How To Overcome Loneliness: Acceptance

Many people instinctively try to run from loneliness. Sometimes they try to hide from it by numbing themselves. They might sleep, watch TV, or play video games. Or, they might try to distract themselves with chores and activities. They keep busy and superficially engaged in life. But none of this really works—at least not for the long haul. The aching emptiness breaks through numbed bodies and mindless activity.

Sometimes, people try to get rid of the pain by blaming themselves for it. They criticize themselves for being unworthy of others. They see all their flaws or mistakes and demean themselves for them. Frequently, their unconscious hope is that if they could identify what’s wrong with themselves and fix it, then they can make the pain go away. Or, if they can’t make it go away, they can at least make sense of it. But they only feel worse for their efforts.

Instead, choose to stay with the feeling. Acknowledge your loneliness and choose to continue being aware of it.

– Dr. Becker-Phelps

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