Winter can be such a magical time of the year. With everyone getting in the festive spirit, it's easy to find yourself surrounded by loads of people at all the social events lined up in your calendar. But for many, it can highlight the deep-rooted loneliness felt inside, no matter how crowded the party. It's actually when we're in the busiest of rooms that we can start to feel the most alone. Certainly, loneliness is far more than simply, ‘being alone’. It's often a far-deeper resonating emotion that can sit quietly like a shadow in someone’s soul. It brings with it a whirlwind of sad emotions and reactions that are often hard to trace. 

Feeling lonely and depressed can take us into our shadow. The truth however, is that all you have to combat this feeling is within you. It can be overcome by focussing on coming back to your brightest most loving self. Many people often make the mistake of searching externally for the 'fix' of loneliness. Some seek solace through a relationship, or maybe alcohol, or it could be through throwing yourself into your work. All of these are often just ways of masking a deeper sense of ‘missing’ that can’t and won’t be filled through any external source. 

You will never feel lonely when you are actually content and accepting of your own self love. When we begin to realize that all we need is within us, then we can start to find a sense of peace. And it's with this sense of belonging that we start to enjoy our own company, rather than fear or hide it. 

One of the ways to cope with loneliness is through a heart-based meditation. This can be done at any time, anywhere and by anyone. You don’t need to have done any meditation before. You can still gain the benefits of this specific meditation. It's a wonderful practice for anyone to do, whether they're feeling lonely or maybe just need a moment to come back to themselves. In just a few simple steps, this step by step meditation will guide you to feel a much deeper sense of love and belonging. 

Breathing exercises

Step by step meditation exercise to combat loneliness 

1. Find a comfortable seat, with your spine upright, either on a chair with your feet flat on the ground, or seated on the floor with your hips grounding down into the earth. 

2. When you're ready, close your eyes. Inhale deeply through your nose filling up your lungs, and then exhale slowly through your mouth until you have completely emptied your lungs. Repeat this three times, each time releasing your shoulders away from your ears, relaxing your face and jaw and softening your whole body.  

3. Then begin a long, slow and steady breath in and out through the nose. Keep this going throughout the meditation. 

4. As you inhale, imagine you're sending your breath directly into your heart. With each inhalation, imagine the space around your heart getting brighter and radiating a warm glow. And as you exhale, imagine the warmth and glow from your heart getting bigger and radiating throughout your entire body. 

5. Inhale into your heart centre and feel that warmth grow and the light become brighter. Exhale as this warmth and light spreads throughout your whole being. 

6. Continue, each time visualizing the light growing bigger and brighter and the warmth spreading throughout your entire being, from your fingers, your toes to the top of your head. 

7. After breathing this way a few times, continue the visualization and start to introduce the following loving words into your heart:  

Inhale, "I am love". Exhale, "I am whole".

Inhale, "I am all that I need". Exhale, "I have all the love that I need within me".

Then, repeat:

Inhale, "I am love". Exhale, "I am whole".

Inhale, "I am all that I need". Exhale, "I have all the love that I need within me".

8. Allow yourself to be still for a few minutes with your eyes closed. Slowly, breathe in and breathe out. Feel the sensations that are coming up for you. Most importantly, take notice what it feels like to know these words ring true and what they mean to you. 

When you're ready, slowly open your eyes. Sometimes meditation brings up underlying thoughts or ideas you may have bottled up. It may be worth taking a few moments to journal anything that has come up for you. Or, continue to sit still and quiet for a few minutes. If after you feel enlightened, more calm or more at peace, repeat it daily. Even if you can only fit in the routine a few times a week, give it a go! It will help reaffirm the intention behind the meditation. And soon, you will begin to allow this message to resonate deeply within you for good.


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

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A step by step meditation guide for loneliness

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