Wikipedia defines loneliness as ‘a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship‘.
While I agree it is a form of isolation, I do not necessarily agree that it is always an unpleasant emotion. It may be an inconvenience when you have no one to do things with but it also means freedom, you can do what you like, go where you want to go and eat what you want to eat. Some or most people will not admit he or she is lonely. I honestly believe you are as lonely as you allow yourself to be.
Loneliness often happens when one is left alone such as a breakup in relationship, move to a new country or (as a parent) when children left home. You suddenly felt you have all the time in the world and no one present to talk to other than your own self.
The longer you allow yourself to wallow in self pity because ‘you are lonely’, the more selfish you will become and may end up being labeled a ‘loner’. Selfish in the sense that you can no longer open your door to other people and chosen not to mix and mingle. Such people can feel lonely even when they are surrounded by other people. In extreme cases, loneliness has been linked with depression, and is thus a risk factor for suicide.
I cannot deny that I quite often feel lonely at times, especially so after spending years of my life with that someone and then one day, the relationship ended. It took a while before you realized what had happened and started grieving and then loneliness crept in when you realized there is no one to cook for in the evening, no one to ask ‘how’s your day been?’ and no one to cuddle up at night.
Yes, loneliness is an interesting feeling. To overcome loneliness, I strongly believe you must admit you are lonely. Do not live in denial, if you are lonely, do something about it. As long as you take steps to socialize and never allow yourself to be a loner, you will beat the loneliness out of you.
Below are some suggestions to overcome loneliness.
1. Join a social group and meet new friends of the same gender. You will be surprised these people may be experiencing loneliness too (for whatever reason) and mingling with like-minded people often shoo away loneliness (to some extent).
2. Take up a new hobby and in so doing, you open yourself to mix and mingle with people with the same passion, eg. blogging or join a local community dance or crochet group.
3. Volunteering in local community gets you out and about, making new friends at the same time doing some good deeds.
4. Get a pet dog. You will have someone to go for walks with, someone who will listen to you and agree with everything you say, someone who will warm your bed at night.
Loneliness is a process in life, it can be overcome by doing meaningful things. Everyone will experience loneliness at some stage of their lives. Once you are in control of your loneliness and do not allow your loneliness to control you, you will indeed come out stronger, happier and wiser.
Loneliness, is is not as scary as it sounds, it is an interesting feeling.
Have you ever been lonely in your life? How did you get out of it?