How can you overcome loneliness? If you ask yourself this question, you have already taken the first, important step! Because loneliness is first and foremost a feeling that comes from within you. And that's why it's great that you're taking action to change that.
Why do I feel lonely even though I am not?
While you may be surrounded by family, colleagues and friends, you can still feel lonely. There can be a number of reasons for this. However, the reason for feeling lonely oftentimes cannot be pinpointed that precisely.
After all, loneliness is a subjective feeling. That means it is an inner feeling that can simply occur, even without having specific reasons for it. Loneliness is not always a condition that arises from a lack of social contact. It often has to do primarily with the way one perceives him or herself as well as one's surroundings.
How do I get rid of the feeling of loneliness?
Many of us feel - sometimes more often, sometimes less often in life - lonely or alone. So you can be sure that at any given time, many people feel the same way as you do. You don't have to deal with feelings of sadness and loneliness alone.
Feeling lonely from time to time is perfectly normal. Loneliness is also an important warning signal for us. It tells us when we are losing contact with other people and prompts us to take action.
So, if we feel lonely more regularly or quite intensely and sense that our daily life and well-being are impaired as a result, we should figure out the reasons for and do something about it. The good news is that loneliness can be overcome. Below we have put together 7 tips for you:
1. How can I spend time with myself?
People often confuse being alone with loneliness, although these are two different things. Because being alone does not necessarily cause loneliness. It is also possible to be alone with yourself without feeling lonely. But for that to happen, you need the ability to be alone.
You develop this ability when you start to value the time with yourself more. This includes, for example, treating yourself like a good friend. Do something good for yourself, such as cooking yourself something delicious, going on an outing, booking yourself a spa day, or whatever brings you joy. If you can't imagine these things being fun or worthwhile with just you, try to turn that attitude into a positive one.
After all, the more you can appreciate and love yourself, the less lonely you'll eventually feel – even when you're alone. You may not be able to get there overnight, but you can start doing something good for yourself today. Step by step, through more self-sufficiency, you can develop the ability to be alone and feel less lonely.
Here, you can find some additional ideas on how to spend time on your own:
- Go to the cinema alone
- Visit a café accompanied by a good book
- Go for a walk
- Take a bath
- Plan (and take) a road trip
- Go to a flea market
- Pick flowers in a flower meadow
2. Learning to meditate
Meditation can help you relax and find an inner state of calm. Through it, you can learn to get rid of negative thoughts and better cope with anxiety. One of the most popular forms of meditation is mindfulness meditation.
Through it, you can become aware of your unconscious patterns of thought and evaluation or ways of acting and learn to let them go internally. This can also be painful if you encounter difficult feelings while meditating. However, the longer you practice meditation, the more internally free, confident, and balanced you will feel.
3. Making contacts
If your loneliness causes you to become increasingly withdrawn, your ability to make contact with others and communicate with people will also suffer. In order to find your way out of loneliness, however, it is important that you learn to actively approach other people again.
You can start with very small steps, for example, by having small conversations with neighbors or with salespeople in stores. Positive experiences can give you the courage to become even more active. Maybe you'll join a club or get involved in a neighborhood organization and meet new people.
It is important not to expect too much of yourself and others at the beginning, but to talk about everyday things first. If you take an interest in others and also tell them something about yourself, relationships can develop further.
4. Finding new activities
Look for an activity or a volunteer role that fulfills you with meaning. Ask yourself what really interests you and brings you joy. Maybe there is something you enjoyed doing as a young person but have since forgotten? Or maybe you'd like to try something new, like a pottery class? It can also be particularly fulfilling if you not only help yourself but also others. This way you will also have contact with other people and feel needed.
5. Exchanging with likeminded people
If you feel that no one understands you, it will help you to enter into an exchange with likeminded people. There are a lot of people who feel lonely, and with mobilization and digitization, there are more and more. So you're not alone in this.
Loneliness affects people from all age groups and in all kinds of life situations. Likeminded offers you the opportunity to exchange ideas in a small, trusting group of people. The exchange with likeminded people can be relieving and give you and the other affected people new courage.
6. Overcoming loneliness after separation
If you suddenly find yourself alone again after a breakup, you can quickly start feeling lonely. But only if you deal with your pain, you can process the separation. You don't have to do this alone but can also seek the help of friends. You are allowed to cry it out, be comforted, and feel safe. Most importantly, take time for yourself. Maybe there are questions that have taken a back seat in the relationship that you can ask yourself now:
- What makes me happy?
- What makes me special?
- What do I want to learn?
Through these questions, you can get to know yourself better as a newly single person and develop new plans for the next time.
Learn more about this topic in our article "Loneliness after separation: What to do?".
7. Overcoming loneliness in old age
If you suffer from loneliness in old age and perhaps have been withdrawn for a long time, the way out of loneliness may seem impossible. But that is not the case and it is an incredibly important step that you are looking for ways to overcome your loneliness!
First, ask yourself what it is exactly that you desire. Is it more contact with acquaintances and friends? Do you long for an intimate relationship? Or do you simply wish for more socializing around you? It can also help if you address the feelings and beliefs that have been preventing you from connecting with others. Because in order for the loneliness to go away, it is often necessary for us to change our attitude toward ourselves and learn to value ourselves more.
In concrete terms, you can then look for ways to rebuild your social network. Maybe there are projects in your area that are suitable for you? The more you can turn to your outside world again, the more possibilities will open up to you. Perhaps you would like to someday volunteer or even sponsor a child in your area? Often there are also group offers, meeting places, or new housing projects for older people.
Even if you find it very difficult at first to approach other people and make new contacts, it is important that you don't give up. Only over time can your trust grow again and you should give yourself this time. The exchange with people who understand you can be a great help.