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7 Must Know Steps For Overcoming Loneliness

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Loneliness is an emotional sensation that will hit every single one of us at some time or another. That being said, its common frequency doesn’t subtract from the severity of its effects on those going through it and it can lead plenty of people wondering where to turn next.

Below are 7 great steps from various leading experts in the field for those hoping to overcome their loneliness and branch out into a happier, more open mindset.

#1 Get Involved With Groups/Volunteering

Put yourself in situations where you can meet new people. Enroll in a class at your community college. Volunteer to be a guide at your city's art or history museum. Join a bowling league, exercise group or garden club. Sign up for a book discussion group at the library.

'If you are involved with a group of people who have the same interests as you and you see them regularly, over time you will make friends,' says Jacqueline Olds M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and coauthor of The Lonely American: Drifting Apart in the Twenty-First Century (2010).

Contributor: Mike Bennett from lifehopeandtruth

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#2 Pleasantries

Simple pleasantries can also make a difference. Smile and say 'hello' to the neighbor you usually brush past on the way to work or to the fellow students you've never introduced yourself to when you see them in the library.

Contributor: Mike Bennett from lifehopeandtruth

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#3 Fall In Love With Yourself

The best cure to loneliness is to take the time to fall in love with yourself, to learn to enjoy being with yourself, and to really connect to - and with - yourself.

That is when you will never BE alone again or feel lonely, because you are always with YOU. 

With starting to honor and celebrate your time alone by making it special--with a meditation, a walk in nature, listening to music that moves your heart, a bubble bath, a glass of something special, or anything that makes your heart jump with joy. You deserve it!

Contributor: Jacqueline Pirtle from freakyhealer

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#4 Embrace Your Emotions

Being disconnected from yourself is always at the bottom of loneliness. If you're not connected to yourself, you can feel lonely in the middle of all your friends.

Once you’ve been disappointed or hurt, being afraid is natural, and it’s even a healthy response to facing a situation you’ve had trouble with before. Your fears are saying, in effect “I’ve had a bad time with this before—I don’t feel prepared to do it again.” Rather than letting that message frighten you away, learn to love your emotions for wanting to keep you safe, and discover a new, slower, safer path to tread. But don’t give up on the goal. You have learned a lot in your lifetime, and all of us can always learn something more about love.

Contributor: Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka Dr. Romance) psychotherapist and author of It Ends with You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction

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#5 Connect With Friends/Family

While you’re making new friends, don’t forget the people you already know. Is there a favorite family member you’d like to see more often? Call him or her and suggest going for a walk, or to lunch. Are there acquaintances at work, at church, in your neighborhood, involved in your child’s ( or your own) school, or elsewhere with whom you could develop a friendship? Consider reaching out to them. Let these people know that you’d like to share events and activities.

Contributor: Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka Dr. Romance) psychotherapist and author of It Ends with You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction 

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#6 Meet New And Interesting People

Being involved in an ongoing activity, and meeting with the same people on a regular basis gives you a chance to get to know them before you decide to pursue a more personal relationship. When you find someone you think is particularly pleasant, spend a little time talking with him or her during or after your activity. Ask questions about the project you are working on, or share experiences and advice. If you both enjoy the conversation, goes well, you can offer to meet before or after the session for coffee.

From there, you can begin do more things together, until you’ve established a pattern of friendship.

Contributor: Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka Dr. Romance) psychotherapist and author of It Ends with You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction 

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#7 Acknowledge Your Feelings

It's important to acknowledge the feeling of loneliness, rather than avoiding it or pushing it away. It's also helpful to identify your own personal values, and what kind of life you desire to live, including the kinds of relationships you want to cultivate and nurture.

When we stop avoiding our feelings of loneliness, no matter how difficult they are, and make contact with the kinds of relationships that really matter to us, than we can make more clear-minded, informed decisions about how we want to cultivate those relationships, and we can make small commitments to steps we can take to meaningfully enhance our connections and relationships.

Contributor: Julie Williamson from abundantlifecounselingstl

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Written by James Metcalfe

Twenty year old writer living life on the south coast, struggles to tie his own shoelaces. Believes Toad is the real hero of the Mario universe.

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