Often we experience being alone as being lonely. Here are four strategies to help you be alone with being lonely.
- THINK SMALL. Looking too far ahead is daunting. Celebrate minor achievements – going to a café on your own, talking to someone at work — rather than fixating on what you have yet to achieve.
- ASK QUESTIONS. Don’t let your thoughts go unchecked. It’s easy to let a negative emotion dictate your mood. Question what’s caused you to feel the way you do and consider whether it’s justified.
- CLEAN HOUSE. Practice “mental hygiene.” Take a few minutes every morning for a bit of psychological housework. Are there worries or doubts lurking? Deal with them before you get on with your day.
- ACCEPT IT. Remember that loneliness isn’t a failing. We’re social creatures hard-wired to be with others and it’s natural to feel unhappy when that’s jeopardized. Don’t feel ashamed to admit to it.
While you may not be able to prevent lonely feelings, using these strategies can give you the confidence that you can at least manage it.
Source: Psychologies Magazine, November 2013, p. 62