Don’t let the cute banner fool you. Loneliness is no laughing matter. We all go through occasional bouts of loneliness, however, chronic loneliness is a serious problem. Previous studies have shown that 1 in 10 people in the UK are lonely, however, a study suggests loneliness may be on the rise.
Loneliness is a Serious Problem
Aside from the horrible feeling you experience, loneliness has a host of harmful health effects including sleep deprivation, it raises your cortisol levels, increases risk of dementia, increases chances of heart disease and cancer, and may contribute to premature death.
The steps here are not meant as easy temporary relief for your loneliness. These steps are made to permanently cure your loneliness and address all the factors that bring about its development. The steps written in this article are not meant for people “kinda” annoyed by loneliness. These are meant for people with chronic loneliness who feel like they are trapped in an inescapable bubble of emptiness.
If you do all the steps in this guide and stick to them, you will solve your problem of chronic loneliness. If you are not serious about making a change, I urge you to stop reading and not waste your time.
1. ACKNOWLEDGE YOURSELF
“You’re not lonely because noone wants to be with you. You’re lonely because you don’t want to be with yourself.”
You are your own biggest fan. Set goals that matter to you. Do things that matter to you. Do things that you enjoy. This is not selfishness, its learning to love yourself.
Be proud of your strengths and accept your flaws
This goes for loving yourself not only for all your strengths, but most importantly, your flaws. Seek for improvement but learn to accept your idiosyncrasies and physical flaws.
I have two front teeth that are a little crooked. At first I thought about getting braces for them and even went as far as consulting with a dentist. In the end I felt like it was a part of myself and I decided that I wanted to keep them. People would sometimes notice them, but that is the most of it. As I have learned to like this unique part of myself, so did the people close to me. The women I’ve dated found them “sexy” for some reason. We all have our own unique physical flaws and in some way its what makes us attractive.
Learn to laugh at yourself
Learn to make fun of yourself. Do not mistake over-defensive attitude as loving yourself. Over-defensiveness stems from insecurities that stem from lying to yourself. Nothing says love more than honesty.
I have two crooked teeth, I don’t care if people think its funny at least I can have an emergency bottle opener in case of emergency. Part of accepting your flaws is being relaxed enough to accept playful criticism from people and from yourself.
That being said, there are some people who are just condescending and very negative. Find ways to distance yourself from them. Do not seek vengeance or argue with them. It will only make it harder to distance yourself from them.
Get to know yourself
The overall essence of this step is to get to know yourself. Because by knowing yourself do you learn to love yourself. By knowing yourself, you learn to be proud of your strengths. By knowing yourself, you learn accept your flaws. By knowing yourself, you learn to celebrate yourself, and as you grow with yourself you will have the realization that you do not need someone else to feel complete.
2. MAKE A PROMISE TO YOURSELF
“There is nothing more powerful on this earth than a promise written with your own memories.”
Chronic loneliness is a sign that you need to make a change in your life. Unfortunately, one thing about people is people do not change. That is, unless faced with emotional pain.
If you are not feeling pain, whatever is written here will most likely have no effect on you. You should stop reading and avoid wasting anymore of your time. If you are in fact in pain and you want change, you can use that pain to inspire yourself to make a change.
Create a symbol of your promise
Make it meaningful. Places that hold significant meaning in our hearts have tremendous power to influence how we perceive our life. One gift and curse we possess as humans is the capability to forget. It is a gift because we forget about our painful memories, its as curse because we forget those painful memories and repeat our past mistakes.
Sometimes its best to take a piece of a memory with you to refresh the root of your drive to change. Taking a leaf from your favorite tree, a remembrance of a place you want to be in. Or you can take a piece of that painful place you want to leave behind. Take a piece of it with you, so you can use it as a beacon to steer away from it. When you are feeling weak, hold this relic and you will find the power to go on. Its up to you to decide what will drive you the most. Be creative. After all, This is your journey. It may be a common goal, but you get to decide your own path.
3. STAY HEALTHY FOR THE RIGHT REASONS
“A lot of people experience what is called cognitive dissonance, a form of psychological confusion, in association with loneliness.
They think loneliness is in their head, when it fact its caused by physical conditions.”
A healthy body equals a healthy mind
It is very important to keep healthy not only for physical health, but for psychological health. Sleep deprivation and lack of activity can trigger anxiety, depression and it can certainly make an individual feel lonely.
Also there is something very lonely about not seeing the sun. A condition known as seasonal affective disorder has been known to cause depression symptoms when a person doesn’t see sunlight. This condition can be brought on by a change of season or a change in sleeping rabbits such as waking up too late.
Make sure to see a doctor to determine whether your feelings of loneliness are not being caused by any physical conditions, or drug side effects. Also while you are there have a general checkup and ask your doctor how much you can push yourself at the gym.
Be active. Be consistent. Be safe
The key is to stay active and be consistent. Most importantly, stay safe. Going to the gym is mandatory, but going 100 percent is determined by your mood and confidence level. Its okay to have a lazy gym day. Hence, lazy gym day not lazy day.
Going to the gym should be a psychologically and physical release, not a torture. Your accomplishments here will not only help you stay healthy, it will also give you a deep sense of personal accomplishment and freedom from health problems.
4. LEARN TO CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS
“Negative thoughts are a curse if you let them run rampant. They are a gift if you learn how to control them.”
Once in a while even the best of us are tormented by negative thoughts. If you do not know how to control these negative thoughts from taking over your mind, it will take over your life. Filling your head with doubts, dwelling on negative thoughts will render any of the steps in this guide pointless. Here is an article refuting the three most common thoughts about loneliness to proactively address these negative thoughts.
Control your thoughts
You must be thinking, negative thoughts can sometimes have a valid point. That is true, however, they need to be addressed in a controlled manner.
I’ve always had problems with negative thoughts. Growing up insecure, I would doubt every single step that I make. It has its disadvantages, but it also has its advantages. Again, its part of me, so I have accepted it and have learned to address them in an effective manner.
I even had doubts about starting this website. I previously thought, “this is a horrible idea you should stop before you waste your time and money.” My protocol for addressing these negative thoughts is to step back and keep on going as planned. I do not let negative thoughts get in the way of my progress.
When I felt like I have calmed down and in a more balance state of mind, that was when I readdressed the doubts. In this situation I was able to address my doubts in a controlled and calculated manner. I started forming more “objective” negative thoughts, not general negative thoughts like “I suck or I’m never going to be able to do this.” You need to be able to morph these negative thoughts into organized coherent thoughts. So what I did was I turned “I suck” into “I think I am insecure about my writing capabilities.” Then I assess the validity of that thought. I did not address it in a manner that would get me sleep deprived and less productive. I did not let the negative thoughts run my life.
Sometimes its best to write them down on a piece of paper to put yourself at ease. It will get the negative thoughts off your head and allow you study them at a later time when you are calm.
Use it don’t let it control you
When you learn to control negative thoughts, they will become a tool for your improvement. It just like water, if you let it run rampant, it is like a tsunami that destroys everything in its path. If you learn how to control it, and it becomes like a hydroelectric powerplant that is a clean source of renewable energy helping grow communities.
I am not exaggerating. If you learn to control your negative thoughts they become almost like a super power. But again, you need to stick to the original plan, put these negative thoughts away and then address them at a later more controlled state of mind.
Lets recap how all of these steps fit so far using the following scenario. You are on your way to meeting a new friend. On the way there, you are suddenly struck by massive barrages of negative thoughts.
Instead of getting lost in thought and calculating all the horrible permutations in your head, you take a deep breathe and think of positive thoughts. This is where the previous steps will help you.
From the first step. If you have learned to love yourself, it will help alleviate your insecurities of inadequacy. You know you are awesome, so no need to worry any further. Also you will realize that you are not doing it for the person you are meeting, but for yourself. You want to have fun.
From the second step the promise to yourself will remind you that you are not just some pathetic person doing this for shallow reasons. You are doing this for a promise. A promise to yourself that you will keep going until you attain what you deserve.
The third step helps you put your best foot forward. The active healthy lifestyle that you have formed allows you to emanate an aura of attractiveness and energy. You are ready to take what the day throws at you.
When you face your friend or your date, you already in such a good state that you have fun no matter what the outcome is.
It will make room for positive thoughts to flourish
Once the date or meeting is over, you go over your doubts and assess the situation with a calm mind and you give yourself concrete smart tips on how to do better next time. And as the story unfolds, whether the result was what you desire or not, you feel a deep sense of accomplishment and pride for yourself.
5. SEEK SUCCESS AND FIND YOUR PASSION
“The human mind can be a curse as it sometimes bombards you with unwanted thoughts, but it is also a gift because it allows you to lose yourself in art.”
Life without passion is boring
Life is simply a long boring parade of events and conversation if you do not find your passion. Many times I’ve met people who are always lonely and bored. Their most common trait was the lack of passion. The human mind is meant to be used for something, there is something profoundly satisfying about using your creative mind in our passion of choice.
It finds your identity
Most importantly, finding your passion is a step in finding your identity. Some people have a passions for taking pictures, so they become photographers. Some people have a passion for numbers, so they become mathematicians. Some people love fashion, so they become a fashion blogger. There are many ways to make a living out of your passion. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something you do, it could be something you just feel strongly about. It could be a passion for cleaning the house, a passion for being polite, a passion for being honest. It can literally be anything that you can express your personality into and develop yourself by exploring it further and further.
It helps you form your identity by letting you seek achievements in something that you love, which brings us to our sixth step.
6. HARNESS YOUR CONFIDENCE
One does not simply become confident
Some people say the worst advice, “just be more confident.” A person can’t choose to be confident because confidence comes from experience. What type of experience? The experience of attaining success. Often times this is a conundrum people face because they need confidence in order to succeed.
The solution, however, is to not simply “be better,” but to be yourself. Again, knowing yourself is very important because it helps you set realistic goals. Often times people set goals too grandiose to attain.
There is a quote by Albert Einstein,
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Succeed on your own terms
This brings us back to the importance of step 5. Finding your passion helps you gain pride in your own individuality as expressed through your art. The reason for this is as you develop yourself through your own art, you will naturally seek your own attainable goals. As you do this, you will achieve success and thus gain confidence.
I was very lucky because I found my passion early in life which is drawing. It became my source of confidence as I grew up. I remember being the “make belief president” of a drawing association and my classmates would submit drawings to me. As I developed in drawing, I started going to drawing competitions and it became a source of pride and confidence. As you can see, I use it now on this website to express myself through drawings and illustrations.
You don’t have to have only one passion. You can have multiple passions as your identity changes depending on your current interest or your maturity. Harnessing your confidence means you can use the momentum of your previous success to attain more successes which will only help you gain even more confidence. The confidence I have gained from drawing helped me become more confident in other things such as writing, sports, and other aspects of my life.
Basically, step one which is loving yourself, is your statement to yourself that you are awesome. This step is the proof that you are in fact awesome. The more proof, you have the better you feel about yourself. Hence, you are proving to yourself how awesome you are, not other people.
7. FIND A FAMILY
“Family are people who allow you to be yourself and accept you for who you are.”
We all want friends. People who feel lonely feel like they need more friends, however, they do not realize that what they need is family. For what else is a true friend, but actual family. Family are people who will be there for you no matter what; unconditional positive regard.
It also applies to dating. When we look for a boyfriend or a girlfriend it is with the subconscious intention of finding a family to share not only your emotion but your entire self.
Let your loved ones love their individuality
This is the second to the last step to cure loneliness because you need to be with people not because you want them to be your world, but because you want them to be a part of your world. Sometimes we become so dependent on someone that we smother them. Afraid we would get hurt we try to manipulate them. As a result we then prevent them from expressing themselves.
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Be considerate. Just as how you need to be yourself, other people need to be themselves as well. If the worst comes to worst and you both need to part ways, be respectful and let go of any bad feelings.
The important aspect of this step is to find people you can grow with. A person you can trust. Relationships built on one sided gains will only lead to negative emotions and thus lead to a more profound loneliness. Do not settle for anything less than family.
8. FIND A PURPOSE
Find your purpose. The human psyche seeks for something more profound than its own existence.
If you accomplished all the previous steps, you are already pretty well off. You will find yourself more confident, happier and ultimately satisfied with your life.
However, as you grow to your fullest potential and break away from the bindings of loneliness, you will find that you want more. It starts like a small void within and eventually becomes a bigger and bigger deal the longer you do not address it.
An anomalous void
Some people get lost and fill that void with drugs, womanizing, and other self-indulgences. Misled, that feeling of emptiness only grows and so they try to fill it with more of the same things. Soon everything they have attained comes crashing down until they go into a spiral of self-destruction becoming worse than when they started the journey.
They missed the last and most important step of curing loneliness – finding a purpose. Because nothing is lonelier than being a light with nothing to illuminate. Its like being a star shining its beautiful bright light across a vast empty space.
A life with a purpose is a life that is complete
Many individuals have found their purpose in helping people, such as the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, and volunteers. Even many more have found purpose in raising their children. There are also a lot of people who found their purpose in spreading messages of hope and peace. Some have found their purpose in the advancement of innovation. Some people find purpose in saving animals. Basically, there is no shortages of purpose. If you look for it, you will find it, and it will ultimately complete you.
TAKE ACTION NOW
It is extremely vital that you take action immediately. The greatest obstacle between you and freedom from loneliness is making that very first baby step. It doesn’t have to be a huge or significant step at all.
It could be something as small as taking down these 8 steps into a notepad, or leaving yourself a reminder on your phone. The important most crucial part of success is that very very first step. Many wait until the very last second when everything is too late and they are trapped in a destructive spiral.
The fact that you are still reading this right now means you have the will to change. You want to change your life and you want to take action. So do not let procrastination or indecision get in the way of your happiness and deliverance take action right now.