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How to change Loneliness with mindfulness? The feeling of being lonely is something that many people experience, but not everyone can identify with. Loneliness is the intense feeling of isolation and despair – with the need to have personal acceptance, personal understanding and lack of judgement or criticism. This mental construct generates the feeling of being alone, lonely and despairing, which can, with time and effort, be helped through Mindfulness Meditation.
Alone in a crowd
Sometimes we can feel alone even in a big crowd or at home with our friends and family. We can be intimidated by gatherings and public appearances even when we are just a spectator. We feel worthless, projecting that everyone else has it sussed, and it is just us who have got it wrong, inept, and mainly to blame for anything which isn’t just perfect.
If we can understand the root cause, maybe we could relax and accept the way things are. But often as not, we want to hide away and dissolve into the duvet, distracting ourselves in computer games and watching our phones and TV.
The bright light at the end of this tunnel
There is a way out of this endless maze of negative thoughts, feelings and emotions. A permanent way on how to change Loneliness out of loneliness is by learning to meditate. Learning mindfulness meditation.
Meditation is a very misunderstood idea. A bit like loneliness! For meditation is not religious, or culty or a club or group you have to join.
Meditation is a mental skill providing a new way of seeing, observing and thinking outside of the box of your preconceived ideas and thoughts. Personally, I use mindfulness meditation as my way of seeing life differently.
Feelings of loneliness. Change Loneliness.
Feeling alone and feeling lonely are two different things. You can be alone and perfectly happy, or in a crowd and feel isolated, miserable and totally lonely.
Your own mind sabotaging you. Reminding you that you might never learn to change your Loneliness. The phrases and memories wizz around you brain saying:
- They won’t want to listen to me.
- They think I am stupid.
- I never have anything worth saying.
- Its always my fault
- I am not good enough.
- I will be rejected and abandoned again, like when I was a child.
How do I start to meditate, to change Loneliness?
Simple really…. Just do nothing on purpose. For the next five minutes.
OK, maybe 5 mins are too long. Let’s try 30 seconds.
Now when I mean nothing, I mean absolutely nothing.
- Sit on a chair, a kitchen chair, one not too comfortable
- Switch off any music, phones, TV’s, tablets, laptops
- Sit alert spine and back straight, head upright, eyes looking forward and slightly down
- Feet flat on the floor
- Hands in your lap
- Now the difficult part. Bring your focus of attention into this very moment.
- Don’t think of anything which is not immediately present with you now.
- You may observe everything about you: your environment, your clothes, your body, your posture.
- You may not make up stories in your mind. You may not think of anything from the past( the past being ANYTHING before this moment in time.)
- You may not think of anything which is in the future, fictitious or might be happening later, including the end of this post.
- You are going to spend 30 seconds at this very moment.
- You are going to focus 100% of your attention on the sound and feel of the inhalation of your breath.
- Then you are going to focus 100% of your attention on the sound and feel of the exhalation of your breath.
- Whilst doing this, you are subjected to the above rules. Yet. You are going to watch your own mind as it attempts to distract you from this pointless escapade of doing nothing on purpose.
- You will tell yourself, ” why am I doing this?” “What is the point of this?” “What possible good or effect this has on my feelings of abject loneliness, despair and depression?”
- Do not entertain such thoughts. They are just distractions, nothing more than your clever monkey mind trying tricks to regain control of you and your focus of attention.
- Ok … Got it… Well, here goes 30 seconds or three deep breaths in and out.
That’s it… That’s meditation, that’s mindfulness, that’s the answer to all your mental troubles and all your fears and worries.
All you have to do is find the time every day to Stop. Breathe. Focus inwards. Breathe again and notice where your focused attention is. What are you thinking about and how does that make you feel? What emotions does that bring up in you. Then realise that if you stay in this present moment then you can change the way you feel… NOW.
I am not kidding; A happy life is that easy.
It is the addiction to overthinking that is not easy to stop. Practicing being awake and aware of what is truly happening in your life, each day for 30 secs, 2 mins or 5mins or longer will build up the new neural pathway of true inner happiness and contentment.
Understanding how we feel
The use of social media can be very misleading, and instead of being supportive, it makes the feelings of loneliness even greater. Everyone else is having fun, enjoying life and being appreciated. It is important to understand how we feel this and why these feelings occur. Mindfulness meditation is one of the first ways to change this perspective.
Loneliness often starts with subconscious fundamental expectations not being met. The wishes and needs of wanting to be part of something inclusive and loving. Yet this feeling of isolation and being misunderstood, not listened to, may have begun in early childhood, adolescence or early life and is ‘hard wired’ into your brain’s survival memory, deep in the subconscious folds of the brain.
This is why trying to be part of the group or get others to like you always ends in disaster.
The more the mind tries to get you what you want, the more it backfires because living with this feeling of isolation can lead down a very dark path – into deep despair.
Mindfulness can not give you your perfect Life.
Mindfulness can’t give you your perfect life. So, how to change loneliness?
With practice and focus and a bit of dedicated hard work, is the only way to see the advantages of meditation deliver. There will be chances and opportunities given to you to centre yourself, to calm right down and let the clarity come into your life. And the space to act and be that change that is needed for a calm and happy self. And soon you will realise slowly, like climbing a mountain, that life is changing, your view is changing, life is changing till one day there is a smile on your face and love in your heart.
When you feel lonely
Loneliness is the feeling of intense solitude, sadness and depression. When you feel lonely, it feels like there’s no way out. Meditation has been shown to help people who suffer in this area by providing them with an opportunity for self-awareness and observation outside of what they already know. The problem with meditation and mindfulness meditation, in particular, is that it isn’t an instant hit. It is no bolt of lightning coming down from heaven to save you. Still, more of a slow train coming down the line, offering you the insights and the opportunities to get a view—an unobstructed view of yourself, without the judgements and the negative emotional interpretations.
This view is special. It is the view that you begin to understand that your current view of life, your perspective on what matters and what doesn’t matter, is just a view, a thought view, and in that then it is not fixed, permanent or unchangeable.
This insight may have just been written on paper, but let me reassure you that when the power of how to change loneliness, settles down to being a focused reality maker in your mind, things change and shatter. Liberating a creative, freedom, dynamic and positively full of life.
The only way to get anywhere near to this epiphany is to sit and do nothing on purpose. Placing your focus attention 100% into whatever is happening now…… The Breath is a good place to start.
Going forward with mindfulness
I hope this article has helped you better understand loneliness, how to change Loneliness and how to take care of yourself. I also wanted readers to know that meditation can be a powerful tool in calming the mind, body and soul. It is not just about sitting for hours on end without moving.
More to come, more of the same but different. Ways to tame that wild mind, to calm the monkey mind and find that happiness from within.