How many times have you felt lonely in your life? I could guess simply too many times to count, right?
What thoughts kept on popping up in your head then?
“I’m no good.”
“Nobody supports me.”
“I just want someone to be next to me.”
“I miss [insert person dear to you] so much.”
Oh gosh, I’ve had those thousands of times in my life. And as you could imagine, I looked and felt miserable during such times.
Obviously, I just curled in a ball and binge watch videos or dive head straight into games. Not the most productive periods of my life I’ll be honest and clearly not ones I’m proud of.
Through learning to use my time more efficiently in order to improve myself, I have noticed such times can, as a matter of fact, turn into some of the most useful ones.
It’s not that easy, but here are a few steps which, combined properly, might help you to get the best out of those.
1. Interrupt your thoughts
First, let’s make things clear: timing is crucial to make use of that loneliness.
When we start realising we are feeling “lonely”, that is when we abruptly need to change our thoughts.
Why? How? Interestingly enough, I believe Mel Robbins’s 5 Second Rule is a very good explanation.
Put in simple terms, her rule consists of counting down from 5 whenever you feel demotivated to do something. It could be just getting out of bed, panicking right before starting an interview or just simply actually stopping procrastinating and start your work.
This allow’s you to interrupt you train of thoughts and get a new start when reaching 0.
Stopping a feeling, unfortunately, is much harder though. Counting down from 5 won’t help that much if that’s all you do. When you reach 0, you have two possibilities.
- Start something that’ll take your mind off of things.
- Put positive thoughts in your mind.
In the short term, both can be fine. But the second one really is where you can shine in the long run.
Indeed, while 1. can let you think of something else for a while, you’re just putting away this feeling for a while. It’s right there, waiting for you, on standby.
Putting positive thoughts in your mind, or more simply called positive self-talk, is without fault the best choice.
But is it easy? Oh no. But, that’s where things get interesting.
Open a list
Right after counting down from 5, smile for a second, even if you have to force it. It will rewire your brain further and make you instantly just a tiny bit more open.
Then directly check a list of incredibly positive things in your life you should have prepared.
It’s even better if it includes some people who actually do support you. Because, yes, there’s always going to be at least one person who will. Is that person not important for you? Doesn’t matter. It’s still someone who has your back.
However, you don’t have to only list things “proving” you’re not alone. It helps, but any positive aspect will be useful a bit at least.
Take 1, 2 or even 3 hours if need be and make this list as long as possible. Full of great things that you’ve lived, thoughts, seen, on so on. And then save it in a place which you can access at any time (let me guess: your phone?).
So, you’ve counted down from 5 and checked out that list.
Now, use one of the aspects written down to trigger your brain into thinking more about it.
Use that new, barely grown, positive mindset to dive into a positive self-introspection.
You love your aunt and admire her? Great. Why? What does she do which connects with you? What inspires you?
You had a magnificent experience while travelling to Hungary? Awesome. What was that thrilling? Oh, you were different back then? Nice of you to be honest. What can you take back from then to improve your current self.
Feeling lonely is usually looked down upon. We don’t want to admit we feel alone. We hate the fact that we’re feeling that way while knowing some people support us. It’s a feeling of not being enough after all.
However, such feeling can be great. When you feel lonely, you’ll mostly stay alone so if you use that time at your disposal to better your mind, your life will follow and become much more pleasant.
Oh, and you know what else? Everybody feels lonely in some way. So even if you think you’re alone, you can always remind yourself that you’re not alone in thinking that!