How to Beat Loneliness and Live Happily Ever After
Do you know how loneliness feels like? I do, so do 43% of seniors.
Loneliness makes you feel detached from society and from the world. It makes you feel lethargic, and without a sense of purpose.
It affects your appetite, your sleep, your relationship and your overall sense of well-being. And if you allow it to run your life, it can ruin it. In fact, experts suggest that we should attend to loneliness the same way we attend to diet, exercise and sleep.
Failure to beat loneliness can result in obesity, substance abuse, injury, violence, and deterioration of personal hygiene.
How to beat loneliness before it beats you:
Loneliness is a state of mind. It is a perception and a judgment. You created it, therefore you can beat it. You alone can nip it is in the bud.
1. Know yourself:
Being a loner and being lonely are two different things.
A loner is one who chose to be detached from the world and is a character trait, while loneliness is a mental condition that can come even if you are in the midst of a group.
Some studies suggest that personality traits affect one’s predisposition to loneliness, and, loneliness tends to form your personality as you get older.
Is your loneliness caused by your being a loner, or by your mind telling you to detach yourself from the rest of humanity? Is your loneliness intentional or a result of unhealthy thoughts?Self-imposed loneliness is easier to treat than that which is forced upon you by an unhealthy mind.
Unless you know yourself, loneliness will be a difficult foe to beat.
2. Assess yourself:
Once you know that your loneliness is caused by a mind gone out of control, then reign it in by asking yourself, “Why am I feeling lonely?”
Loneliness, aside from having lost someone close to you, is a convenient way to cover envy, jealousy, lack of self-confidence, disappointments, frustrations due to unmet expectations, or self-pity.
Be honest in assessing yourself. Lying, aside from being the height of stupidity, cannot solve your feelings of loneliness.
Zero in on the real cause or causes of your loneliness and do something about it. Unless you know the real reason for your loneliness, it is going to hound you in every opportunity.
Idleness breeds loneliness.
I know it is difficult to be active if your mind is telling you to sit still, do nothing and mope.
But that’s precisely why you are lonely because nothing is occupying your mind but thoughts of doom and gloom.
Get up and get out. Do something interesting. Call or visit a friend. Go to the nearest coffee house and enjoy a mug of brewed while observing people pass by.
Do something you love to do like cooking or puttering around in the garden. Or develop something that occupies your mind.
Anything that keeps takes your mind off your self-inflicted misery is going to help.
When I feel lonely, I surf or watch movies online. Of course, there is hardly a time when loneliness gets a good grip on me. I’ve got so many things to do that occupy my mind 7/7.
In fact, mental fatigue is my main concern, not loneliness.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox said, “Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.”
Laughter reduces pain and anxiety, increases your sense of well-being. It communicates safety, security and human connection.
Find a reason to laugh, i.e., past embarrassing experiences, achieving a goal, or seeing a grandchild for the first time. Call a friend who always makes you laugh or recall some of your most hilarious moments together.
Read a joke book, or watch TV. Go to a park and watch children playing tag or just having fun.
And laughter a contagious. It affects people around you, giving light to the gloomy world you made for yourself.
Loneliness is a dead-end street which is punctuated by a large sign that reads, “Dead End. Dangerous if you Persist.”
Even at your old age, life has still got a lot of things to offer. The richness of life does not end when you get old. It continues to offer you endless opportunities to enjoy, have fun and be happy. Don’t ruin it by something that is of your own making.
Please share and help other seniors who are struggling with loneliness.