Loneliness is a difficult feeling and can be commonplace in adolescence. It’s easy to feel like you don’t fit in with the rest of your peers. It’s easy to believe that you don’t fit in with the family. And because of the changes you’re going through, it might even be easy to believe that you don’t fit in with the rest of the world.
Loneliness can be an uncomfortable feeling. It’s isolating and can be depressing, put you in a low mood. If you have a tendency of getting lonely, you might want to explore this with a mental health counselor at school. You might also want to discuss this with your parents.
However, there are things that you can do to facilitate feeling better when you do feel lonely. Because loneliness can so easily lead to isolation, the antidote to loneliness is connection. Here are three things to try the next time you are feeling lonely:
Connect with yourself. If you are alone and you’re beginning to feel loneliness, start to connect with yourself. You can do this by being creative. Perhaps you want to journal, paint, or even dance. When you are creative, you begin to search for what’s inside of you that you want to express, automatically reconnecting with yourself. Another way to connect with yourself is to ask yourself questions that matter:
- What do you want to do in life?
- Who do you want to become?
- What are your goals?
- What kind of life do you see yourself living?
- What kind of contribution do you want to make in your life?
These are important questions to be asking yourself. Although you might not know the answers right away, beginning to explore them, write about them, and think about them can facilitate getting more and more answers.
Connect with others. Perhaps you want to connect with others, but there aren’t people around to connect to. Or there might not people around you want to connect with. However, if loneliness is a feeling you experience often, then connecting with someone can be helpful. If someone is around, he or she might not be your first choice, but connecting with him or her can help you feel better. In fact, the greater relationships we have, the better we feel and the less tendency there is to feel lonely.
Connect with the world. Although it’s not always easy to connect with the world, there are many simple ways to do this. For instance, you might want to watch the news. You might want to watch a documentary highlighting what is going on in a certain region of the world. You may want to get on Facebook and find old friends, make new ones, and join groups that you appreciate. You can also, simply, go for a walk and connect with the natural world. Or you can prepare to go camping and connect with the celestial world – the stars, constellations, and planets. Connecting with the world can help you experience your own significance inside the larger matrix of the cosmos.
Furthermore, loneliness is sometimes a symptom of other typical adolescent experiences, such as having a low self esteem, feeling vulnerable to be yourself, and experiencing depression or anxiety. These are additional suggestions for such cases:
- Be honest with yourself.
- Figure out your strengths and weaknesses.
- Don’t beat yourself up over your weaknesses.
- Allow yourself to feel vulnerable.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- It’s hard at times, but accept yourself.
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Try to get the most out of your strengths and do your best, without demanding unrealistic results of yourself.
- Celebrate your achievements.
- Trust your own feelings.
- Take it one day at a time. Do your best each day.
In fact, if you’re feeling lonely and want to assess the level of your loneliness, try taking this quiz. However, like all non-clinical tests, it’s important to remember to take your results with a grain of salt. If you feel your loneliness is problematic, contact a mental health professional for support.