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Overcoming loneliness: How to succeed step by step

Reading time 7 minutes
Overcoming loneliness: How to succeed step by step

Feeling lonely is one of the most unpleasant experiences a person can have. Loneliness is often mistakenly equated with being alone. But it's important to differentiate here: Just because you're spending time alone right now doesn't mean you have to be lonely at all. What matters is knowing that there are people in your life who are there for you and help you overcome loneliness.

With "real" loneliness, this factor is missing. Lonely people believe that there is no one who cares about them. This means that you can feel lonely even in the midst of a crowd or even by your partner's side. This is even more common than one might think.

Of course, loneliness can also be accompanied by social isolation. This is particularly often the case with older people who are no longer able to participate in social life due to health restrictions - as can be seen from this Study ...that's what I'm talking about.

Are you feeling lonely at the moment? Then the following article can provide you with valuable tips and impulses on how you can overcome your loneliness.

Why do we feel lonely?

The reasons for loneliness can be manifold. The feeling often occurs - although not always - after a personal loss or generally after a drastic change:

  • death of a loved one
  • End of a partnership or friendship
  • Exodus of the (adult) children
  • Move
  • Job loss
  • Interpersonal Disappointments

Loneliness is usually a reaction to the fact that you are suddenly missing a dear life situation.

Manche Veränderungen, die zur Einsamkeit führen, gehen jedoch auch schleichend vonstatten. Gehen wir beispielsweise davon aus, dass jemand in seinem neuen Umfeld wiederholt negative Erfahrungen sammelt (z. B. Mobbing aufgrund einer Äußerlichkeit). Derjenige wird sich vermutlich immer mehr zurückziehen, um sich vor weiteren Attacken zu schützen.

At first glance, this is an understandable reaction, but it further aggravates the already existing loneliness. In extreme cases, there is a threat of complete social isolation.

fend for oneself

What can you do when you feel lonely?

Loneliness, like anger, sadness and fear, is one of those negative emotions that you want to get rid of as quickly as possible. However, it makes sense to take a closer look first: Often, feelings of loneliness are trying to tell you something. Negative feelings indicate that something in our life has gone off track. And be sure - this is not the first time you have experienced this feeling. You may have been carrying it around inside you for a long time, and you may have even encountered it for the first time in your childhood.

The exploration of loneliness offers you the chance for positive change. You might find yourself in a life situation that does not make you happy (anymore). This can be family, partnership or professional conflicts. If you find the stressful factor and change it, you can also overcome the loneliness.

What sounds so simple and logical in theory is usually not so easy to implement. Life-changing measures such as a separation, a move or a change of job require a solid foundation. Self-confidence. Furthermore, it is important to focus on the future. Who mentally in the Past is at greater risk of loneliness.

Overcoming loneliness: the three stages of loneliness

If you want to overcome your loneliness, you should know about the three different stages:

Stage 1: The temporary loneliness

Every human being suffers from temporary loneliness at times, which is the following Survey proves. Temporary loneliness, while unpleasant, is by no means dangerous. In fact, it can even motivate you to make long-overdue changes in your life or to become more comfortable in new life situations. In this case, loneliness is a valuable indicator of the "construction sites" you need to work on.

As the name suggests, temporary loneliness usually disappears after a few weeks. The social interest and the ability to empathy remain intact, even if there is less social interaction for a while.

Stage 2: The social withdrawal

At this stage it is already becoming alarming: the feelings of loneliness are now so overwhelming that they literally paralyze you. You lose interest in social life. Making small talk or friendships becomes impossible. You could say you're really losing it. The Joie de vivre is fading.

Stage 3: Chronic loneliness

If the state of social isolation lasts more than half a year, it is called chronic loneliness. This form is the most difficult to overcome. Those affected have retreated so far into their symbolic shell that they no longer know how social interaction works at all. Loneliness dominates their entire life.

The Self-esteem and zest for life are completely gone at this stage. This can lead to depression or even suicidal thoughts. Therefore, you should overcome your loneliness before this stage occurs!

Overcoming loneliness - 8 tips for overcoming the inner emptiness

You are not helpless against the feeling of loneliness! The following eight tips for coping with loneliness have proven themselves many times over:

1. go out among people

This tip seems pretty obvious. However, it's important to note that this is an acute measure, not a friendship builder, although the latter can happen. If the ceiling falls on your head in your apartment, go outside: sit in a café, read a book in the park or have lunch in a restaurant.

Just the sound of voices and the bustle of activity around you can dispel feelings of loneliness. Who knows, an interesting conversation might even ensue?

2. overcome loneliness - find like-minded people

You are not the only person who wants to overcome their loneliness. It can therefore be useful to look for people who are in a similar situation. Research whether there are singles' meetings, cosy cooking evenings or similar in your area. In most big cities this will be the case.

Three, overcome loneliness: Get a dog

This tip may sound a little cliché. However, dog owners are demonstrably less lonely! On the one hand, this is of course due to the beneficial company of the animal itself. On the other hand, as a dog owner you are forced to go out regularly. Here you meet other dog owners, i.e. people with whom you share an interest. This can lead to friendships.

4. keep regular contact with friends and family

There are phases in life when you simply don't want to see anyone, e.g. due to stress and overload. However, you should not completely withdraw from your environment. If you don't want to see anyone in person, you should at least keep in touch with your loved ones by phone. Video chats or an old-fashioned letter are also fun.

5. do sports

It has long been scientifically proven that sport not only has a positive effect on physical health, but also on mental health - as demonstrated in this Study can be read. Maintaining a stable psyche is extremely important, especially in the case of feelings of loneliness. The type of sport you choose is of secondary importance. The main thing is to get moving! Tip: If you join a sports club, you can also make social contacts.

6. find new hobbies

Nothing unites people more than shared hobbies and interests. Ideally, these are activities that are practiced in the community. It's best to join a club or group to share your passion with other people. Don't be afraid to try something new.

7. plunge into real life

Watching too much TV or surfing the Internet can make you lonely in the long run. These activities take up a lot of time and tempt you to withdraw socially. In addition, excessive consumption of (bad) news can be depressing. Go out for a drink with your colleagues after work rather than retiring to the sofa. Plan exciting activities for the weekend.

8. yoga and meditation

As you already know, it is important that you are allowed to come clean with yourself in case of loneliness. Yoga and meditation are proven relaxation methods that can help you release mental tension. Here, too, it is important to attend an appropriate course in order to make contacts.

overcoming feelings of loneliness

Overcome loneliness in 5 steps

Overcoming loneliness works best if you already actively counteract it in the first stage. In principle, however, it is never too late. Chronic loneliness can also be combated. In most cases, however, therapeutic help is recommended. The following five steps can help you to find your own way out of loneliness - and towards more. Self-love:

Step 1: Overcome loneliness: Practice acceptance

Realize that temporary loneliness is a natural feeling that almost all people experience during their lives. You are neither guilty nor a bad person. Despair and self-blame will not help you overcome loneliness. It is much more healing to accept your current state and look for constructive solutions.

Step 2: Treat yourself with appreciation

You long for the friendship of other people? Then the first step you should take is to learn to be a friend to yourself. An appreciative treatment of yourself provides a positive aura, which in turn attracts other people.

Self-care can be as simple as cooking a delicious meal for yourself, decorating your home nicely, and engaging in activities you enjoy.

Step 3: Learn to appreciate being alone

Wait a minute, you may be thinking. Didn't we just talk about how you can overcome loneliness? And now we're suggesting you enjoy being alone? What may sound like a contradiction at first is not. Being able to be alone means that you are at peace with yourself. If you don't enjoy spending time with yourself, why should others?

Step 4: Overcome loneliness: Find yourself

Overcoming loneliness is not about being frantically around people all the time. Rather, it is a matter of Correct To find company for you. In short, true friends. To find them, however, you must first get to know yourself. What values are important to you? What interests excite you? What do you expect from a friendship and what is not possible?

Answer these questions honestly and act accordingly. Only if you appear authentic, you will attract the people who really suit you.

Step 5: Build up targeted social contacts

In the last step on the topic of "Overcoming Loneliness", we will look at how you can specifically find a connection. You are self-aware and know what you want? Great! Then the following measures can help you to meet (suitable) people and thus build up a social network:

  • Join a club.
  • Attend sports classes.
  • Volunteer.
  • Be active on social media.
  • Go out at night.
  • Start small talk with co-workers or neighbors.

Overcoming loneliness is possible

Loneliness is a major issue in today's society, and it is by no means limited to the elderly. Everyone is affected by temporary loneliness. However, to prevent chronic loneliness from developing, you should take countermeasures in good time.

In addition to the measures presented in this article, it is important that you confide in someone: family members, friends or even a therapist. Don't be alone with your feelings!

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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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