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Overcome Loneliness

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“The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.”- Mitch Albom

 

Feeling lonely when you spend time by yourself is normal. Being alone is not the same as being lonely. You can be lonely anywhere. It is possible to feel lonely even when you are surrounded by people you know and love. If we take no action to address our feelings and remain in that state of mind, thosefeelings can start to have a negative impact on our well-being.

 

Solitude is better than loneliness

Solitude

Everyone needs to have their own space and to feel connected. People are happy and enjoy their own company when they are in the state of solitude. When you spend time to understand yourself, you will have a greater awareness about yourself. Solitude is self-chosen. Great ideas, innovations, and creativity are a result of solitary minds.

 

Loneliness

Feeling lonely and abandoned can lead to depression. Loneliness is feeling isolated and abandoned even when you are surrounded by people at home, work, and social gatherings. It makes you long for the company of others. Loneliness is never a good feeling and is the total opposite of solitude.

 

Transform Loneliness into Solitude

If you make a conscious effort, you can find a way to convert your loneliness into solitude. Making connections and developing closeness are some ways you can overcome loneliness.

 

Kira Asatryan advocates developing closeness in our relationships with others and ourselves. This closeness works as an antidote to loneliness.

 

Likewise, Kory Floyd believes in overcoming loneliness by making meaningful connections with others. In The Loneliness Cure, he proposes that it is the absence of being connected that makes us feel lonely and shares 6 strategies to overcome loneliness.

 

Tips to Combat Loneliness

1. Be open to intimacy. Express yourself to encourage more affection from others.

2. Invite, rather than demand. If you are seen showing affection and make others

feel it is natural, they will be encouraged to follow you.

3. Acknowledge the affection you have already received.

4. Nurture affection from a variety of sources. Open yourself to a wider range of

close connections rather than depending only on one person.

5. Avoid toxic affection. Refuse offers of affection that come with unacceptable

behaviour or unwanted obligations.

 

Lastly, keep your expectations optimistic but realistic. Change is possible, but also

be realistic and do not expect loneliness to be resolved overnight.

 

Text: Meenakshi Nandivada

 

References

The Loneliness Cure: Six Strategies for Finding Real Connections in Your Life

Kory Floyd

Call no.: 158.2 FLO

All rights reserved. Avon, Massachusetts: Adams Media, 2015.

 

Stop Being Lonely: Three Simple Steps to Developing Close Friendships and Deep Relationships

Kira Asatryan

Call no.: 158.2 ASA

All rights reserved. Novato, California: New World Library, 2016.

 

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Olivia Laing

Call no.: 700.19 LAI -[ART]

All rights reserved. New York: Picador, 2016.

 

How to be Alone

Sara Maitland

Call no.: 155.92 MAI

All rights reserved. New York: Picador, 2014.

 

This article is first published on Time of Your Life: Good Reads for the 50plus magazine, published by the National Library Board (NLB). Read the magazine here.

Availability of book titles can be found by using the NLB’s catalogue at http://catalogue.nlb.gov.sg/.

 

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