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6 Ways to Ease Loneliness and Socialize for Your Mental Health

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Having time to yourself matters. Everyone needs some alone time. We need moments to ourselves to breathe. To relax. To regain energy. I agree with this. However, there are moments when being alone is not ideal. As much as the introvert in me loves solitude and reflection, I can get lonely if I’m always by myself. Plus, loneliness is said to have a negative impact on our mental health.

That’s why there needs to be a fine balance for me with enjoying time spent alone and making time for company. Below, I have a few tips on how to ease loneliness, socialize and the benefits it provides to your health.

1. Volunteer.

Becoming a volunteer for a cause you care about provides numerous benefits. It gives you a sense of meaning and fulfillment in your life. It can help you to develop your skills. It’s also a great way to provide opportunities for you to be social by interacting with others. In addition, it adds variety to your days by being involved in different activities.

2. Join groups that pertain to your hobbies.

In addition to volunteering, being involved in groups and organizations that pertain to your interests and hobbies is also essential. Reading is something I enjoy doing, so I got involved in a book club. It’s a great way for me to still enjoy doing what I like and engage with others.

When you engage yourself in groups and organizations that matter to you, you find like-minded people. I truly enjoy connecting with those who understand me. Those I can relate to. I enjoy connecting with others where I can have meaningful conversations. When you join groups and organizations that highlight things you care about, you’re putting yourself in a space and environment for you to connect with the people who will “get you.”

3. Take initiative and strike a conversation.

For some people, being social is second nature. It’s a natural instinct. People assume I’m a naturally social person. But the reality is, it depends on the environment I find myself in. It also depends on how much of an effort I’m willing to make. I learn how to be social through effort and putting myself out there.

In order for you to be more social and engage with others, you have to try. Try to strike a conversation with the people you meet. If you’re not good at immediately striking a conversation, practice before you go out. Think about the things you might want to say or discuss. That way, you have some idea of what to do when approaching others. This is very helpful for social and networking events.

4. Make an effort to be in different environments.

If you allow yourself to only be in the comfort of your home or at the workplace, you miss out on opportunities to engage and connect with others. That’s why you have to make an effort to be social. You have to make an effort to put yourself in a different environment and space.

In the past, I used introversion as an excuse for not putting myself out there. Yet, I was dissatisfied with the overall quality of my life. I now try to strike a balance where I can have my alone time yet still engage with others in a meaningful way.

5. Be mindful of your thoughts.

I can often be in my head and in my thoughts. At times, this is my strength. Other times, it’s a weakness because then I think too much about something that might not be an issue. Being mindful of my thoughts is what helps me to make more efforts to improve my social life.

When I was younger, it was often my thoughts that were holding me back from socializing more. I had negative self-limiting beliefs about how others would see and approach me. Now, I’ve learned to be more mindful of my thoughts, especially if I’m approaching a new environment and people. I make sure I don’t carry a lot of expectations. I make sure I don’t allow fictitious thoughts to obscure me from reality.

6. Be more honest.

That cliché of honesty being the best policy rings true. In order to find your way out of loneliness or ease it, you have to admit to yourself that you want more. In the past, I often just complained about my life. I didn’t admit I wanted more to others.

Sometimes, I tell myself that no one truly understands or relates to me. However, over time, I’ve learned that when I express my emotions, people are receptive. When I discuss my true feelings, I find that people can relate and understand. It helps to be more honest with ourselves as well as others.

What are some ways you try to be social and engage with others?

Follow this journey on the author’s blog.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Originally published: January 24, 2019
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