5 Ways to Get Help When You Feel Alone

5 Ways to Cope with Loneliness  

Humans are social creatures who depend on interaction to support their mental health. Unfortunately, we can't always be in the company of friends and loved ones. Many people experience anxiety, isolation or depression, when they aren't able to connect with others. If you've been struggling with loneliness, here are some practical ways to improve your outlook.

  1. Visit an online forum. While modern technology attracts a lot of criticism for making people feel bad, it can also help us feel more connected. By allowing people to engage with others who may be facing similar issues, the right forum can be a valuable outlet. This is especially true for people who are too scared or uncomfortable to share their feelings with people they know. By remaining anonymous, you can fearlessly vent about your pain and worries. You may also enjoy a greater sense of belonging, once you see that others are going through similar situations.

  1. Visit an animal shelter. A growing body of evidence suggests that humans experience powerful physical and emotional benefits when they interact with animals. Studies have found that these interactions improve mood, interpersonal interactions and social attention, while reducing stress, anxiety and blood pressure. Research has also shown that people feel enhanced empathy and increased trust toward other people after just a few minutes of interacting with animals.

  1. Volunteer. If you're interested in meeting people, consider volunteering. This is a great way to connect with others who are selflessly giving back to those in need. Studies also show that people experience increased self-esteem and improved overall well-being when they engage in charitable acts. Research also indicates that volunteers may experience healthier blood pressures and longer lifespans. If you aren't sure where you can volunteer in your community, visit volunteerMatch.org, which offers a simple, straightforward matching process.

  1. Be mindful. A mountain of research has linked mindfulness to improved mental health. In fact, many studies have shown that it can actually change our brains for the better. If you aren't sure how to be mindful, it's really quite simple: stay focused on the moment, without ruminating or letting your mind wander. While some people are able to do this through mindful meditation, beginners usually have more success when they engage in a hobby, craft or activity that demands strict mental focus.

  1. Think about therapy. Many people tend to become isolated when they are suffering from a mental health issue. Without help, it can become difficult for them to interact and engage with others. If you feel that depression, anxiety, low self-esteem or some other mental health issue is keeping you from living your life to the fullest, consider seeking therapy. While the thought of therapy can be intimidating and overwhelming, by simply talking to someone, you can learn more about yourself, while developing effective strategies to overcome obstacles that may be keeping you from having successful friendships or relationships.

When Reaching Out Becomes Critical

While no one enjoys being lonely, some people experience hopelessness due to prolonged isolation. Fortunately, there are a number of emergency hotlines that will connect you with caring professionals that can help you work through dangerous despair. Whether you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, an eating disorder or some other crisis, don't be afraid to pick up the phone and reach out for help. Remember that no matter how desperate things seem, time has a way of improving our situations and overall outlook on life.

Our caring therapists can help you overcome life’s greatest challenges. Contact us today!