Loneliness is something that we as young students face from time to time. The feeling of being isolated, alone and unwanted pretty much sums up the emotional state of loneliness. The lucky few may have their own coping mechanics, while others may find it hard to beat off the blues. Though, the best part is – it is not rocket science to figure out a few tricks to tackle the issue. Here we list you 5 surefire ways to get around this problem.
1. Search For Cool Places To Hangout
“This is where inspiration begins. With coffee of course.”
Loneliness creeps on us when we are alone in our personal space. The feeling of not having the presence of people around or the absence of sight and sound of others may send this empty hollow feeling. Search for hangouts where you can be both comfortable and surrounded by people. To name a few, coffee hangouts like Starbucks, Coffee Bean, and similar chains may provide you with the comfortable space to be at. You may also use this space to complete your academic assignments or perhaps enjoy your Youtube videos while getting your caffeine fix.
2. Give Back To Society (Or To Stray Animals)
“You’ll never be alone with these fluffy furry friends. “
This may not sound too cool to some of you, but believe me that by not having too much focus on your loneliness and by simply channeling your energy to helping others, it may reduce that dreaded lonely feeling. A simple gesture of lending a hand or buying food for the needy such as at the old folk’s home – can send a positive feeling into your system. Another example would be a visit to SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty against Animal). From time to time SPCA seeks the assistance of the young and energetic youths like yourself to help around with their chores. There are many volunteer duties at the centre – these include the early sessions of cleaning the cages, helping to prepare and serve meals to the animals, kennel guides (assisting the public when adopting a pet) and general housekeeping tasks. If you have experience in handling pets, SPCA needs you. You can help with chores like walking the dogs, bathing or even grooming the cats. Ultimately, the bottom-line is that when you are pre-occupied with such responsibilities, you will likely not have the time to be thinking of loneliness.
3. Get An Interactive Hobby
“Trust us, jumping on a big moving ball with other people is a good way to avoid being alone.”
Now we are not saying that you don’t have a hobby, the fact is all of us do but some are just not as ‘interactive’ as others. Playing the piano or the guitar is great and so is getting on to your Xbox. I personally play the guitar and even compose my own songs with it over the years of playing. But beyond this, I have come to realize that unless I am in a band or in an orchestra, my guitar hobby is after all just an individual pursuit. The hobby is great but it has limited me from engaging or communicating with others but to remain all to myself. Sad fact! Get a hobby that allows you to interact and communicate with others. Games, which require teamwork, like football, paintball or even badminton. If you are into communication, join a local toastmasters club as that will definitely grow your circle of friends and bring your public speaking skills to the next level. There you go 2 birds with 1 stone. You may find it hard to just interact with others out of the blue, but with purpose of playing a sport or hobby, this gives you all the reason to engage others. Get a hobby that involves team interaction and you will soon realize loneliness no longer creeps behind you.
4. Change Your Mental Thought
“It’s akin to reformatting your harddrive. Just insert a new software deep into your brain.”
We may feel lonely at times but are we aware of the cause for such depressing emotions? Every effect has a cause and where else should we be looking at other than our very own selves? We are the masters of our body and when we feel a certain way, it is because we conditioned ourselves to feel so. Take for an example during first year student orientation, of course we are a little reserved and anxious at the same time. The thought of actually making new friends there and then will probably make you sweat profusely that you would shrivel up into an ikan bilis. But why do we feel so? Our mind is focused on protecting ourselves and to avoid embarrassment to the point we hide in the shadows in the corner of the room, hence the loneliness.
It’s time to change our mindsets, instead of reserving ourselves why not just stay where you are and not shy away. I’m sure it’s pretty safe enough to be where you are so just stay put. Avoiding mental habits that conveniently resort to escaping into loneliness would simply block the tendency of it manifesting in your mind itself. Replace these common reflexes with a choice that you decide for your own. Decide to react differently from how you always do and that’s great enough. The longer we keep loneliness at bay, soon you will even start wondering how it feels like being lonely. For a change, when it comes to interacting and engaging with society, play a game with yourself and try doing things the opposite of how you used to. Wear the hat of a ‘Sociable person’ and just act that way for a while. Soon you will get used to it and once you are satisfied with the outcome, you can now stop the act and be yourself. Let’s see what you would turn out to be then.
5. Get Active Online
“Of course this doesn’t mean you have to stay in front of your computer or mobile the whole time. It’s more a touch-base stepping stone.”
The online world provides a great alternative to breaking out of loneliness. Online friends may come from different parts of the world or perhaps within your own local neighborhood too. Websites such as meetup.com can be a great way to meet new people who share similar interests such as you. Or perhaps, you may get in-touch with old buddies via Facebook or former workmate through LinkedIn. The catch is that you’ll be soon laughing with them over a coffee in your local mamak or a nearby café if you first make the effort to stay connected with them.
Skype can also be a strong point for online communication. The best part of it all, unlike online chat, Skype gives you the advantage of face-to-face communication. It’s free over Wi-Fi in your local Starbucks or Mc Donald’s, so make full use of it. Video call your buddies and try to connect with loved-ones abroad on a regular basis, perhaps once a week or even once every fortnight. Out of sight doesn’t mean out of heart and knowing you are still being appreciated although the distance apart is a great solitude-buster. Other apps are equally helpful too. Viber and Google hangouts offer similar function in the comfort of your own smartphone, try them out!
The above are some of the tips that you can use to your benefit in handling loneliness. It is also worth noting that, the upside of trying these few ideas is that you may also improve on your interpersonal skills. This is especially true, if you are participating in events such public speaking, sporting events, which requires teamwork and communication. After all, this may come in handy in your resume as a fresh graduate. Employers recognize and value these traits. So what are you waiting for? Get up, make new friends and give yourself a break from loneliness and have fun.
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