt either.
When you’re lonely, the feeling is often accompanied by bad thoughts about yourself. One way to feed some love back into your body is with some self-care. What that looks like is different to everyone. The main part is that it nourishes your body, mind and soul.
Self-care could be:
If you’re feeling alone and want to reach out to someone but can’t in person, consider some ways you can do so online. You can join online communities and meet people to message to chat with. Although it may not be the same, it can help dampen the loneliness. Here’s some ideas:
Even if you don’t have anyone you can connect with right now, go outside your home and watch the connections of others. For example, when I’m feeling lonely, even a stranger’s smile on a morning walk can make me feel a little closer to others. You can sit on a park bench and watch the connections of others, or do the same in a coffee shop while connecting with the barista.
When I was a teenager, I got very interested in spirituality. When I was reflecting on this, I realized the reason why was because it helped me feel less alone during that time.
Having a sense of spirituality can help you feel better connected to the world around you—like you’re less alone and more a part of something bigger. It could be religion, Buddhism, witchcraft, nature-based or a mixture of beliefs strung together. Even believing in a common humanity can help impart a sense of hope.
Loneliness is probably one of the hardest feelings to feel. Sometimes, it’s like it will never end. And it can happen whether we’re with others or not. Despite the awfulness, there’s a common human experience in loneliness: Almost everyone feels it at some points. While it’s normal, it’s important to not personalize it and blame ourselves. To feel better, sometimes we need to take steps to connect with others and other times we need to better connect with ourselves.
If you’re still feeling alone and that nobody is there for you, I am. I love you ❤️ Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk.
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