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Feeling Lonely? Here's How to Reconnect and Find Joy




Aman sitting in the couch crouched up holding his head alone
You may not look like this person. But you have probably felt like him before.

Introduction


Loneliness can hit us at any time. It can hit us when we are, actually, by ourselves, or an internal feeling - even with the people we love. It can be a horrible feeling, stripping away all feelings of confidence, and can even make us fall back on some destructive coping mechanisms. This article will explore how loneliness can impact us, and how we can potentially reduce it.


Ways Loneliness can Impact us


Loneliness can come in different forms. They can be emotional - as in you aren’t feeling close to anyone; they can be social - due to lack of personal connections, or even in a crowded room with people you know, and still feeling lonely. 


Any number of things can cause it - from moving to university or out of home for the first time/to a new area; to having just had a baby and the Postpartum Depression; to how we had to all be locked inside due to COVID-19. There are many other reasons why someone can feel lonely, and below are some of the symptoms of the feeling:  


Loneliness can impact Mental Health Issues - such as feelings of anxiety and feelings of pressure to find the right people in the next instant; or depression, with your feeling of low self-worth plummeting due to this loneliness. 


Loneliness can also affect your sleep with you sleeping less, or even sleeping more. You can start to lose your sense of care for yourself. Not washing or taking care of yourself properly, like not eating enough. 


It can also impact how you deal with social situations, such as feeling overwhelmed when around people in social circles, be they big or small. Or even impacts you so much that you stay inside, which only damages your mental health issues and confidence further.


a couple standing beside a woman standing separately
You can be with people you have known your whole life, but sometimes with the subject matter of conversation or feelings of unworthiness, you can still feel alone and isolated.

How to deal with being Lonely


It is important to note that when trying to reduce loneliness, it is a long-term commitment. It will take time, and there will be setbacks. But, just know, that those setbacks are not failures or an indication of your worth or progress; they are, sadly, just a part of the journey. 

The main thing is to take it at your own pace. As mentioned above, this is a journey, and one that you can take as slowly as you need to for your own boundaries. Don’t throw yourself into things, gradually expand yourself and you will find the benefits.


This can be things such as going to a local library, for a reading session either with an author or just to find something to read. Going out is a start, and can be a way to help you meet people - especially like-minded ones. 


If you are at University, this can be as simple as your class peers - as you are all thrown into the same situation and have the same interests, the course you are studying - and it can grow from there to meet up after class or exchanging numbers to talk to each other.


If you are not at university or bedridden due to an illness, the internet can be a big help in this regard. From places like Tumblr to social media itself, you can find groups (be them in shared interests like Fandom - fan culture - or political opinions - it can be a starting place for finding friends from anywhere around the world. And while it can be highly useful, there can be caveats to this. So do be aware of this. Although, to a large degree, social media can have a positive impact on finding groups and friends.



Phone screen showing social media apps with fewer pop-ups
Social Media can be a good start to finding friends and a community, but can also become addictive.



Social activities such as going to the gym or volunteering can also be a big step; as, like almost all these steps, you have things in common with the people that you are around. Volunteering especially can be a useful tool for finding people, as you are all devoting your free time to support a cause that means a lot to you. 


Another solution is to talk to the people around you about your feelings. If you have a group, maybe reach out to the ones you trust the most about your feelings. If they are your actual friends, then they will do all they can to accommodate and support you.


Conclusion

Loneliness can be felt at any point in time for numerous reasons. However, just as there are numerous reasons for feeling it, there are also the same amount of ways to reduce those feelings. They all take time, and some may work better or be more suitable than others, but they will aid you with your goal of reducing those feelings. 


Written by Jamie Clarke

Edited by Arunava Mukherjee



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