CategoryMental Health

Feeling lonely? Use this simple technique to make it go away

How to stop feeling lonely

Loneliness makes you feel empty, alone and unwanted. You crave human contact while feeling that it’s difficult to form connections with other people. And even if you like to spend time by yourself, in your own company, deep down you know that humans don’t do well if they’re completely alone.

We’re social creatures and have evolved to rely on a community, however small, to survive and thrive. And so, the absence of social connection triggers the same, primal alarm bells as hunger, thirst and physical pain do.

The longer you live with your loneliness, the worse it gets. Because we tend to think that there’s something wrong with us for being lonely in the first place. The more alone you feel, the more you start to think that you don’t belong or fit in anywhere. You start to feel utterly rejected and if you’re left alone with your thoughts, they’ll become your worst enemy.

Because isolation is the perfect breeding ground for negative and self-critical thoughts. The negative thought patterns you get stuck in are what make up your critical inner voice, an internalised enemy that leads to self-destructive thought processes and behaviours.

And it’s this inner critic that feeds into your feelings of isolation and encourages you to avoid other people, pushing you to remain in a state of loneliness. Even when you’re surrounded by people, you can still end up feeling alone and isolated. And even when often you choose to enjoy your own company in solitude (which is healthy and good for you), you can still feel a crippling sense of loneliness.

Learning how to deal with your feeling of loneliness is critical for your mental health – your inner critic is doing you no favours and only wants you to get swept away in shame, isolation and sorrow. When you’re really hurting, background noise and having loving pets can help, but don’t make you handle the feeling itself any better.

Use this one simple technique I describe in the article to master your feeling of loneliness and take back control of your mental health in those fragile moments with compassion and self-love.

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Why is losing a pet especially hard for sensitive people?

Why losing a pet is especially hard for sensitive people

Earlier this year, we had to say goodbye to our old buddy. He was 19 when he died, which is quite an accomplishment for a cat with several serious conditions.

Losing him was very difficult because he was a part of our lives for so long.

When I got an SMS from the vet, that Oscar’s urn was ready to be picked up, I read the beginning of the message in the notifications before swiping it right back up where it came from and put my phone down.

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to rush out and go pick it up right away or just ignore it altogether. Oscar’s absence was still so palpable around the house that I didn’t want to admit that he wasn’t coming back.

When I finally did go, I had such a hard time wrapping my head around how Oscar, my fluffy, raggedy, grumpy old boy, was in this tiny little box now. He was supposed to be fuzzy and warm and constantly trying to sit on me to the point of annoyance.

As I was driving home the song on the radio was almost exclusively made up of the words “and you never come back” set to a repetitive electro-dance beat and that was a very long 5 minutes that I struggled to keep it together.

I made it home clenching my jaw and staring intently at the road. I felt numb when I took the paper bag with the urn out of the car and walked home thinking how ironic it was that the bag had a picture of the cutest, fluffiest little blue-eyed kitten on it.

And inside was my… yeah. Still can’t finish that thought.

I went in, grabbed the basement keys and gently placed the bag on top of his carry box that sat immediately inside the rickety little basement cubby door. Putting him in the basement felt odd but I simply couldn’t imagine having this box in the house – this box that both was and was not him.

I kept thinking, how could such a small box hold such a huge part of my life? It felt like a part of me had died with him.

This whole ordeal got me thinking that, though the loss of a pet is hard for anyone, especially sensitive people and empaths can experience that loss more deeply.

We may also take longer to recover from it, and having people say to you “it was just a cat” doesn’t make the grieving process go any faster for us.

Learning how to cope with loss and allowing yourself to grieve is the only way you can move through the sorrow and continue that cherished relationship in your heart.

In order to find some stillness underneath all the emotional turmoil, you need to learn how to sit with scary and uncomfortable emotions because you experience them so deeply.

Here I put together some thoughts about why losing a pet is especially challenging for sensitive people and some tips on what you can do to cope with this kind of loss.

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5 reasons why you need grit and 5 ways to get it (not the sand kind, but the mental toughness kind)

Grit is sticking with your future day in and day out quote

You know, you can bring all the talent in the world, and say that you’re going to depend on that alone, but it will only get you so far.

To get there it’s going to take grit and grind and desire. Every piston needs to be pumping at full-throttle in the engine if you’re going to win.

Once you start thinking of building grit as a life strategy, it becomes easier to weave it into every aspect of your life without even really thinking about it.

Having grit, being resilient and mentally tough is vital if you want to be a happy, accomplished person and live a life that gives you great joy and satisfaction.

Grit will allow you to develop an unshakeable confidence and positive outlook in life, be mentally equipped to tackle any challenge and become emotionally “bulletproof” in times of crisis, which will allow you to navigate the fallout until you arrive at a better place.

With grit you will have the calm confidence to take on those chances that terrify you but are worth the risk and you’ll be able to fully embrace the life you’ve always wanted.

Once you get gritty, the rest tends to fall into place.

In the end, you have to decide if you want to regret the chances you took or the opportunities you missed.

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10 things you can learn from highly resilient people

Strong people know how to organise their suffering resilience quote

It’s natural to resist change, especially when it comes in the form of challenges and adversity.

Who wants to climb the mountain when you can take the ski-lift and enjoy the view on a leisurely ascent to the top?

But since change is the only constant in life, change is inevitable.

Building up yourself to become more resilient will not only help you survive and bounce back from change, but it will also allow you to thrive even in difficult circumstances.

Think of every person who ever made the best of a bad situation. Who survived the seemingly unsurvivable. Who conquered their own fears and achieved the unthinkable.

They were all resilient. Don’t miss out on these simple things you can do to build your own resilience.

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If you’re highly sensitive and feel worn out by your job these tips can help you feel better

When I worked full-time, there were days I left work feeling like an 18-wheeler had done a 5-point-turn on over me.

I felt totally drained and exhausted. I came home and wouldn’t have the energy to do a single thing. Still, dinner needed to be cooked and lunch made ready for the next day, the apartment needed cleaning, the cat needed feeding and the litter box cleaning.

Overwhelmed by others’ energy I had very little patience left to consciously offer anything to anyone else. I was completely spent, and that was just by Monday evening.

At work, I spent a lot of time in the bathroom stall, tears silently falling, my shoulders shaking from sobbing, without a clue of what just happened or why I was feeling so lost.

I would come to work perfectly happy and within minutes of entering the building, I’d turn moody and withdrawn. As the day went on, I got angry and then depressed. My emotions flickered like someone was playing with my emotional light switch.

To add insult to injury, without being aware of what was going on, I would regularly create a mental story to explain away all the emotions I was feeling.

I would bring up negative self-talk, old baggage, stories, fights, or even think about what negativity the future would bring.

As an empath, I feel everything deeply. Emotional, physical and mental perceptions affect me strongly. Just going on social media can change my mood in a moment.

Before I was aware of being an empath, I not only felt what others did, but also took on their emotional, physical and mental ailments as my own.

Learning how to manage my own energy and draw healthy boundaries has changed my work from a parade of misery to a much more joyful experience.

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Did you realise that your smartphone is exploiting your brain’s natural chemistry for profit and gradually changing how you behave?

The cell phone is the adult's teddy bear

Smartphones have taken over our lives. Like so many Lemmings, they’ve crowded into every nook and cranny and now we can’t go anywhere without them – even to bed.

Studies and surveys have uncovered that people sleep with their phones and wake up during the night to check what the latest haps are. People have even admitted to checking their phones during sex.

How big is the effect of smartphones and constant connectivity on our daily life? On our behaviour? On our brains?

Technology companies know exactly how to use our natural biological functions (drugs) to keep us wanting more – and the more we want, the more they profit.

Are you still caught in the Matrix?

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How to declutter your emotional closet (with a little help from F.R.I.E.N.D.S.)

Watch your thoughts quote by Lao Tzu

Just like our regular closet, our emotional closet gets filled up with all sorts of things. And just like we periodically get stung by inspiration to Marie Kondo our way through our clothes, it would do us a world of good to unload some of our emotional baggage every now and again.

The funny thing about emotions though, is that, even though they’re biological markers for us to use along the way – and very useful at that – they can get us stuck.

To avoid getting bogged down in cognitive traps spinning your wheels, you need to take your feelings with a grain of salt.

Hearing what your gut feeling says isn’t always easy and the emotional jungle you have to traverse to get to it can be quite dense. However, I assure you that the journey is well worth it and will free up considerable cognitive resources.

Is today the day you dump some of that stuff you’ve been hauling around since 1992?

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Is it absurd to smile when you don’t feel like it?

A smiling face is truly a beautiful face and a simple smile is the door to opening your heart to compassion.

Everyone recognises and understands a smile because a smile is the universal language of kindness and friendliness. With hundreds of languages around the world, the smile speaks them all.

A smile is the shortest distance between two people and when you smile you get smiles in return. Not only is a smile a powerful gesture to show others, but also a way to have an effect on your own mood.

When you smile, even if you’re alone, your brain will be primed for oxytocin because it will begin to expect good things; your face is smiling, that must mean something fun is about to happen, right?

Besides being the prettiest thing you can wear, a smile is like free therapy. So, go on, smile while you still have teeth!

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