The heart in the featured photo of this post is located in my daughter’s school yard. It represents the key to fighting loneliness. The school came up with a very clever idea to include lonely kids or kids who have no one to play with in the recess play. By now all the kids know that if they notice anyone standing inside the heart, they should engage them in the play. When my 6-year old daughter told me about it, I thought what a simple and wonderful idea it was. The heart is bright enough for anyone in the schoolyard to notice it, but also situated on the edge so it’s not as intrusive. If you notice that the school your daughter or son attends does not have a way to include lonely children in the play, you may want to talk to the principle about it. Wouldn’t it be great to pioneer the idea?
The reason why the heart in the playground represents the key to fighting loneliness is that the lonely kids need to first realize that they are lonely (being aware) before deciding to step inside the heart (doing something about it). The same responsibility goes for adults. When you realize you are lonely, you need to take actions to eliminate it.
What is loneliness anyway? According to Wikipedia:
Loneliness is a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship. Loneliness typically includes anxious feelings about a lack of connection or communication with other beings, both in the present and extending into the future. As such, loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people.
Luckily, loneliness can be treated by therapy which includes getting to the root of the problem and working to reverse the negative thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. Some doctors also recommend exercise, dieting, and inclusion of alternative medicine such as acupuncture and herbal remedies. This blog post is more focused on things to keep in mind when loneliness kicks in, rather than how to treat loneliness. However, I thought it was important to mention some forms of treatment in case there are readers out there who need help.
So, let’s look at 4 things to remember when loneliness kicks in:
1. Loneliness Can Be Good For You
There is a growing mindset of people believing that loneliness is actually good for the soul. The religion of Buddhism swears by this statement indicating that when we are lonely we are experiencing our true being and thus are connected to the divine spirits (closer to the Gods). Others say that we are subconsciously pursuing loneliness for wanting to remove ourselves from people who haven’t yet caught on to the spiritual realm like us. Isolating ourselves can give us space to sort out our thoughts and feelings and figure out how we want to live our lives. All people are lonely to an extent because it is a completely natural state to be in and once we realize this the loneliness inside should subside. If you don’t believe me, just read this post on Elephant Journal.
2. Loneliness Can Spark Creativity
When experiencing loneliness we are bound to get creative. We may think of ways to reduce loneliness through joining communities and groups, developing a new hobby, setting goals, going on an adventure, and other projects. Loneliness can lead to beautiful things if we let it, if we start perceiving it as an advantage. Give this some thought.
3. Sharing Your Values Reduces Loneliness
Loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you. – Carl Jung
People tend to become lonely when they close up, when they keep all their emotions, beliefs, and ideas inside. When we share our values in life with someone who is willing to listen and provide a genuine response, all of a sudden we are 10 pounds lighter from opening up. When we confide on a regular basis, we may find the loneliness disappear altogether.
4. You Are Never Truly Alone
I will repeat this again. You are never truly alone. The trick is to be brave enough to seek out what you want. Want more friends? Sign up for a course where you can share your ideas with like-minded individuals. Want a life partner? Step into the light and be seen. Want to share your ideas or design? Create a website and let the globe do the rest. Last but not least, don’t underestimate the power of family and true friends. They can always be relied on for support.
Now, let these 4 points sit in for a bit. Are you doing everything in your power to overcome loneliness? If not, what is stopping you? Leave a comment.