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Feeling Lonely Here Are 6 Things You Can Do

At one time or another, each one of us has felt lonely. It's a natural part of living.

For some, loneliness surfaces when separated from a loved one by distance, divorce, or death. For others, it surfaces when feeling emotionally distant from their mate or spouse. Feelings of isolation, lack of a sense of connectedness to others, general social unease, loss of work, or rejection in a relationship.

Every now and then loneliness can be healthy, allowing us to look within, reflect on where we are in life, resolve issues and simply invest time getting to know ourself. When loneliness becomes prolonged, however, it can lead to feelings of chronic sadness, loss of hope and even suicidal thoughts.

How can we learn to cope with loneliness, regardless of its underlying cause? Here are 6 things you can do:

1. Differentiate Between Solitude and Loneliness

There is a difference between being alone and being lonely, of course. Many people currently married, or in a committed relationship, report feeling 'lonely', even when sitting next to their loved one on the sofa.

Relationships don't always equate to lack of loneliness. And being alone doesn't have to mean that we're lonely. In fact, many of the most emotionally aware and happy individuals spend a great deal of time alone reading, reflecting on their lives, exercising and meditating.

We need to determine whether we are simply alone, or are feeling lonely. We can proactively work to resolve our difficult feelings, once we have identified their cause. If we are experiencing real difficulty, then it might be wise to work with an experienced counselor or therapist.

2. Focus on Happiness

Your level of happiness rests in your hands. If you feel unhappy, take proactive action to correct this state of being. Focus on participation in positive, enjoyable activities. Invest some time in your family and friends.

Expand your circle of friends by joining and participating in new social groups. Take a night class. Join a local church, faith community, or community center. Spend extra time participating in the hobbies or activities you really like. Listen to your favorite music; familiar sounds can immediately impact our mood and emotional state.

Focus on those things that make you happy, not on the things, people and places that don't. Never forget that it's you alone who really controls your personal level of happiness.

3. Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Are you thankful for the things you have and the people in your life? Stop and take a moment each day to focus on gratitude. What are you thankful for today? Jot down at least one thing each day in a notebook or journal. By focusing on what you are grateful for, you will focus less on the things in your life that you are least happy about.

4. Seek Like-Minded Others

Join a gym or exercise class. Exercising is not only good for our physical health, but our emotional health, too. During physical activity, endorphins are released, which have been proven to enhance mood and our overall mental and emotional state.

Seek out and join groups of people who are like-minded. In practically every city or large town, there are organized groups and people who regularly meet to share hobbies, activities and interestes. Whether you enjoy comics or books, video games, arts and crafts, collectibles or sports, you can find others to connect with in your geographic area, who share those same interests.

If you live away from a big town or city, then search online for a discussion group of people who share your interests. You can also connect with like-minded individuals by joining a faith community and participating in your local church, synagogue, mosque, temple, religious or humanist organization.

5. Serve Others

This is one of the very best ways to banish loneliness. Give of yourself by volunteering with organizations and causes that matter to you. Helping and supporting others leads to feelings of usefulness and connectedness.You might even find yourself developing lifelong relationships through your participation in your chosen group, organization or cause..

6. Pets or Plants

Pets and plants bring real enjoyment into the lives of their owners. If you enjoy the outdoors and getting your hands a bit dirty, focus your attention on caring for a vegetable/fruit garden or taking care of difficult plants (i.e. orchids).

Focus on learning about and nurturing something other than yourself, and enjoy the fruits of your labour by watching them grow and thrive. Connect with those people who also share your inerests.

If you feel equipped to take care of an animal, consider adding fish, a cat, or even a dog into your home. Pets can bring a great sense of satisfaction into a person's life, providing a wonderful companionship, too.

Regardless of whether your feelings of loneliness are completely new or have lasted for a long time, you have the ability to do something about them. With just a little courage and focus, you can take back control of your life and greatly reduce your feelings of loneliness.

About Author Peter James Field :

'The Chi of Change', Peter Field's fascinating <a href="" target="_blank">book on hypnosis and hypnotherapy</a>, is not available from Amazon and all good book sellers. For information on face-2-face sessions with Peter please visit his <a href="" target="_blank">hypnotherapy Birmingham</a> and London website.

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Article Added on Tuesday, June 10, 2014
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