What to do to combat loneliness

Loneliness happens when the person is or feels alone, which leads to a negative feeling and a feeling of emptiness. To combat this situation, it is important for people to accept that they are not on the right path, and to observe what measures and attitudes can be taken to change this moment in life.

In addition, it is important to adopt a positive attitude, then, to start having habits that allow people to get closer, such as attending courses or groups where there are conversations, sports or activities with which you have an affinity. Some actions that can be taken are:

1. Accept that something needs to change

If there is a feeling of loneliness, whether due to a lack of friends, or a lack of closeness with people around, it is important to assume that the situation is not adequate and try to find out what may be out of line.

A good exercise is to write down on a sheet of paper the reasons why you think you are alone, such as being a shy person, have difficulty interacting, or friends have moved away and then write down what could be done to solve each situation.

Therefore, it must be borne in mind that the first step in correcting that something is not right is to assume and accept that the problem exists and then look for alternatives, thus avoiding the role of victim.

2. Don’t give in to the past and sadness

Several events may have influenced the current moment of loneliness, however, it is useless to live in the past if the present is available to take it a step further. A new attitude must be assumed, and new opportunities and possibilities must be created so that, then, you can live for the present and the future, and not for what has passed.

3. Be a positive person

Let go of the negative image of yourself and circumstances, and begin to have a lighter attitude, with less criticism and blame. Always waiting for rejection will only get you away from people, so always expect the best from people and situations.

In addition, to overcome loneliness, it is important to improve self-esteem, allowing greater confidence in yourself. 

4. Don’t isolate yourself

Try to talk more with people or, if this is difficult, show yourself open to the conversation, keeping a smile and looking forward, instead of looking down or with arms crossed. So, allow yourself to make new friends, but this will only be possible when you have the attitude of going out for a walk or chatting with new people.

Another good way to make friends is to join social networking groups that have a common interest. But, care must be taken not to get involved with the wrong people, as making bad friends can be even worse, and bring negative consequences to your life.

5. Find a hobby

Discover a hobby or activity you are interested in, which is a great way to meet or get close to people. There are options for community services or weekly meeting groups, which can be contacted at the nearest family health clinic. Other options are playing a group sport, or joining a reading group, for example. 

In addition, there are activities that help to have more self-knowledge and understanding of feelings, such as medication and yoga, for example, which helps to better understand one’s own limits and abilities, in addition to achieving better self-control.

6. Enroll in a course

Look for new activities and give a new meaning to life, acquiring new knowledge, and, on top of that, guaranteeing a new circle of possible friends. So, research about courses you would like to take, such as a new language, a professional improvement or a hobby, like an instrument or gardening, for example. 

7. Seek help from a professional

A psychologist or psychotherapist are excellent allies to find ways to overcome the barriers that cause loneliness, in addition to helping to overcome negative feelings. If the feeling of loneliness is accompanied by other symptoms, such as sadness, loss of will, and changes in appetite, for example, it is important to consult with a psychiatrist, to investigate other causes of negative symptoms, such as depression.

How to avoid loneliness in old age

The loneliness of the elderly can be more difficult to avoid, because in this period of life the circle of friends tends to reduce, as children can be far from home, there is the loss of family members, of the partner, besides the limitations caused by difficulties to do activities and leave home. 

Thus, it is very important to adopt measures to avoid loneliness in the elderly, as they can have negative health consequences and facilitate the development of diseases, such as depression. Learn more about the consequences of loneliness .

To combat the feeling of loneliness in the elderly, it is recommended:

  • Practice physical activity, which helps to improve mood and well-being;
  • Propose periodic meetings with family members, such as a lunch every 15 days, for example;
  • Volunteering, which in addition to improving social life, can use sewing skills or care for plants, for example;
  • Enroll in a course, which can help make friends, in addition to occupying the mind and giving a new meaning to life;
  • Learning new activities, such as using the computer and the internet can allow the elderly to be more connected to other people and to news;
  • Adopting a pet can help to brighten the day-to-day and give motivation to the person.

It is also important that the elderly have a follow-up with the family doctor or geriatrician, for the correct treatment or early identification of changes in health, to ensure more years of life, strength and disposition.

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