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Dealing With Loneliness


Sooner or later, everyone will experience feelings of loneliness. Here’s an action plan to help you cope when the shadows hit.

By Margot Carmichael Lester

“There are times when I’m overwhelmed with feelings of loneliness,” admits Max Allison of San Rafael, CA. “Even if I’ve been on some dates, overall I still feel very alone.”

Max isn’t the only one feeling this way. In fact, many single people feel lonely
Learn to avoid behaviors or thoughts that create or exacerbate your loneliness.
as they search for partners. “You can feel lonely when you are by yourself and have no one to connect with or when you are with others who are emotionally unavailable,” explains Rosalene Glickman, author of Optimal Thinking: How to Be Your Best Self.

To deal with your feelings effectively, she suggests asking yourself a few questions:
  1. What am I thinking or doing to create these feelings of loneliness?
  2. What is the best way to reach out and connect with a specific person/people today?
  3. What are the most loving actions I can take for another person/others today?
Use your list as a plan of action. Learn to avoid behaviors or thoughts that create or exacerbate your loneliness. Engage in the positive activities, and they’ll keep you moving forward instead of wallowing.

There are other ways to keep your loneliness in check, such as:

Get involved.
“Service is one way to maintain positive connections with people,” says Susanne Alexander, author of Can We Dance? Learning the Steps for a Fulfilling Relationship. “Single Volunteers, Inc., is a good organization to try, or you could get involved
“During prayer, an optimal connection is initiated with the ultimate cosmic source.”
with a religious congregation with a service mission.”

Engage friends.
“The best way I know to beat the lonelies is to hang out with my close friends,” says Dave Ruud of Madison, WI. “Spending time with my buddies always makes me feel like I’m a part of a team. We help each other out.”

Have fun.
“People don’t knock on our doors to find us, but they will spot us if we’re doing what we love,” explains Lewisburg, PA-based Rev. Ann Keeler Evans. “We’ll be surrounded by people who are interesting and interested in us. A person doing what he or she loves is someone everyone wants to meet. Your future beloved will find you fascinating because you will find your life fascinating.”

Write it down.
“When I start feeling lonely, I get out my journal and start writing,” says Tyleen Rodriguez of Tucson, AZ. “It helps me process my thoughts, follow my progress and plan for the future. Getting those feelings out of my system makes them go away faster.”

There’s also relief to be found in prayer. “During prayer, an optimal connection is initiated with the ultimate cosmic source,” Glickman says. “This powerful connection provides the religious person with an optimal venue to vent painful feelings, reflect on personal needs, and ask for them to be fulfilled.” Here’s another way to look at it: “Prayer is wonderful because it will remind you of what you already know and possess,” says Debbie Mandel, author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, “that God loves you the way you are and that you are never alone”—which may be just the kind of comfort you need when those lonely moments come over you.


Margot Carmichael Lester is a freelance writer in North Carolina. Her work also appears in Go magazine and the Los Angeles Business Journal.
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