COUNSELLING BLOG

Posts tagged loneliness

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5 Ways to Beat Loneliness

We all experience bouts of loneliness at times. It is common during times of flux and change (such as starting university or breaking up with someone). But it can also overwhelm us when we’re with a group of friends, so we feel disconnected … as if we don’t belong. So what can we do to keep loneliness at bay?

1. First, don’t isolate yourself – When you’re feeling lonely it is hard to go out and be with others who seem to be OK, and don’t really notice how lonely you feel.  But putting up a wall and withdrawing from your friends will only intensify that sense of loneliness, and will further undermine your self-esteem.

2. Second, keep yourself busy – Do things that you normally enjoy with others. For example, listening to a band or maybe going to watch a game … or you could always try something that’s new, but interests you! That would allow you to connect in a non-threatening way … as it takes the focus off talking, and off you.

3. Third, be kind to yourself - It’s likely that you regularly beat yourself up, criticise yourself and are unrealistic in the kinds of expectations that you have for yourself. So what, if it goes wrong? You can always try again – just learn what you can from the experience. And notice your successes and the times when it goes well. It’s likely that this happens a lot more than you think!

4. Fourth, recognise that we ALL battle loneliness at times - You’re not some kind of freak – it’s actually quite normal. It something we’ve all known and understand. 

5. Fifth, talk to someone you like and trust – It can really help to talk about your feelings with a family member, a friend or counsellor. It relieves some of the painful sense of isolation – and help to get your life back in perspective again. 

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The Difference Between Loneliness and Solitude

Loneliness

1. Loneliness is a painful, negative state.

2. It is where we feel alone, and cut off and estranged from other people. Thus, we may feel as if we are excluded, unwanted, unimportant or unnoticed.  

3. We can be surrounded by people we know and love and still experience feelings of intense loneliness.

4. Loneliness feels like punishment or rejection. It is rooted in a sense of deficiency or inadequacy.

5. It is something that depletes us, and is imposed on us.

6. Loneliness can lead to self rejection, and even to self loathing and despair.

Solitude

1. Solitude is a positive state.

2. It is where we are perfectly happy to be by ourselves, and relish and enjoy our own company.

3. Solitude can help us get in touch with, or engage with, our true self.  It allows us to reflect on ourselves, others, our life, and our future.  

4. Often, solitude is a springboard to greater self-awareness, greater creativity, fresh insights, and new growth.

5. Solitude is something we choose. It is something that restores and builds us up.  

6. Solitude grounds us in who we are – and that enables us to reach out and give to others.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy self help self improvement inspiration relationships loneliness mental health mental illness online counselling college