Ah, February – the month of love for some, loneliness for others. Feelings of longing for something or someone can become quite highlighted in your mind... or feel like a bright, red stamp on your forehead that says, 'ALONE'. It’s important to know that everyone feels lonely at one time or another. Loneliness is a feeling that usually has nothing to do with how many people you’re surrounded by or what's on your social calendar. Sometimes you can feel lonely and depressed even though you have lots of friends and people around you. Many women even find it difficult coping with being single in their 30s. All of these issues usually stem from a lack or loss of meaningful connections.   

Scientists have long studied what makes people happy, and one of the essential ingredients is feeling connected. We need a certain level of connection not only with people we love, care about and interact with but also with ourselves. When there's a lack of connection, it’s tempting to seek comfort by spending more time alone. Instead of using that time to feel what’s in our hearts and heal, we often try to soothe ourselves with Netflix, online shopping, binge eating, and countless other distractions. Unfortunately, this has the opposite effect and leads to more isolation and feelings of loneliness.

If you want to check out more top tips on curbing your unhealthy eating patterns, check out this article.

Social media doesn't help one bit. It only compounds the problem as you scroll through friends’ posts showing only the greatest recent moments on a beach somewhere sipping on a green juice. We end up comparing our self and life to others and inevitably decide we come up short. So what’s the answer to overcoming feelings of loneliness? Are we powerless and have to give in?

Short answer – nope! It’s important to know that you do have control over feeling lonely and depressed. You won’t heal a broken heart or replace the loss something quickly and easily, but you can choose to think differently and take action.

How to stop feeling lonely and depressed

What causes loneliness

1. Try to identify exactly what is causing the lonely feelings

Ask yourself these questions: Has there been a significant change in your life lately? Have you lost something or someone that was significant to you? It’s important to check in with yourself and recognise what you’re feeling and why. Avoiding and suppressing your feelings don’t make them go away. Remember that saying, you have to feel to heal.

Be honest with yourself to stop feeling lonely

2. Recognise that loneliness is temporary 

Feelings of loneliness will subside if you make the choice to work through it. Sometimes emotions feel like a black hole and you can’t see your way out. Stay focused on the present and connect with what you need today in order to feel better. Don’t think about all the other issues that might arise in the future – they will just overwhelm you!

Recognise that loneliness is temporary

3. Be honest with yourself 

What you are doing or not doing to perpetuate the loneliness? Are you avoiding opportunities for connection and the very people who can provide you comfort? Are you skipping your workouts, isolating yourself or filling yourself with comfort food that ultimately makes you feel worse? Identify where you're giving away your power and perpetuating the loneliness. 

Feeling a connection is the ultimate goal. Make a list of people, actions and situations that make you feel more connected. Make a commitment to yourself and take it day by day. Remember, you have a choice whether to sink into loneliness or climb out of it. You can do it!

READ NEXT: Tried and tested remedies and products to help you cope with loneliness.

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Discover the best ways to stop feeling lonely and depressed, even in a relationship.

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