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HOW TO BREAK out of LONELINESS?

There is no one right way to break out of loneliness. It is good to know yourself and identify the means that suit you. Loneliness can sometimes feel painful and depressing. It can also make you feel ashamed, so it’s tempting to hide it from others. However, accepting your situation as it is, without belittling or exaggerating it, is an important step forward.

PARTICIPATE IN EVENTS

Often, getting out and about and taking part in events can take your mind off your loneliness. Although it may feel difficult to leave home, it can have a positive effect on your mood.

There is a wide range of interesting events and activities you can get involved in. Even if a new hobby doesn’t give you friends straight away, a hobby that you enjoy is a pleasure in itself. There are many types of events, for example:

  • activities by student organisations
  • sports activities
  • activities in societies and clubs
  • crafts and DIY hobbies
  • musical hobbies

One possibility is to sign up to volunteer with an organisation or association. You can become a volunteer in your own community, according to your interests. Volunteering is an opportunity to do important work that can make you feel meaningful.

Sometimes it can feel too difficult or distressing to participate in new or uncomfortable events. It is important to listen to yourself to see what step you are ready to take. If you find it difficult to participate in events or talk to strangers, it may be wise to act in a calmer and more self-respecting way.

BREAK HARMFUL THINKING PATTERNS

Loneliness can be caused by experiences of abandonment and rejection, or even bullying in the worst cases. Such experiences understandably decrease a person’s courage to get to know others. It’s easy to be left wondering, “Why am I not good enough for others?”. Sometimes, this way of thinking “gets stuck”, and you start to believe that there is something wrong with you.

Sometimes, it’s good to break your own blocked and negative ways of thinking. Sometimes, it can be good to stop and consider whether there are preconceived ideas or patterns of behaviour that might be making it difficult for you to make friends.

PRACTISE YOUR INTERACTION SKILLS

Even if your interaction skills are currently lacking, it is possible to practise them – just like any other skill. By setting yourself challenges of the right size, you can expose yourself to different social encounters. These encounters can be used to practise a range of social skills, such as starting a conversation, listening to others, and maintaining a conversation. Little by little, your own skills can improve, and it will become easier to interact with others.

ACCEPTING LONELINESS AS PART OF YOUR LIFE

It is natural to long to have people and friends around you, but sometimes, the feeling of loneliness can be eased when you can accept it as part of your life. Learning to enjoy the benefits of solitude helps in this acceptance.

“TOLERATING” LONELINESS

Many people find it easier to cope with loneliness during the day when they know other people are working and studying. Feelings of loneliness are often strongest in the evenings and at weekends, when people have free time. Loneliness can feel more intense when you return to your quiet home after a busy day and are left alone with your thoughts.

You can learn to tolerate loneliness. Everyone has to spend different amounts of time alone. It is not worth escaping loneliness compulsively or covering it up with, for example, too much work. Sometimes, it’s good to stop and think for a moment and practise being alone.

EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES OFFERED BY THE WEB AND APPLICATIONS

There are many different online hobby groups, discussion groups, and chat rooms where you can get to know people. There are also various social media services and applications that can facilitate the creation of different types of contacts.

IF LONELINESS FEELS BAD, find HELP

Sometimes, experiences of loneliness can be so intense that they make it difficult to lead a normal life. In such cases, it is a good idea to seek outside help.
Loneliness can be associated with feelings of depression and worthlessness, and you should seek help for these. You can seek help from

  • a doctor
  • a nurse
  • a psychologist
  • a psychotherapist
  • the university pastor
  • tutors

It is important not to be alone with your bad feelings for too long. Often, talking to an outsider can open up new perspectives and help you move forward.