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Deal With Loneliness And Come Out Of Your Shell

 
If you are lonely, that sense of isolation can increase as winter comes along.  It may be hard to bear the thought of those long evenings with no-one to keep you company.  But don’t just sit feeling sorry for yourself.
 

You can cure your loneliness with a practical approach.
 
  • Face up to loneliness
  • Make personal connections
  • Show kindness and compassion
  • Get close to animals
  • Be a friend to yourself
 

LONELINESS CAN BE HARD TO FACE UP TO

 
Being lonely is one of those emotions that can be hard to admit.  It can make you feel less of a person.  But being ‘lonely’ doesn’t mean you aren’t nice, kind or fun to be with.  It just means you haven’t met the right people or been in the right place at the right time.
 
Loneliness is definitely not the same as being alone.  You may be on your own most of the time, and love it.  More surprisingly, you may be almost never alone, yet be very lonely.  To find out if you are lonely, answer the following questions:
 
  • Do you often feel no-one understands you?
  • Do you reach the end of the day and have no-one to talk through your experiences?
  • Is there no-one to have a laugh with?
  • Is there no-one to console you when you’re upset or worried?
  • Do you feel you have to look or behave a certain way in order to be accepted?
 
If you answered ‘yes’ to most of those questions, then you are lonely.  Now you can do something about it.
 

PRIORITISE THE PERSONAL TOUCH

 
Social media could seem to be a good way to take the sting out of loneliness, but the reverse is often the case.  Social media can lead to envy, competition and hopelessness as everyone tries to get the most ‘likes’ and showcase their lives as if they were perfect.  
 
This has two bad effects.  Firstly, if you compete it means you don’t show yourself as you are so much as what you want to be.  Deep inside you know that any connections you make on that basis are meaningless.  Secondly, looking at the picture perfect lives of others can make you feel inferior.
 
Social media can also be addictive.  Before you know it you’ve spent a couple of hours on line and it’s too late to do anything else.  So be strict with yourself.  Time yourself – ten minutes at most on FB, Snapchat or whatever, and then go out, or at least voice call a friend.  Unfollow any accounts that leave you feeling inadequate or unhappy and unfriend anyone who stresses you or brings you down.
 
Give an invitation for an outing – just something simple such as meeting for a coffee or going to the cinema.  Try to be brave.  If you are a sensitive person you are very aware of social cues but what you may not realise is that you can interpret them slightly wrong.  For instance, you may sense that a friend is uneasy and assume you’re the cause.  This can make you withdraw, but the truth is that something or someone else could well have been behind your friend’s reactions.  So, be positive, pleasant, considerate and natural, and always assume people will like you!  No-one’s perfect, and although it may surprise you, some of the most confident-seeming people feel scared and lonely inside.
 

KINDNESS AND COMPASSION

 
Come out of your own little world and think – really think – about people who are less fortunate than you.  Yes of course, you know ‘there is always someone worse off’, and that doesn’t make you feel better unless you make an effort to empathise.  Truly put yourself in the shoes of another human being and reach out to them with compassion, and you may even begin to feel that you are lucky.
 
Commit to helping people.  Maybe you could volunteer at a local homeless shelter, deliver meals or act as a ‘befriender’.  There are countless people who need help, and in helping them you will help you.
 

ANIMAL MAGIC

 
Pets are wonderful for relaxing and healing, so if you don’t have one consider getting a furry friend to cuddle and relieve your stress.  Guinea pigs, cats and rabbits can all be soothing to snuggle close to, and with dogs there’s the added bonus that they bring you a ready-made social life, chatting to other owners.
 
If you can’t have your own pet, help out with other people’s or work at an animal sanctuary.
 

SPEND TIME WITH YOURSELF

 
‘Hey!’, you may say, ‘That’s just what I do far too much of!’ – but is that really the case?  All the while you’re longing to be with a close confidante or a merry throng you are not truly spending time with yourself.  You are insulting and disregarding yourself by wanting to get away from yourself!  That’s not a good feeling.
 
So listen to your intuition, to that voice of wisdom within, listen to your own needs and ask yourself about your true purpose in life.  What really drives you and pulls you onwards?  What fulfils and inspires you?  What do you enjoy doing?  Commit to growing as a person.  Dedicate yourself to finding out more about yourself and embody your core values.  Soon loneliness will be a thing of the past.
 

HOW WE CAN HELP

 

You can tackle loneliness and turn it into contentment by following the hints above.  However, if you need some comfort and understanding to set you on your way, that’s readily on hand with our team of supportive Readers just waiting to hear from you.  So put in a call today and end that lonely journey.

 
 
 
PUBLISHED: 29 November 2018
 
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