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Juliet Hall

Overcoming Loneliness

By September 23, 20192 Comments

Merriam-Webster defines loneliness as being without company; cut off from others; sad or producing a feeling of bleakness. While loneliness can be attributed to being without company, some people experience loneliness in the presence of others. Many people suffer from loneliness because of some form of rejection like abandonment, shame, closed doors and other disappointments.

“Nobody cares about me.”

“Nobody understands me.”

“Nobody is ever on my side.”

“This is so hard.”

“This isn’t supposed to be my life.”

These are examples of statements I’ve heard people say who experience loneliness; who feel like people have given up on them and don’t care. Many times, these are people who want attention but often go about it the wrong way.

In order to move forward from loneliness, you have to understand that you must care about yourself first. You have to believe in yourself because when you do, you embrace and grow from your own value and the value you bring to others.

It all boils down to this one thing:  to overcome loneliness you must first love yourself. Loving yourself is necessary for self-discovery and personal growth. It allows you to bring positive vibes to the table.

Loving yourself requires action. Consider these actions to combat loneliness:

  1. Accept responsibility. We can be quick to blame others and slow to accept responsibility for our decisions and actions. Sometimes we hold on to negative energy when situations don’t go our way. Moving forward from loneliness also means owning up to the roles we play in these situations. In lieu of finding fault in others, check yourself first.
  2. Forgive yourself and others. We all make mistakes and errors in judgment. However, moving forward requires that we free ourselves emotionally from the negative and focus on the positive. When we make it a practice to forgive ourselves, we make it easier to forgive others.
  3. Invest in yourself. Investing in yourself brings positive energy, and people are attracted to positive energy. Invest in yourself so that others can believe in you and will want to invest in you. Don’t give up on your dreams or on making productive decisions. Take time to celebrate yourself; those unique qualities and accomplishments that make you a badass. Become the best version of yourself without anyone’s permission.

Sometimes loving yourself means having the courage to be alone, at least temporarily. This is so counterintuitive, I know, because it’s natural to want to be around others or see yourself according to other people’s perceptions. But being alone unplugs you from the noise and opinions of others, provides you the opportunity to process your feelings and become more comfortable with yourself. When you practice loving yourself, it matters less what others think of you. Depend on this love to help you overcome your loneliness.

What do you think? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts and experiences on overcoming loneliness. Let’s help and encourage one another in our #OYO community. For additional resources on loneliness and other ailments associated with mental health, please visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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  • Garry Harris says:

    I fully recognize the need for both good  physical and mental health and have made it an Imperative in my life. Also gaining toughness by staying centered on my purpose and preserving to it’s Vision until it is fully realized not distracted by comparisons to others and development of a longer term plan to “build a better me” which includes maximizing mental strength Therefore for me I have developed a series of measures to both cope and mitigate actual and perceived loneliness. First it needs to be structured and planned in a deliberate manner to allow for optimize benefits such a method of refreshment and recharge…. example frequent trips to the beach in summer or mountains in fall and winter.. for work… balance….moreover ..typically at Christmas time I have formed a partial tradition of driving home solo to Virginia taking a coastal route and stopping in key seasonal festive spots along the way.. including Savannah .. Hilton Head.. Charleston…. Myrtle Beach.. enjoying the extensive seasonal array of decorations and great food…. still other ways of coping include daily rigorous exercise… building in mental toughness by walking and strength training and setting challenge fitness goals for joining with nature whenever.. wherever possible.. walking in the forest..and engaging animals such as  feeding birds and geese out of my hand ..or a lick from a way to friendly cow .warms and fills my sole immensely…. maintaining of a good core of friends both old and new with whom I can engage with on a social level with “no strings attached” just optimizing the amazing friendship based on mutual benefit and more importantly close friends who get it and understand my needs,  and provide support and encouragement when necessary…next intentional social engagement with numerous organizations and associations including fraternal, social justice and education… thing I have come to enjoy is walking the neighborhood and meeting people where they are..and having great dialogue and conversations about a common vision for the community…next being outcome driven and ensuring I am making measurable impacts a priority on a daily basis…in my personal life, my mind and heart are in consistently.. only rarely allowing selected individuals to enter my personal space through an abundance of preclude any mental stress and potential damage due unnecessary relationship strife..and my mind and heart control in a manner not make the overwhelming need for “close” company a priority., managing that space in a very effective manner…next building in celebration time for recognition of small victories…next staying in only positive, nurturing environments where my spirits are constantly uplifted in a high energy manner…next engaging my mind in a routine deliberate manner such learning a foreign language and engaging in academic rigorous exercises..and allowing my mind to be creative and innovative  to fill it constantly with mental exercises and challenges….next make contributions in a constructive manner a priority …next recognize and stick to my spirit fill purpose in an deliberate and intentional manner ; not to waiver at all… finally my brother suffered from mental depression for a good portion of his adult .and I have seen his struggles day and day out…and thus try to preclude a similar pattern of life robbing mental degradation.  Dealing with loneliness is about planned, structured coping and making total mental health and toughness an everyday priority and imperative

    • Juliet Hall says:

      Thanks, Garry. Intentionality is key. Recreational trips, physical exercise, nature walks, constructive social engagement and other intentional activities definitely help a person to cope with loneliness. I think you nailed it by stating you have to set goals to foster your mental toughness. Thank you!

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