Apr 28, 2020
By: Trilby Johnson | Thrive Global
I’ve being going solo through the isolation and lock down due to the pandemic and I’m so grateful for the wisdom and resilience acquired through previous times in my life. Surprisingly, I’m enjoying the lack of schedule that ruled my life beforehand and exploring new ways of connecting and facilitating my breakthrough healing and mentoring.
It’s hard to be able to even imagine the occurrence of the current pandemic even two months ago, along with the loss of our freedom, as we have known it. This brings up heaps of emotions like grief and estrangement, that can seem overwhelming. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for reflection as the ‘too busy and no time phase’ of life has changed and mutated into something else, for all of us.
We are learning as never before, about those life experiences that turn everything on its head, like the unprecedented global lock down due to the pandemic. One thing is for sure however – you are not alone in this current experience! You do have to manage it on your own however, whether you are isolated in a bubble or solo.
Loneliness doesn’t discriminate!
Emotions are powerful players in our lives and depending on what and how they make us feel, are considered either friends or foes. Within our societies, cultures and gender roles, we become conditioned early on about what type of emotional behaviour is or isn’t acceptable. Yet, simultaneously, emotions are extremely personal and influenced by an individual’s inner relationship and sensibilities and personality types, such as introverts and extroverts.
Regardless of your personality type, however, it’s important and handy to know what to do and how to respond when loneliness begins to spread its fingers across our hearts and minds, to taint our lives in sad, dull and uncomfortable colours.
Loneliness has the power to disempower us so deeply in the most profound corners of our lives.
I know this because I used to feel constantly lonely, isolated and totally useless. So, I want to share five keys that helped me to beat loneliness, that can work for you too!
Here are 5 Keys to Beat Loneliness:
1. Admit How You are Feeling.
This may seem counterproductive at first because it can stir up fear. The fear of being consumed by feeling lonely. The fact of the matter, however, is that until you acknowledge what you feel, you are a slave to it. Many people feel ashamed or guilty to admit that they feel lonely, because of what it may imply. There is a fear that by admitting to something, it makes it true. This is a falsehood!
By admitting what it is you are feeling, you take back your power and can be objective about what’s really going on.
What you won’t own, enslaves you!
2. Give Your Loneliness A Form.
Strong emotions can often make us feel irrational. So, a great way to begin to ‘contain the situation’ in a safe environment and way, is by giving loneliness a form. For example, when you feel lonely, give it a scale of intensity from 1 -10. This is helpful, as it creates a space of detachment from the feeling, while still admitting it exists.
Each time you give a form to your loneliness helps you to see the intensity of your loneliness in a constructive way.
Remember that your emotions are real in your mind/brain and by giving them a form, as in a number, helps you to take a step back and be able to be detached in a healthy way.
3. Dig Deep.
The last thing you probably want to do when it comes to loneliness, is to dig deeper right? That’s fear – False Evidence Appearing Real – talking! And boy, it can feel scary feeling lonely. So, to beat this fear, dig deep and explore what is underneath the feeling of loneliness.
Make a list of all the feelings and thoughts that come to mind, no matter what they are. And practice makes progress, so do this often.
You can only change what you are willing to confront. Healing comes through feeling.
Which brings me to the next key point.
4. Don’t Shoot the Messenger.
Loneliness, like all emotions, brings a message with it. Humans, after all, are highly complex individuals. We are also creatures of habit and so it’s important to find out what is underneath our emotions. There is always a belief system that is attached to an emotional reaction. It’s part of our social, cultural and gender upbringing.
Ask yourself, “what is making me feel lonely?” and explore what comes up. This may sound challenging and requires a good dose of being honest with yourself in a gentle yet rigorous way.
The messenger is you, telling you more about yourself. Stop and listen and you will find that with more clarity the loneliness very often fades into the background and the true issue can be resolved, bringing peace of mind and calm.
5. Change Your Emotional Map.
Did you know that for the brain, all behaviours and emotions are mini programmes running the show? Otherwise called habits. The above keys are an outline on how to change your internal and emotional map. When you do this, your external map will begin to match up.
Allow yourself to stop and ask for directions on the way. You don’t have to beat loneliness on your own. I know from personal experience, that finding the help you need is key to beating loneliness.
Add pit stops of support to your emotional map as you progress and look for new destinations.
Life is full of unexpected happenings and there really are no guarantees in life. The one thing you can rely on however, 100% of the time, is your ability to choose how you respond. This is the seat of all Freedom.
I hope you enjoyed these 5 keys to beating loneliness and find them empowering. If you would like deeper insights into how to beat loneliness effectively, my book FEARLESSLY ALONE looks at what makes us feel lonely and really afraid and how to break free and find your happy no matter what!