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1. Catch your inner critic’s attempts to sabotage yourself. Pay attention to self-degrading thoughts like “I am too fat for anybody to want to date,” “I wish I were funnier and had interesting things to say,” or “People never seem to get me.”
2. Replace negative self-talk with affirming messages, such as, “I am perfectly lovable just as I am,” and “I welcome love, friendship and support into my life.”
3. Fight the urge to isolate. Isolation validates your fears that you are not worthy of the love and support you absolutely deserve. Sometimes you have to force yourself to do exactly that which you are dreading — like putting yourself out there.
4. Weed out the toxic relationships and create space in your life for relationships that fuel your spirit. You can’t grow lovely succulent vegetables with a large patchwork of weeds.
5. Nurture your support network. Even if there is only one person to start with, you can build on it. Don’t underestimate the importance of what you have to offer.
6. Expand your social network. Online social sites such as MeetUp.com are an ideal place to meet people and to explore hobbies, interests and social groups.
7. Open your self-up, take risks, and allow yourself to be vulnerable. Since loneliness results in isolation, experiment by sharing aspects of yourself, including experiences, feelings, memories, dreams, desires, etc. This will help you feel more known and understood.
8. Ask for what you need. Find your voice. Tell people what you need from them to alleviate the loneliness. Friends respond to direct messages for help and support. Give it a try, you might be surprised!
9. Take action. Don’t wait for an invitation. Be willing to take a risk, be proactive and invite people to share in your life, whether it is for coffee, lunch, a walk, an event or a gathering in your home.
10. Recognise the importance of being alone and enjoying solitude. Being alone is not the same as being lonely. Peace, quiet, freedom, space and the opportunity to connect with your deeper self.
11. Consider therapy. Counseling is something that is healthy and proactive that can help you overcome the self-defeating behaviors that exacerbate loneliness. With the support of a therapist, you can change your thinking and relationship patterns and achieve the life you want!