How to feel less alone

17 Easy Things To Do When You’re Feeling Lonely | Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

Whether you're feeling down about the number of comments on your latest Instagram post, or just have that sense that no one else really gets you, you've experienced it. Feeling lonely is, perhaps ironically, universal.

But, what is loneliness, exactly? Simply put, "it's the discrepancy between what you have and what you want from your relationships," says Stephanie Cacioppo, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago, who specializes in the study of loneliness and social cognition.

It’s not necessarily about being physically surrounded by people—because you might feel especially lonely in a crowd—but about your mentality. When you feel lonely, it’s usually because you aren’t quite satisfied with what you have, whether it’s in that moment or throughout your life, Cacioppo explains. And until you're able to pinpoint and then address what you're dissatisfied with, you'll feel isolated, left out, and in need of companionship.

The upside: Feeling lonely isn't necessarily a bad thing, Cacioppo notes. It's a reminder that something's off about your social environment and that you need to prioritize your happiness.

Chances are, though, you're not too grateful for loneliness while you're experiencing it. In fact, the feeling makes you more likely to interpret reality negatively, which can bring on a ton of self-loathing and self-criticism, she says. The key to turning your mood around? Adjusting your social lens to one that’s more positive.

Easier said than done, right? Thought you might say that. But here are 17 things you can actually do to feel a little less lonely, a little more confident, and way more connected.

1. Admit you're lonely.

As with a lot of things, the first step to moving forward is getting real about what you're going through. Most people try to deny they're lonely, or they assume they must just be anxious or depressed. Why? "Because there's a lot of stigma surrounding loneliness," says Ami Rokach, PhD, clinical psychologist, course director at York University, and author of Loneliness, Love And All That’s Between.

Many people are ashamed to admit they feel lonely because they associate the experience with social isolation and otherness, he adds. But refusing to come to terms with your loneliness means putting off your chance to do something about it.

2. Remind yourself it's not just you.

"We're not alone in our loneliness," Rokach explains.

Now, this doesn't mean you should necessarily lean into the loneliness simply because others are dealing with it, too, Rokach warns. It's a great opportunity to remember that, just like anyone else, you have the power to get yourself out of this situation.

3. Be realistic.

Though there are things you can do to help yourself feel less lonely, they're not all foolproof. "Sometimes you won't succeed," says Rokach. People won't want to make connections with you, they'll be too busy, or you'll still end up feeling lonely—it happens.

Those moments will be tough, he explains, but the key is to persevere anyway. You won't want to at the time, but if you set out to tackle your loneliness knowing it's a win-some-lose-some game, you won't be so quick to give up.

4. Don't deny or distance.

Because of all the shameful and self-critical feelings that accompany loneliness, a common reaction is to kid yourself into thinking you don't actually need anyone, things are better this way, and you'll do just fine on your own, Rokach explains. You might actually believe that for a while, too.

Down the line, however, this response will be harmful—to your mental and physical health. People need people, and everyone needs to feel loved. So, as soon as you can put a label to your loneliness, it's time to try and do something about it.

5. Write down positive memories.


One Line A Day Five-Year Memory Book

This is one of those pieces of advice you've surely been given before, but never actually committed to. Now's the time to give it a real shot. Just dedicating 15 minutes per day to jotting down special moments you've shared with friends and family can be enough to overcome negative feelings, Cacioppo explains. (Don't have 15 minutes? You can still cherish your most special memories with a One Line A Day journal.) The process will remind you you're not alone, and the memories are bound to improve your mood.

6. Smile.

Smiling at yourself in the mirror is an unusual ask—Cacioppo gets it. So, she recommends closing your eyes and thinking of the last time you made someone smile or laugh and let your body do the rest. Will it feel strange? Yes. But, will it help? Also yes.

Just thinking of a time when you were feeling giddy will automatically bring a smile to your face—a move that will set off all those feel-good neurotransmitters in your brain and trick you into feeling happier than you were just a few secs before. Once you're feeling a little better, hold onto that feeling by leaning into something that makes you feel really good, such as cracking open your favorite book or going for a run.

7. Take note of all the things you're grateful for.

How Gratitude Journaling Helps Me Stay Productive

When you're lonely, you'll bury yourself in your thoughts—usually bummer ones—but, as they say, "gratitude turns what we have into enough." To get yourself out of that headspace, write down a few things you're grateful for (think: your job, a roof over your head, and a supportive family). Doing this will shift your thoughts from ones about you and your slump, to those about other people you care about and positive factors in your life.

8. Volunteer.

"Loneliness isn't dangerous by itself, it's what we do with it and how we recover that can be dangerous for our physical and mental health," says Cacioppo. To make sure you're letting loneliness drive you toward the right thing, consider signing up to volunteer.

Dedicating a day to working with the elderly or making meals at a soup kitchen will fulfill your desire to feel needed and draw you away from the self-centered mindset that loneliness brings on. Plus, the time you spend getting to know the people you're serving will bring out some of the intimacy and connection you've been craving.

9. Get a pet, or spend time with someone else's.


These Dog Makeovers Are Amazing

This one's great for a ton of reasons. But when it comes to loneliness, interacting with animals has the power to release dopamine in the brain, which is a biggie since the chemical is associated with pleasure and rewards. More than that, walking your dog or taking your cat to the vet for a checkup is an opportunity to start up conversations with other pet owners and maybe even make a new friend, says Cacioppo.

10. Join a club or take a class.

It might make you uncomfortable at first, but it might also be totally worth it. Sign up for a pottery class or a club for fellow true crime documentary lovers, for example. Oh, the club you want doesn't exist? Start one. Interacting with people with whom you share a common interest makes for a better chance at forming meaningful connections, Cacioppo says, which is usually what lonely people are missing from life.

11. Make a schedule for yourself and stick to it.

Yeah, you probably already have waking up, working, eating, and exercising down pat, but maybe your life's in need of a little more structure, suggests Cacioppo. Feelings of loneliness often feel like they'll last forever and there's nothing you can do to escape the dark cloud hanging over your head, but that's not true. It can be hard to remind yourself that loneliness is usually temporary, so Cacioppo recommends a strict schedule.

It's harder to feel alone when you "have a plan and a purpose," she explains. So, set alarms for an early-morning meditation, a phone call with your sister, and an evening face mask. Pre-planning them will instill you with a sense of control, too. Once you've come up with a schedule, stick to it as much as you can. It'll be tough sometimes, but as long as you take it one day at a time, the structured routine will feel more and more natural, she adds.

12. Go for a walk.

It gets your body moving, gives you a chance to clear your mind, and even offers opportunities to run into a neighbor for a quick chat—all reasons why Rokach is a big fan. Even if you don't interact with anyone, studies show walks have significant effects on mood. Just a few minutes outside can stop your mood from worsening and can help combat feelings of dread that loneliness brings on.

13. Pick up the phone.


The Art of Listening

Call someone you love and who cares about you. Rather than exchanging the same old how are yous and fines, actively listen to and really engage with the person on the other line. When they mention something about their lives, ask them for the backstory and let them talk. (Need some inspo? These 200 questions can help spark a meaningful conversation.)

"People are thirsty for this kind of interaction," Rokach says. Everyone wants to be heard, so give someone in your life the gift of really listening to them, and let their stories take you out of your lonely headspace for a while.

14. Talk to a mental health professional.

A psychologist won't be able to bring you out of your loneliness—only you can do that—but "they can help you come to terms with the situation," explains Rokach. They'll remind you of how much power you have to move forward from this by helping you pinpoint what in your life might be off-kilter and contributing to your loneliness. Once you isolate the cause, a therapist will help you come up with a game plan to address it.

15. Take a social risk.

If you're feeling lonely because you don't believe any of your relationships are substantive, now's your chance to do something about it. Yeah, you might get rejected, but eventually you'll find a someone or even a whole tribe who ~gets~ you.

Start off somewhere you feel comfortable. Take your workout class, for example: Approach the person who high fives you after each segment or notices when you miss a class. Strike up a conversation as best you can, and you may just hit it off. (Yes, new friends!) Stuck at home? Try reaching out to an old friend via Instagram DM to see what's new with them.

16. Turn your loneliness into solitude.

While they might sound the same, solitude is different because it's a choice, explains Rokach. You could let your loneliness consume you (let's face it, sometimes you can't help it), or you can turn your loneliness into solitude—time spent alone doing something that's meaningful to you.

Maybe you express how you're feeling by painting, writing a short story, doing a puzzle, learning a dance routine, or recording a cover of that song you can't get out of your head. Since loneliness can stick around for a while, it helps to have an outlet.

Btw, at-home workouts are a totally WH-approved outlet for solitude, too.

17. Don't busy yourself.

"Many people try to run away from loneliness," says Rokach. "They'll busy themselves with needless things like second jobs or extra hours at work when they don't need the money as a way to stifle loneliness." That's not the right move. It might help you forget you're lonely for a bit, but you'll only end up feeling worse in the end.

The key is to slow down for a bit and focus on something you really love or something you've always wanted to do but never did because sticking to the mundane won't help much.

ARYELLE SICLAIT Assistant EditorAryelle Siclait is an assistant editor at Women's Health where she writes about relationship trends, sexual health, pop-culture news, food, and physical health for verticals across and the print magazine.

11 things to do if you're feeling lonely | Isolation and loneliness

Have you ever been in a crowded room and still felt lonely? The truth is, you can feel lonely anywhere, anytime – no matter how many people are physically around you. But if you’re sick of feeling solo and are keen to get connected, we’ve put together a guide to help make that happen.

1. Start with small talk

Small talk gets a bad wrap, but it’s actually a big part of helping break the ice. Try just asking the check-out person at the supermarket how their day’s going, or by sending a text to a friend. Yep, it might feel super awkward at first, but these small interactions can help you feel more comfortable in social situations.

2. Hang out with like-minded people

What are you into – video games, music, books? Joining a club is an awesome way to meet and connect with like-minded people.

Check out your school, university or local community centre to see if they run any groups you might vibe on.

Another option is Meetup. It brings together people who enjoy similar things or activities, whether that be fitness, photography, tech or, well … pretty much anything. And it’s free!

3. Get active

Okay, so exercise is great for keeping you well and less stressed, but have you thought about it as a way to meet new people?

If you’re not already a footy legend or fiend on the basketball court, that’s totally fine. There are lots of exercise groups and ‘social’ sports leagues which are aimed at beginners.

You may not be able to join an exercise or sports group at the moment, but you could start researching by doing a Google search or sending the organiser an email.

If there are people in your life you want to get to know better, going for a walk or run with someone can be a great no-pressure way to connect.


4. Jump online

Whether you’re playing someone in your favourite game, or simply connecting in forums with like-minded people, chatting online is a great way to battle loneliness. You can take the leap from the comfort of your own computer while working on the skills that will help you feel less lonely in the long run.

While sometimes it can be a mission to dodge the trolls and haters, a little searching should uncover an online haven filled with your kind of crew. The ReachOut Forums are a supportive, safe and anonymous space where people care about what’s happening for you, because they’ve been there, too. Check them out here.

5. Give ‘yes’ a go

Sometimes when you’re in a loneliness spiral, you might start turning down opportunities to hang out without even realising it. You might have had thoughts like “that wouldn’t be for me” or “they don’t actually want me to come to that”. But if you give ‘yes’ a go, you might find yourself enjoying things a lot more than you’d think.

6. Back yourself to fly solo

Don’t feel comfortable asking someone out for a hang? That’s cool. Grab a good book or even just your Reddit feed, and find a comfy spot to sit.

There’s value in spending time on your own as well as trying to meet people. You might find you enjoy your own company more than you think.

7. Sit with the feeling of loneliness

It might feel weird to let yourself experience the feeling of loneliness when all you want to do is get rid of it. But denying your feelings and telling yourself to get over it can make you feel even worse. When you work on accepting your feelings, you can start to feel a bit better.

You can do this by validating the emotion (e.g. ‘I’m feeling lonely, and it’s okay I feel this way’ or ‘Everyone feels this way sometimes’) and then talking to yourself like a friend (e.g. ‘I’m sorry you feel this way, but it will pass’). 

8. Write it down

Writing is a great way to battle loneliness, as it helps you to process your emotions and get a clearer idea of where your head's at.

Whether it’s scribbling thoughts in a notebook, jotting down lyrics, or collecting what’s on your mind and downloading it to a Word doc, writing is a useful way to deal with feelings of isolation. You could try a journaling app such as Day One.


9. Hang out with some non-humans

Animals are great at making us feel connected and cared for. Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and ease loneliness. If you’re not ready for the responsibility of owning a pet, you could always get into pet minding.


Ask your neighbours and friends if they have a dog you could take for a walk occasionally, or a cat you could come over to visit and pet. If all else fails, head to a dog park! Added bonus, everyone loves animals, so hanging out with a pet is a guaranteed way to meet new people.

10. Do some volunteering

When you’re feeling isolated, volunteering helps to get you out into the world and connects you with the community around you. There are stacks of charities that need volunteers. is a great place to start looking for volunteering opportunities near you.

11. Get some support if you need it

If you’ve tried a couple of these steps and are still feeling lonely, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. If you need it, your GP can set you up with a mental health plan that will help you to access counselling or visit a psychologist. It’s okay to get the support you need.

You could also chat with a peer worker using ReachOut PeerChat. Our peer workers have had experience with mental health challenges as young people. They are on their own journey to recovery and use their experience to support others. All peer workers have undergone ReachOut training and have expertise in facilitating safe, respectful, non-judgmental conversations. Book a free, text-based session with PeerChat here.

Don’t forget: everyone has times when they feel lonely. Taking even just a few of the steps above can help reduce your isolation and should help you start to feel better.

The therapist explained how to overcome loneliness

The topic of loneliness is one that is probably familiar to all of us. Loneliness is the feeling that accompanies us in our development. This is part of the journey of finding yourself. And it leads to the fact that we begin to value relationships more.

Experience of loneliness

Loneliness is experienced very painfully. This is the kind of feeling we want to run away from, and we do it by being distracted by something. We are helped by watching TV shows and movies, computer, mobile phone, travel, alcohol, work. All this helps to get rid of the unpleasant feeling. Because in loneliness we experience that we again find ourselves thrown back to ourselves. In loneliness, I am only with myself. I'm thrown. There is no one around. I don't have a relationship, I don't have anyone I can talk to. Loneliness is the experience of experiencing the absence of a relationship. This feeling can be especially acute in longing for something. If you love someone, you yearn for separation from him. I miss my loved one, I feel connected to him, but I cannot see him. My heart is next to him, and without him or without her, my heart is lost to a certain extent.

A similar feeling can be experienced with nostalgia, when we yearn for our native places. I experienced a very strong longing for my native places when, as a child of 11-12 years old, I was in a boarding school. It was warm and pleasant at home, I had relationships there, I had friends there, and I was at a boarding school far from home. I haven't been home for a whole month. I felt like I was in a foreign world. The world was cold and I felt lost. All this time I thought about what was happening at home, what my relatives were doing: now they got up, now they are having dinner, now the family has gathered at the table. And I was constantly in pain because I was separated from that part of life where I usually experienced warmth, where I had the feeling that I was part of this world. I felt incredibly alone.

We may feel lonely at work if we are confronted with some demands, if there are some projects that we have not yet grown up to. Where we feel insecure about them, and if no one supports us at the same time. Then we feel alone. If I know that everything depends on me alone, there may be a fear that will accompany loneliness. It's the fear that I'll be weak, that I'll feel guilty about not being able to do it.

It's even worse if bullying occurs at work. Then I will feel that I am given to it at the mercy of, I am on the edge of society and I am no longer a part of it.

Loneliness is a very big topic in old age, in old age. And in childhood. Children who are not met, children who are left alone if the parents are busy doing something else, may feel helpless in their loneliness. Loneliness traumatizes children, because in solitude they are not able to develop their Self. They stop in development. There is a curvature in the development of the child if he experiences long moments of loneliness. On the other hand, it is not so bad if the child spends a couple of hours alone, because for him this is an impetus for development. Just what is reality.

In old age, loneliness is no longer a traumatic factor and does not hinder development - but it is burdensome. It can cause depression, paranoid feelings, sleep disturbances, psychosomatic complaints, and pseudodementia. It happens that pseudo-dementia is the silence of a person from loneliness. He used to have a family, he worked for decades, was among people, and now he sits at home alone. One of my patients at the age of 85 was sitting at home alone. Being her doctor, so that she would not be completely alone, I bought her a canary. She has a living being. This canary helped her live a couple of years longer. She talked to her every day.

For most older people, television is their "comfort". But TV is a communication directed only in one direction. And yet man at least hears human voices. And in any case, he can say something to himself, even if no one will hear. I think this is not a bad form of overcoming loneliness, creating a kind of bridge, because it takes the edge off loneliness. But, of course, this is an ersatz, a replacement. In old age, loneliness can be very overwhelming. Especially if he has lost the ability to see or hear. Can I imagine that I have to live in this state for a couple of years? When the only thing that will accompany me is back pain or indigestion. We can imagine how helpless we are in such situations. And here the question of the value of life really arises.

Do I know loneliness? If we ask ourselves: when was the last time I felt lonely? Is loneliness somehow present in my life? Maybe it is hidden behind some businesslike everyday life? If I'm being honest, I can probably find it. Or I may find that there were times when I was alone. Maybe I haven't known this feeling for a long time? Maybe it's foreign to me? Or another pole: maybe I really suffer acutely from loneliness? And it overwhelms me so much that all the joy in relation to life simply disappeared, that the question arises about the meaning of life.

Loneliness among people

I can experience loneliness not only if I do not have relationships with people. I can feel lonely during some holiday, at a party, even at my own birthday, at school, at work, in my family. Sometimes people are nearby, but something is missing. There is no meeting, there is not enough intimacy, there is no exchange with another person. We have superficial conversations, and I have a need to talk to a person for real. We talk about skiing, about cars, but we don't talk about me and you.

In many families, it is only about some business, who and what should buy, who should cook food, but our relationships, what worries us, are silent. Then I feel alone and in the family.

If no one in the family sees me, especially if it is a child, then I am alone. Even worse - I am abandoned, because there are people around, but they are not interested in me, they do not look into my eyes. They only look at whether I do well in school and that I don't do anything bad. And that's how I'm raised. I grow up alone.

The same happens in partnerships: we have been together for 20 years, but at the same time we feel lonely. The sexual relationship is functioning, but am I in the relationship? Is the other talking about me - or only about yourself? Or just to satisfy some needs? If we don't take the time to talk to each other, as we did when we were in love, then we become lonely even in good relationships.

There are periods in every relationship when it feels lonely as the relationship develops more on a curve with ups and downs. We cannot be constantly ready to communicate with another, be constantly open to another person. We are immersed in ourselves, busy with our problems, feelings, and we have no time for another. But it can happen just when he needs it the most. At this moment, I am not for another, and the other feels alone, maybe even abandoned in trouble. Such situations occur in any relationship. But it doesn't harm the relationship if we can then talk about our different states. And then we find each other again. But sometimes these moments remain wounds that we receive in the course of our lives.

We can experience loneliness not only when we are not in a relationship, but even when we are surrounded by people. And at the same time, we can not feel lonely when no one is around.

To understand loneliness, let's try to look at a person more deeply. Then we can understand why loneliness manifests itself in so many different ways.

Causes of loneliness

A person is a creature that, as it were, was placed into the world. The main idea of ​​existential philosophy says that it is impossible to be human without being related to the world. To be human means fundamentally to be in the world, to be in connection with something or someone else. Without connection with otherness, it is impossible to be human.

It was in this way that Heidegger defined "being here" (existence). Heidegger often used the word Dasein instead of Person to show that I cannot be if I am not connected with You or It. To be here is to be in the world. In the world of my family, in the world of my city, in the world of my ideas and ideas. That is to say, being human is a fundamental correlation. If something does not function in this relation, then we lack something and may feel lonely.

But this connection is twofold. Martin Buber spoke about the relationship "I-Thou" and "I-It": I relate to another person, the same as me - and this is a personal relationship, or I relate to some thing, with some business ( e.g. "I'm driving a car"). That is, relationships have an outer pole, but they also have an inner pole. I also need to manage with myself, I need not just to BE in this world, but I must also be I. We have a correlation outside and a correlation with ourselves. This thought can help to understand three reasons why loneliness occurs.

First of all, loneliness is a disturbance, a breakdown in relationships. In loneliness, we worry that relationships either do not exist, or they develop incorrectly. Relations with a person mean: I am connected with this person with my feelings, I would like to experience a person in my feeling. I would like to be able to feel what drives him and what he feels.

Let's think about the relationship with your child. I would like to feel how a child experiences and lives his life. I would like to participate in this, I would like to be close to him - because through closeness I have a feeling about my child and his life.

Relationships are more than relatedness in terms of feelings. Relationships always have a beginning, but relationships never end. Relationships are forever. And it can be assumed that since I always remain connected with the person with whom I have or had a relationship, I can never be alone. All the relationships that I had with other people have been preserved in me. If I meet my ex-girlfriend after 20 years on the street, then my heart starts to beat faster - because something was, and it still continues to be in me. Everything that happens in a relationship is saved. And I can live on that. If I experienced something good with some person, then this is a source for happiness in my later life. I can think of my mother, father, with whom I had a good relationship - and feel a warm feeling.

However, if the relationship is bad, then I don't want to remember them, I don't want to go back to the past. Then I wish it wasn't true. Then I lose contact with it. Relationships seem to be there, but they hurt me - and I turn away. And if I turn away, then the relationship in this moment no longer lives. Therefore, it may be that I will feel lonely, although I have or have had a relationship.

There is another reason why relationships can cause feelings of loneliness. What we have described so far is the outer pole of the relationship. But there is a relationship directed inward, a relationship with oneself. If I don't feel myself, if I don't have feelings, if they are muffled, then I am alone with myself. If I do not feel my body, my breath, my mood, my well-being, my fatigue, my joy, my pain - if I do not feel all this, then I am not in a relationship with myself. Then I miss a fundamental, basic part of life.

This can happen if I have had an experience that hurts - then I don't want to turn to myself. If I was offended, disappointed, deceived, if I was ridiculed, then I feel pain if I turn to myself. And this is a natural human reflex - to turn away from what causes pain and suffering. We have described it in terms of external relations, but also in internal relations I can withdraw from myself. And then I no longer feel myself, I am no longer in a relationship with myself. It can take me so far that I won't feel my body. I will feel my feelings to such a small extent that I will have psychosomatic disorders. They always indicate that you do not feel something very important. This is a signal: you should not continue to live like this, feel what hurts you so that you can process it. So that you can mourn, so that you can forgive - otherwise you will not be free. Migraine, stomach ulcers, asthma and other disorders tell me: do not continue like this. There is something very important that you must do first.

If I lose my relationship with myself, I can no longer feel myself. Or even worse, I can't have a relationship with you either.

I cannot truly experience a relationship with another if I am not capable of resonance, if there is no movement in me, because the feelings are too wounded. Or because I never really had them. If my mother never took me in her arms, if my father didn't have time for me, if I didn't have real friends, then I have a "blunted" world of feelings - a world that could not develop. Then my feelings are poor, and then I am always alone. Because I don't feel very well (or don't feel at all). Therefore, in relation to the other person, my feelings are also flat. This is the second level of relationship that leads to loneliness.

But there is also a third level, which is above the relationship level and which is also causally related to loneliness. This is the meeting level. This level is connected with the fact that I am I in a relationship. If in a relationship we can experience being together and feel the closeness of another person, then thanks to the I, another aspect is introduced that “explodes” this pleasant being together: for all our connectedness and mutual striving to meet, we realize that I am I, You are You, but I am not You. That difference, which is irremovable. It is eliminated, for example, in a symbiotic relationship, when I myself dissolve into you. But if I am I, then there is a boundary between us. Then I worry that, in principle, I am responsible only for myself, I am left alone with myself.

There is no second Alfried Lenglet in this world. Each of us is unique and unique. The way I am is unique nowhere else. And this is the basis that can potentially make us lonely in this world.

Healing from loneliness

What can help here? The other person has the same feelings, he feels the same way. If it is You who turns to me, it will help me accept loneliness. If other people look at me, in my direction, then by doing so they will let me know: "I see you. You are here." And I really am here, and not only with my feelings - I am here as a Person.

If, for example, another person is listening to me, they are directed towards me. It is not only about the fact that there is some kind of movement of feelings, but that someone is trying to understand me. And he tells me that he understands what he thinks about this. If other people are interested in what I am doing, then I see that I have done this action, and this attracts the attention of another person. That is, not only I see it, others see it too. And then it becomes reality. If others look at me that way, then they respect boundaries and differences. If I feel seen, it means that I was treated with respect.

If other people take the next step and take me seriously, leave me my own: "Yes, you baked this cake, not me," then they treat me fairly. If they listen to my comments, if they say, "What you said is important. Can you explain it further?" then these people treat me fairly. This is an even higher level than just being seen. Being seen means that I have respect for the border, I do not step on you, I do not go around you. The pinnacle of all this is the recognition of my worth. If the other says "I like it"; "I think it's important," then I get a value judgment from the other. And thus my own value takes root. I can get some criticism, but it gives me a certain edge as a Person. If others come to me, tune in to me - I'm not alone.

If all this happens when I am a child, then I can build my Self. The development of the Self is connected with meeting other people. Parents are the people who see me, who take me seriously and tell me that they appreciate me. And then the child can begin to do the same with himself.

We need to learn this. We can learn it from others, but we cannot develop it in ourselves without You. That is why Martin Buber said that I becomes I next to You. The self acquires the ability to treat itself - and then treat others in the same way. The person who survives the meeting develops abilities through which he can meet others.

We have Person - this is the source. This source itself begins to speak in us, but for this the Self must be heard. This I needs You, who will listen to him. By meeting with the other, I can go to myself. And in doing so, I have the basic experience of being a Person. I am self-confident, I have an inner life, the Person inside me speaks to my I, and through the I speaks to You and thus expresses itself. If I live out of this alignment, then I am authentic, then I really am I. And then I am no longer alone.

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5 ways not to feel lonely

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Loneliness This is a barrier that often seems insurmountable to us. The more I think about happiness, the more I realize that the problem of loneliness should not be underestimated and ignored. However, “being alone” and “being lonely” are not the same thing. Loneliness devastates and drains strength, and solitude energizes and sets in a creative way.

If I were asked to name the main key to a happy life, I would answer without hesitation - strong ties with the people around me. When they are absent, we feel lonely.

Helping others and feeling that someone needs you is a very healing feeling. ? Here are a few habits to develop to protect yourself from loneliness.

1. Help others

Baby-sit with your friends so they can finally have a romantic dinner. Join a charity trip to an orphanage, get a dog. Helping and feeling that someone needs you is very healing for us. To achieve happiness, it is important not only to receive support, but also to give it.

2. Connect with people

Keep in touch with colleagues — go to lunch together, invite them to coffee and do not refuse such invitations yourself, do not miss corporate events. Sign up for a group workout, go to educational seminars and trainings. There, in addition to gaining useful skills and knowledge, you can communicate with like-minded people.

3. Get enough sleep

Sleep disturbance is a bodily symptom that, oddly enough, also plunges us into loneliness. You can’t fall asleep for a long time, often wake up at night, and during the day you can’t get rid of a sleepy state? Get out of this whirlpool. Chronic lack of sleep not only prevents you from making contact with other people, it also causes a bad mood, which greatly undermines the immune system.

The most important thing is to go to bed at the same time. This is the only way a habit can form.0097

What to do? Here are some of my favorite tricks: 30 minutes before bedtime, put away your smartphone and laptop (the blue light from their screens disrupts sleep), take a warm shower and apply body cream. Completely, including heels. I have found that as soon as I spend an extra couple of minutes applying cream to my feet and lightly massaging them, I completely relax. But most importantly, go to bed at the same time. This is the only way a habit can form.

4. Remain open

Loneliness makes us secretive, suspicious and gloomy. It is more difficult for single people than ordinary people to get in touch with a new person. If you notice such changes in yourself, and you perceive each new acquaintance negatively in advance, then try to become more open. Get in the habit of being the first to start a conversation, smiling at baristas in coffee shops and shop assistants.

5. Ask yourself the right questions

Don't ask yourself, "What's wrong with me?" or “When will it end?”. The right question to ask yourself is: “What exactly am I missing to stop being lonely?” Perhaps you just need a best friend. Or a romantic partner. Or you want to be part of a large and friendly group. Or maybe you just don't like living alone in an empty apartment?

There are many causes and varieties of loneliness. Not all people want to have close friends if they have a husband or wife. Not all people like big companies, some prefer to spend time in the company of their closest ones. But as soon as you are honest with yourself and understand what exactly you lack for happiness, it will be very easy to overcome loneliness. With the help of these habits, for example.

About the Author: Gretchen Rubin is an attorney, blogger, and author of Better Than Before (Crown, 2015).

Text: Anna Muradova Photo Source: Getty Images

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