Overcome Loneliness

Table of contents:

Overcome Loneliness
Overcome Loneliness

Video: Overcome Loneliness

Video: Overcome Loneliness
Video: How to Overcome Loneliness? 2023, March

Coping with loneliness

What do you associate with the term loneliness? Mental pain and longing for closeness? Or peace and quiet to come to every now and then? Many people know both sides of the "coin". Loneliness can grow into emotional distress and thereby endanger health. It can also - if it is lived as a willed solitude - promote well-being.

The key is whether you feel defenseless or actively seek it out. There is also a difference between being alone and feeling alone. Feelings of isolation are also possible in society. The fact is that social contacts promote health. However, everyone has different needs when it comes to interacting with others.


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • ">Loneliness - a social problem


  • Loneliness research
  • The three phases of loneliness
  • Isolation as a health risk
  • Tips for fulfilling social contacts
  • Tips for self-designed retreats


Loneliness - a social problem

The fast pace of society, the anonymity of the big cities and other factors have favored the phenomenon of unwanted loneliness in recent decades. Often it is elderly (e.g. widowed) people who feel lonely. The children and grandchildren are busy with work and school, the circle of friends has shrunk due to the natural course of life. But loneliness is possible at any age and shows itself in many facets, e.g.

  • a child who has hardly any friends
  • young adults moving to a city
  • Singles who long for a partnership,
  • Pensioners who fall into a “black hole” after a long working day, among others

Loneliness research

Solitude is the subject of much research. There are three important factors that can help better understand the consequences of loneliness:

  • Sensitivity to a lack of social inclusion: The need to be socially involved varies from person to person. If demand and actual social exchange do not match, stress hormones are released. For more information, see Effects of Stress on the Body and Mind.
  • Ability to control one's own feelings of loneliness: Self-regulation means mastering problems and still staying relatively balanced. Loneliness can negatively affect this ability.
  • Perceptions of fellow human beings and expectations of them: Our own individual perception influences how we view the social environment. If feelings of loneliness shape the mental state of mind, the image of others and of oneself changes. This also changes the expectations of others.

The three phases of loneliness

There are three phases of loneliness:

  • Phase 1 - temporary loneliness: This phase is well known to everyone. Short-term feelings of loneliness due to external circumstances (e.g. after a separation or a move) are not all unpleasant. You can also motivate, for example, to get up and look for a new group of friends.
  • Phase 2 - slow withdrawal: loneliness begins to affect self-esteem, behavior changes. The otherwise natural way of dealing with others becomes a challenge - for yourself and often also for those around you.
  • Phase 3 - chronic loneliness: Feelings of isolation lasting months or years are not without traces. Social skills (e.g. to talk to one another, to empathize with others) are greatly reduced. A vicious cycle develops: Due to the limited ability to communicate with others, it is not easy to make new contacts. This often leads to despair, depression and even suicide.

Even those who do not suffer from a lack of social contact can feel lonely. There is a lack of “inner” closeness, for example in-depth exchange. In this situation it can help to actively seek conversation and communicate your own wishes (e.g. an open ear, more time, discussions). Meeting new people can also be a way to make friendships that create a sense of togetherness.

Isolation as a health risk

Social relationships are important to health and wellbeing in general. For more information, see Health and Social Cohesion. Social isolation, on the other hand, poses a serious health risk. Loneliness as emotional pain can, for example, increase blood pressure, raise the stress hormone level in the blood or lead to sleep disorders. Mind and psyche naturally suffer from the suffering of negatively perceived loneliness. Social pain is not as abstract as it might appear - it can now be detected in magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. The brain reacts to mental and physical pain in a similar way.

Note If someone withdraws very much, this can also indicate major problems or illnesses (for example depression). In these cases it is helpful, for example as a friend, to ask again and again and to offer conversations or help.

Tips for fulfilling social contacts

If you suffer from loneliness, there are several ways you can do something about it yourself:

  • Maintain existing social contacts: Make sure that your social network never completely disappears. Everyone should have at least one fixed reference person.
  • Setting goals that you would like to achieve for yourself: These can be very small goals, for example solving a crossword puzzle up to the daily challenges of everyday life or larger projects (e.g. training or a trip).
  • Do something for yourself every day: E.g. through relaxation or exercise. Perhaps you will find like-minded people who will participate.
  • Approaching people in the immediate vicinity: Perhaps you have always wanted to get to know someone better, but did not dare to take action.
  • Maintaining eye contact in conversations: This indicates interest.
  • Practice smiling: when you haven't smiled in a long time, practice it. Just by pulling the corners of the mouth upwards, positive feelings can arise. In addition, a smile is usually well received by other people. However, that doesn't mean you have to smile all the time when you don't feel like it.
  • Do n't take setbacks too personally: For example, if you want to make a new friend, every attempt will probably not turn into a closer friendship. The other person can have several reasons not to deepen their contact with you, e.g. lack of time.
  • Give others time and a chance: Take the time to meet new people and reconsider your needs. Often there are great expectations that are difficult to meet.
  • Learning from feedback: How you affect others can be used as an opportunity for further development. If, for example, you keep hearing the other person wanting to express yourself, you can train your listening skills. Or someone criticizes your unreliability. You can take advantage of this and try to be more punctual to meetings, for example. Mutual feedback should always be possible. Find out more about constructive communication under Communication in the Family and Constructive Conflict Culture.
  • Be authentic: be yourself! Those who pretend are usually "exposed" after a certain period of time. Then misunderstandings or disappointment often arise. You should also feel that you are accepted and valued by potential new members of your circle of friends.
  • Find out about opportunities for mutual exchange in the area: Are there, for example, opportunities to get involved in clubs (e.g. sports club, senior club, etc.)? Offers from so-called “healthy communities” or neighborhood initiatives can also be a good way of expanding your circle of friends. Here you will find helpful tips on caring for your neighborhood.
  • Be careful with contacts on the Internet: The new media harbor opportunities to exchange ideas with others, but also risks. You can find more information under Social Media on the Internet.
  • Psychologists and psychotherapists are the point of contact for emotional distress: In a protected setting, you can find out more about yourself during psychological counseling / treatment or psychotherapy and learn how to deal with the topic of loneliness in a different way. Group psychotherapy or a self-help group also makes it easier to expand the social network. If the psyche needs help, you will find helpful information, links and addresses.

Every now and then, a break from fellow human beings can also be beneficial. The important aspect is the so-called self-efficacy. With this the possibility of freedom of action and control over one's own life is linked. Those who seek solitude on their own can draw strength from it or gain knowledge - for example, that the social environment means more to him / her than previously thought.

Tips for self-designed retreats

Do you like people around you and enjoy spending time with them? But every now and then you are looking for peace and solitude? Everything is too loud and fast for you, do you need a place to retreat? The following tips should help you to create personal time-outs and use them for yourself.

  • Consciously plan time for yourself: Make an appointment - for example with the title “Time for me”. This time doesn't have to be spectacular. A walk or a hot bath are just two of the many ways to relax.
  • Small breaks: If you have the opportunity to take a longer break, for example a few days in a quiet place, take advantage of this. Discuss it with your family or partner and explain your needs. Sometimes it can be difficult to create this space for yourself without a guilty conscience. It is important to convey that the withdrawal is not an offense for the other person.
  • Quiet can also be an "inner place": using meditation techniques, mindfulness exercises or self-awareness with professionally trained people, eg psychotherapists, techniques are taught that enable an "inner retreat" easily and without spending a lot of time.

Don't back off completely, however. People need people - even if it doesn't seem like that sometimes.

Popular by topic