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Mary Gorham Malia
Loneliness — is it an attitude or a place? I know you see it as a feeling.
You say to yourself, “I feel lonely.” Or maybe you say, “I am lonely.”
And then there are places that have been described as the loneliest places on Earth.
Most frequently the loneliest place on Earth is when you’re in a crowd of happy people and you are feeling miserable.
And that’s an attitude that’s creating loneliness.
We feel what we think about and focus on. Believe it or not, you are creating all of your feelings, including that feeling of being lonely.
When we are feeling lonely, we are running a movie in our head.
This movie has a story line that says: Life shouldn’t be like this. You shouldn’t be alone.
You shouldn’t have to live alone, sleep alone, eat alone and go to the gym alone. Add whatever else fits in this story line for you.
I know it’s tough. I’ve struggled with feeling lonely since I was a child.
I was the only girl with four brothers. We often lived in places where there was nothing to do and no one to do it with. I’m very intimate with the feeling of lonely.
You can break the back of that lonely feeling with some key strategies.
“The thing I am feeling right now is loneliness.”
You aren’t “being” lonely. You’re feeling it. And our feelings change all day long.
“Our feelings really are
under our control.”
Ask yourself something like, “Wow, this is an interesting feeling. I wonder what else I could be feeling right now?”
Yes, I agree this seems like a strange question to ask yourself, but it is a very empowering question. It gives you permission to feel something different.
It also triggers your mind to look for something different.
You could be feeling sad or angry or bored or content. If you change your focus, you’ll change how you feel.
It’s obvious, right? You can shift your emotions with a question.
You can also shift your emotions by doing something that moves your body. When you shift your physical body, your mind and emotions shift also.
You’ve heard of runner’s high, right? Exactly. That’s using the body and creating an emotion or feeling from that movement.
Get out a piece of paper. Set a timer for five minutes. Now write about feeling lonely. Write how you feel when you are lonely.
Why are you feeling lonely? What do you look like when you feel lonely?
How do you sound when you feel lonely? How do you smell when you feel lonely? How do you eat when you feel lonely?
Now let’s switch up the focus.
Now write about how you look when you’re happy.
How do you eat when you feel happy? How do you sound when you feel happy? How do you smell when you’re feeling happy?
What does happy sound like? What does happy feel like?
Do you notice you’re not feeling lonely anymore? Are you noticing the lonely feeling getting smaller and, like a burp, it’s leaving your body? Don’t you feel better?
Our feelings really are under our control. You can spend time visiting the feeling of loneliness. When you’re done, you now have a map to find the feeling of happiness.
This is a simple exercise you can repeat in your head and cut off that horrible lonely feeling at the root.
Readers, did you do the exercise? How did it make you feel? Let me know in the comment section.
Photo source: marccortez.com.