How to Overcome Feelings of Loneliness
Loneliness is terrible not only for our mental health but our physical health too. According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, isolation can be as damaging as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day. The impact on your mental health is also significant, possibly leading to depressive thoughts and feelings. If we remain feeling like this for too long, it can become increasingly harder for us to dig ourselves out and start being more social with others.
So how can we overcome the loneliness we have found ourselves in? Read on for top tips on how to address your loneliness and reach out to others for support.
Join Hobby Groups
No matter what age you are, a perfect way to try and get out more to overcome your loneliness is to find a hobby group. Whether you are a teenager or a middle-aged woman, there should be something for everyone and anyone to join. Craft groups are perfect for any generation, and sports teams are welcoming to kids and adults who can enter their various age divisions. You might not even have to look far to find something for you. Facebook is filled with many hobby group pages, making it easier for you to find out when the next meet is for specific groups. If you are still in school, you can try joining a school club, or if you are older, look at local community centres to see if they host anything.
Hobby groups are perfect for you to meet like-minded people. By sharing an interest in your hobbies, it is easier to find something to start a conversation with people about, leading to more chats over time. This helps you overcome any anxiety you may have that prevents you from being social, and starts to help break down the loneliness you feel.
Reach Out to Family
Sometimes reaching out to strangers isn’t your best bet. One study in 2011 found that elderly people who spent time with family were less lonely than those who attended groups with strangers. So, if you think you will have a hard time connecting with people you don’t know, call your mum or a sibling and start to rebuild a connection with them. Maybe anxiety prevented you from spending time with them before, or maybe your family were the ones who pulled away. Either way, give them a call and chat about why this has happened and your desire to spend more time with them. You never know, it could be a phone call they have been waiting for for months or years.
Try and meet up regularly with family to overcome your loneliness. Take turns visiting each other’s houses or meet at restaurants, cafes and malls to spend some time together. Depending on where you live, your meets can be as frequent as you like, with communication via phone calls and texts to help get you through lonely times when you are at home.
Perhaps anxiety is what keeps you from leaving the house and making friends. Maybe you see a group you want to join or people at work who seem like they would make great mates. But, your anxiety holds you back and makes you question if starting a conversation would be a good idea. You begin to second guess yourself, and before you know it, you are turning in the opposite direction in fear. So how can you ever overcome your loneliness if you have your mental health fighting against you?
Therapy can be the perfect place for you to speak to an expert about your thoughts and feelings. We go much deeper than just asking how you are and instead work with you to find out why you are anxious and how we can break this down from the root of the problem. Once we understand your anxiety better, we can start providing you with the best advice to get out more and make friends. It can be a long or slow journey, depending on the person, but we provide support the whole way and can increase or decrease session frequency based on your needs.
Don’t stay at home alone for the rest of your life. Start to overcome the anxiety that holds you back and get out more and make friends. You can’t take on your loneliness if you don’t start taking steps to be more social. If you think you need some more support, then contact me today to learn more about my services as a therapist.