We all know the feeling of being lonely in a crowd and feeling perfect content when all alone. Loneliness is more complex than either of these two statements imply.
We all have experienced abandonment at one time or another during our lives. It is, after all, an important part of us learning to stand on our own two feet, however painful and frightening the experience may be.
Whenever something happens that reminds us of this feeling, or when we anticipate it in our future, we can experience twinges of distress that come in the form of loneliness. This can happen to any one of us, at any time, but it doesn’t have to be the worst thing that ever happened.
It’s a Feeling, Not a Fact
When you feel lonely, it can help to remember that it’s thanks to something in your present triggering past experiences of being isolated and alone. It’s not necessarily based on what’s happening right now!
Our brains are designed to be hyper-aware of pain and danger, so we’re wired to notice bad feelings more quickly and feel them more deeply. We try to make sense of it, however, in an attempt to defend ourselves against it.
Why am I feeling like this? Does nobody love me? I’m a failure?
Answers that you try to find to questions like these can only bring you down, so try to remember that you’re not dealing with facts. Accept how you’re feeling, let it go as best as you can by focussing on something else, and you’ll find it passes quicker than you expected.
Spend some time in nature, play with your pet if you have one, read a book, or play real money pokies NZ. Take your mind off your feelings by doing something you enjoy.
You may react to these feelings by withdrawing and this is not always helpful. If you self-isolate the fictions you’re telling yourself can take on more meaning and you might start to believe that you’ve failed in some important way and thus deserve the negative mindset you’re experiencing.
One of the silver linings of the cloud of loneliness is that it can serve to motivate us to reach out and cultivate rich relationships with others which will ward off feelings of abandonment in the future.
Take Control of Self-Defeating Thought Processes
When we’re younger, we frequently create stories starring ourselves to explain how we’re feeling, which is why children so often assume that it’s their fault when anything goes wrong. Victims of bullying, for example, may have a supportive circle of family and friends that fade into the background because their shame and loneliness take up so much mental space.
Stopping negative thoughts as they enter your mind is a great habit to ensure you’re not creating self-fulfilling prophecies. You tell yourself no one likes you, so you never extend yourself to anyone around you. This means people don’t know you’d like to be invited out, for instance, so you’re never included in any plans. Which proves that you’re right in that nobody likes you!