10 Ways To Overcome Loneliness & Have A Happy Life

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A cure for loneliness.

A cure for loneliness.

*This post is dedicated to all the lonely souls out there who need some hope, especially at this time of year. If you’re not lonely, I would ask that you please share this post with someone who you know is.

Loneliness. We’ve all felt it at one time or another, haven’t we?

As Whitney Houston once observed, “Loneliness comes with life.

I think of people who are truly alone, especially at this time of year. I think of people in nursing homes who have no one from the outside come to visit them. I think of the widow we know for whom this is a particularly difficult time of year because of the loss of her husband and sons. I think of many others I know of who endure the pain of loneliness.

The feeling of being alone in our pain is never an easy feeling to deal with, especially when we feel we have no one to empathize with our wearying sense of isolation, to let us know that we will be okay and that we are not really alone.

Many people, when they feel lonely, rather than seeking out others, tend to withdraw into their own little cocoon. But on the inside, that cocoon feels more like a wide open desert, and just as inhospitable.

There are no end to the trails that can lead one to this place. Lost love. Physical pain. Money troubles. Persistent fears. They all rob you of peace and the enjoyment of this moment.

The feeling of loneliness, if unchecked, just continues into a downward spiral until you feel you will never get up. You just want the pain, that feels like an avalanche of sadness heaped on a mountain of heartache, to stop.

Mother Teresa said,

Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.

You do know there really is hope, don’t you? Many people in this frame of mind find it really difficult to see things any other way. A lot of it comes from low self-esteem. But as Wayne Dyer said,

You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.

And it’s also true that feeling lonely has much to say to us. Brendan Behan observed,

At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one’s lost self.

But what can you do when you feel both lost and lonely?

You do know that you can make some immediate choices and things to think about that will benefit you, right?

Loneliness teaches us what we really need.

Loneliness teaches us what we really need.

10 Ways To Overcome Loneliness and Have A Happy Life

  1. BE BRAVE. Eugene O’Neill said, “Man’s loneliness is but his fear of life.” If you’re particularly timid, allow your deeper desire for connection to take precedence over your fear of involvement. The more you open up, the more you share of yourself with others, the more comfortable you will feel in trusting others. You will feel less lonely because you will feel better understood.
  2. CHURCH COMMUNITY. Many people find great comfort and support in church. Being with people of faith can greatly reignite your hope. The power of prayer combined with warm-hearted care often helps you remember that “perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18)
  3. COMMUNITY CENTERED. Participate in building relationships with others by volunteering in your community. Join a civic club or a sports team. As long as you actively engage with others, you create the opportunity to stretch yourself and grow. This way, you can talk to others as you help out.
  4. CONSCIOUS CHOICES. Recognize that you always have choices, so keep your options open. Understand that loneliness is not a life sentence, and you always have the ability to change the focus of your attention. There is plenty you can do, so do everything in your power to be positive.
  5. FOSTER FRIENDSHIPS. Look up long-lost friends and strengthen your relationships with the friends you have. What people always know just the right word to inspire you? Also, when you engage in listening to others, your attention is on them, not on being lonely. So give yourself and others the gift of friendship.
  6. GET GROUNDED. Perceptions are skewed when you’re feeling lonely. Troubles appear magnified and can seem much worse when you’re down. Find your balance by shifting your focus away from loneliness and put your time and energy into things that make you feel better about yourself, such as focusing on your strengths and interests. What hobbies do you love?
  7. JUST JOURNAL. Put pen to paper and write out exactly how you’re feeling and thinking. This is a very healthy habit to put into practice because you identify what is making you feel the way you do. You will notice over time that expressing yourself becomes easier. One benefit is that you also have a record to look back on. For example, you may note that it’s only this time of year that you feel this way. Why is that? Write down your observations allows you to chart your growth as well.
  8. LOVE LEARNING. Stay connected by finding out the latest events in your community, or what is happening around the world. Being ‘in the know’ helps you to not feel isolated. Reading a book offers you so many ways to teach you new things. When you maintain a high interest level, you become absorbed in those things.
  9. PET POWER. Having a pet is really a blessing. They lavish love on you, allow you the pleasure of confiding in them and make you feel needed. If you don’t have a pet, you may offer to look after one.
  10. SCENIC SNAPSHOTS. Grab your camera and go for a walk or to a nature preserve. Allow the beauty of nature to invigorate and refresh your spirit. Take pictures that will inspire you now and in the future. If you don’t have a camera, you can still capture the moment mentally. Notice how crisp and fresh the air is. Observe closely all that makes you feel alive and happy.

Many people equate solitude with loneliness. But you can be alone with your thoughts and not feel lonely, right?

May Sarton clarifies a distinct difference. She says,

Loneliness is the poverty of self. Solitude is the richness of self.

Have Your Say…

If you experience loneliness, does this help you to see your situation with fresh eyes?

Are there other ways you know of that help overcome being lonely?

Does this post give you the hope you deserve?

Please let me know your thoughts by commenting here. I welcome your feedback. Thank you kindly!

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About Bill Butler
William A. Butler is a John C.Maxwell certified coach. He loves to add value to others and aspiring to be a great humanitarian, lives by four words: BE LOVE TO OTHERS. William often goes by "Bill" and is a poet, a songwriter and has an upcoming novel.

29 thoughts on “10 Ways To Overcome Loneliness & Have A Happy Life

  1. Good morning Bill!
    Excellent article with some great insights about loneliness. Your 10 tips are also very helpful and easy to follow.
    Loneliness, to me, is an indication of low self-esteem. As one the quotes says, “You can’t be unhappy if you like the person you are alone with.”
    When you have a healthy self-image and a high self-esteem, you can’t be lonely and therefore, you can’t be happy or have a feeling of being unwanted.

    People who feel unwanted have to focus on getting their self-esteem up and things you suggested certainly help us do that. The power of association (associate with uplifting people, join uplifting community groups etc.) combined with the power of spoke words can go a long way. Speaking positive, speaking to edify people, speaking to uplift people and doing healthy self-talk everyday – can change a lot of things for good.

    I enjoyed your post as usual. Thank you for adding value through your posts as always!
    Kumar Gauraw recently posted…12 Powerful And Easy Ways To Speed Up Your WordPress WebsiteMy Profile

    • Greetings Kumar,

      Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

      I agree with you that much loneliness comes from low self-esteem, but I think there are also many
      other factors involved that lead a person to feeling isolated. I think the best way to help those
      experiencing loneliness is to actively listen, to let them know they are cared for.

      BE LOVE TO OTHERS works on many levels. 🙂

      All the best!

  2. Hi Bill,

    When the holiday season rolls around many people experience loneliness. You wrote this post on a timely basis my friend.

    Those suggestions you have given above are great. I especially like the one about having a pet. I have dogs, so I’m never lonely!

    There is always a way to beat loneliness as you mentioned above. And as for your call to action: I have learned a long time ago that I rather be alone that feel loneliness. I was married to an abusive man in the past and never felt so lonely.

    It is an emotion, and it can be beat! May I add one suggestion? OK I will anyway lol

    There are plenty of people during the holiday season that are in need. Volunteer for a soup kitchen, the Salvation Army, etc. It is a wonderful experience to be giving and it will knock out that lonely feeling. I’ve done some myself during the holidays and it was the best ones I could remember.

    Donna Merrill recently posted…Using An Avatar When BloggingMy Profile

    • Hi Donna,

      I hope you’re well and enjoying this new week. I appreciate your comments and the time you took to do so.

      I’m glad you have learned ways to not allow loneliness to defeat you. I empathize with the loneliness you felt from being abused.
      I also know the feelings involved. Fortunately, that was a long time ago.

      Perhaps you overlooked it in my third point, but yes, volunteering is a wonderful experience and one that allows you to engage
      in conversations. It’s a wonderful way to contribute even if you’re not lonely. I’m glad your contributions have brought you happiness.

      Kind Regards,

  3. Hi Bill,

    Oh, boy does this post makes me want to write a book here, but I know I need to keep it for my real book 🙂

    Loneliness is a very old friend of mine. I’ve felt lonely a very good chuck of my life, but as a matter of fact I wasn’t as totally physically lonely as I am now. BUT I felt it about 1000 times more than I do now.

    NOW, I don’t feel lonely anymore at all. I feel fine, but truth is I am. I have NO member of my family talking to me for now 4 years this January 1st, and I’ve been divorced for over 10 years now. I have ONLY one friend here where I live. He’s the one on my life insurance and my emergency contact. I do not have anyone else to put.

    As a second person to reach in case of emergency (or life insurance) I have my brother whom I love with all my heart and whom I know has got to still love me, but he’s got brain washed by his religion and stopped talking to me at a time where my mother was starting to show that ugly mental disease that was preventing her to do anything anymore. He cut the connection between me and my aunt as well.

    Truth is as I’m writing this, they don’t know if I’m dead or alive. But this is what is going to make me the best life coach in the world, because if I can help myself in my situation I can help many.

    Thank you for thinking about the lonely. Great post.

    • Hi Sylviane,

      Thank you for sharing more about yourself. I really appreciate you. I feel the power of your words, and empathize with
      the pain you feel. Yes, I definitely think your experiences should be in a book. It’s a shame that more people have not
      learned to BE LOVE TO OTHERS, as you’ve cited in a couple of examples.

      I love your determination. I was the same way when I was being abused in my younger years. I intentionally turned it into
      the internal motivation to be better, not to prove them wrong. I did it for myself, and in that, I found my strength.

      I also admire your heart to help others. With your experience, I’m sure you will be greatly successful.
      Thank you again for taking time to be here and share.

      Wishing you every happiness,

  4. Mary Stephenson says:

    Hi Bill

    Great post on how to beat loneliness. Many people can’t stand being alone, they are not comfortable with their own company, which I think is very sad.

    I think it would be very tough not to have at least one person you could spend time with but as Sylviane above just talked about her family, now that is heartbreaking. But she is fine being alone as she has strength from it. My family talks to me but are many miles away and there are times I wish I was with them. But my husband and I are together and we enjoy each others company. We are grateful for our 2 cats that share our space. I see my daughter and granddaughter on rare occasions, but that is okay.

    This time of year is hard for many as they come to realized how much they miss the unity of family, even if it was a dysfunctional one. But we all have to take responsibility for our own happiness. Happiness comes from within and no one else can give it to you. But your list does show people that they can have happiness if they take action and find their own peace.


    • Hi Mary,

      Welcome back, and thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I trust you are healthy and happy.

      Yes, when writing this post, it’s something I had not directly considered, and this is how uncomfortable some people
      are in their own skin. Yes, it’s a shame how some family members shut out their own. I think they probably do not ever
      consider how that makes the person being shut out feel. I feel for Sylviane too.

      Everything is better in person. You can have the warmth of hugs, better conversations, better ability read their body language, etc.
      But even the miles cannot create distance between people who stay connected to each other.

      You’re right… Happiness is a personal responsibility as much as an inside job. Some people just need to see it as
      an occupation… APPLY WITHIN.

      Wishing you every joy!

  5. Bill, I feel sorry for the lonely, especially those people who have given up on having love in their life. We all are loved and sometimes we can forget how much loved we are.

    This time of year can be really hard on some people. Society put so much value on this time of year, therefore making it hard for some people to see the difference.

    The only good thing about this time is that it is short. Loneliness is temporary. Pick yourself up and move on to better times.
    Michael Belk recently posted…Metal detectors in schools are a form of window dressing.My Profile

    • Hi Michael,

      I’m with you on this one. I think you’ve underscored an important point, and that is that loneliness can be temporary.
      That is of one decides to get out of the funk they are in, and move on. It’s just not so easy because those feelings
      can keep one locked in place, so to speak, feeling useless and lethargic.

      But you’re right, pick yourself up, and have something to look forward to.

      All the best,

  6. I can’t even image Bill being lonely. I’ll be divorced 24 years at the end of this month and I moved out the October before so I’ve been alone for a very long time. The one constant companion I had though was my dog so yes, they are a God send.

    Now I know that Kumar said that loneliness is a form of low self-esteem. I don’t necessarily agree with that only because I know some people who are lonely but they’re dealing with a horrible pain and they don’t want the support right now. It has nothing to do with low self-esteem but just something they have to work through.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been lonely. Actually, I love being alone. I’m kind of weird in that way because on one hand I’m a big people person and I do love being around people. The other side of that is I love being alone. If I never saw anybody for an entire year I’d be fine. I love life and I’m deliriously happy. I enjoy my own company and I actually prefer doing a lot of things by myself instead of with others.

    Unlike Sylviane though, I do have a very loving family and of course my Mom lives next door. I have so many wonderful long time friends too so I wouldn’t even know what it felt like to have no one. Maybe I would think differently but I’m just glad I’ll never know.


    • Hi Adrienne,

      I’ve felt loneliness a number of times in my life, especially enduring abuse. Thank God, I haven’t felt lonely in years now.
      I agree with you that pain can be a reason for loneliness and some people just need their own space to deal with their emotions.

      I’m glad you are happy and that you are able to enjoy the solitude of being alone. I think having a support system in place
      certainly helps, which doesn’t necessarily need to be family.

      I’m thinking we will get another dog after we stop travelling, which we currently do plenty of.

      Hope your week is going great. Thank you for sharing! 🙂


  7. Hello William,

    Loneliness is not something to wish your worst enemy…I have been there many times and so I know.

    Of all the points you mentioned, having a pet, especially an intelligent one can really be of immense benefit. For me, a dog has always done the trick!

    Do have a great day!

    – Terungwa

    • Hello Terungwa,

      Yes the pain of loneliness and the feeling that you’re all alone in your pain can be overwhelming.
      What kind of dog do you have? We had a Shi Tzu for 11 years, but she passed a few years ago.

      Thank you kindly. Have a great week ahead!

  8. Hi, Bill!
    Thanks for sharing your post, I believe it will be very useful for many people.
    I remember many times in my life when I was lonely (or as I look from now – it was my choice). I think many times people just chose to be lonely because they want others to regret them and most usually they regret themselves. I believe that everyone should learn to be lonely, because it’s the way to learn value the relationships.

    Have a great day ;)!


    • Hello Aistis,

      You recognized a great point, that many times you made the choice to be lonely. The sadness one feels can teach you plenty
      how to relate to others, simply because once you know the pain of loneliness, you don’t want others to feel that pain.

      Thank you for contributing your thoughts. Much appreciated. You have a great day too! 🙂


  9. Hi Bill,
    Very nice perspective. I spent my idle time and loneliness reading anything which I find interesting.

    I have very recently started following couples blogs, I can see it started bringing new perspective towards life!
    Ranjan Gupta recently posted…How To Protect Your Eyes From Computer Screen And Digital DevicesMy Profile

    • Hi Ranjan,

      I think it is very important, especially when one is overwhelmed with feelings of loneliness, to utilize what resources
      one has available to change their focus. Any material that is uplifting, encouraging, motivating, or seeks to bring out
      their best. Knowing that you always have options and choices also helps.

      Kind Regards,

  10. Hey Bill,

    Yes you can be alone with your thoughts and still not feel loney! I do this a lot, especially digging through what resonates with me and what’s going to help me grow.

    I guess you can say this is talking to your higher self. We tend to loose our way to who we really are because of the influence of our peers or society in general. So it’s a good thing I believe to take that alone time to regain who we originally were.

    Out of the tips you mentioned above, what resonated with me was numbers 4,6,8, and 9

    When I feel lonely, I know that I have options to not feel alone. There are so many things and people in this world that will keep us company when we get to this point. After I graduated from college, each summer I felt alone for some reason or the other, then one year I decided to go for some of the things I always wanted to learn.

    When brings up the point of number 8. I’ve actually start taking salsa lessons some 8 years ago, as well as piano and conga lessons. I started meeting more people and had got two of my old friends involved in the salsa scene (gotta pat myself on the back for that accomplishment LOL)… But when you go out to fulfill an activity you always wanted to learn, now your focused on your accomplishments and how you can improve. Now all of these things are great past time hobbies.

    Now you also can’t go wrong with having a pet. I do love dogs, and I’m starting to like cats to. I actually befriended a cat at my conga teachers house. I’ve known him for two years and never knew he had a cat LOL…but having a great pet will definitely keep you company and feel needed by them. I’ve had a couple of German Shephards and they were definitely one of a kind!

    Great share Bill.. Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend!

    • Hello Sherman,

      I think loneliness is being disconnected to one’s higher self. When we operate from a place of love, compassion and kindness,
      we are living from our higher selves. But when fear sets in, for any reason, we are not our selves, that is we are not our
      higher selves, where wisdom prevails. Therefore, in a state of panic, for example, we do not make wise choices.

      I agree with you, having hobbies, especially those that involve others, is a great way to take one’s mind off one self.
      Thank you so much for sharing more about yourself. I appreciate you.

      Having a great weekend, Thanks Sherman.

  11. First I want to thank you for the golden treasures you have chosen to share so timely in conjunction with the spirit of giving around the festive season celebrating Christmas.

    Before one can truly crossed the path of solitude , I believe that I need to walk through my own journey of self discovery .When I was going through the phase of loneliness especially during my teenage years, I overcome this emotion by my unconscious mental action of searching through penning my thoughts down in a poem .eg
    Far out in the ocean
    Within sight was a little boat
    Drifting and Floating in circle
    Without an aim in mind
    It seems so sad
    That such a boat
    Should miss the beautiful Sunshine
    And Cool lovely breeze on that day
    Slowly and Steadily
    It begins to change course
    It can feel far out there
    A friendly and caring boat is around
    Soon she started to put effort in towards that other boat
    And begins to enjoy that lovely day
    She realize it is hard work
    Nevertheless with help around
    It is hope she will not be feeling lost again.

    • Greetings Wong,

      So nice to hear from you again. It’s been some time. I trust you are as well as can be. 🙂
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, especially your very meaningful, hopeful poem.

      Yes, keeping a journal of your thoughts, including poetry, is very wise because you can look back
      and see where you’ve grown, and what you were thinking at a particular time in your life.

      Your poem reminds me of a very distinct feeling I had in the Navy, being 300 miles west of San Diego
      heading for Hawaii. I had a day off, I spent a few hours on the fore (the front) of the ship in the sunshine
      doing some writing. All around me, the sun shone diamond glints on the water where there was no land in sight.

      It’s a very unique feeling, not one of loneliness, but a very special place to be alone lost in thought.

      All the best to you. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

      Kind Regards,

  12. Conscious Choices: “Recognize that you always have choices, so keep your options open. Understand…you always have the ability to change the focus of your attention. There is plenty you can do, so do everything in your power to be positive.” – Bill Butler

    • Greetings Ime,
      Thank you so much for sharing this. It is my hope, as always, to provide content that will impact lives
      for good. With your help, the reach is extended.

      God bless you richly!

  13. what about a woman about 55 years old who has never been loved. That is loneliness

    • Hi Meg,

      Never had the love of a parent, guardian or caretaker? Never had the love of a friend?
      Never had the love of someone who simply accepts you as you are?

      One would have to examine the cause of “never” being loved to truly understand.

      Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.”
      Benjamin Franklin said, “If you would be loved, love and be lovable.”

      Kindest Regards,

  14. […] If you struggle with loneliness, please read 10 Ways To Overcome Loneliness and Have A Happy Life. […]

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