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Coping with loneliness

Feeling lonely sometimes is ok. But when it’s happening all the time you might need some extra support.

Cartoon girl socially excluded

Loneliness is something everybody feels

While loneliness is a really common feeling, there are some myths about what loneliness is and how to cope with loneliness. For example:

MYTH: Being alone and feeling lonely are the same thing.

FACT: You can be in a room full of people and still feel lonely. Being alone can be enjoyable for some people and they don’t feel lonely at all.

 

MYTH: Loneliness is just sadness.

FACT: Loneliness can be a complex and painful feeling - it’s more than just feeling sad. It can bring up other strong feelings inside us that are sometimes hard to deal with.

 

MYTH: Loneliness is something you learn to live with.

FACT: Loneliness will usually pass on its own. However, feeling lonely all the time could be a sign that you need extra support.

What happens when you feel lonely?

Our brains are wired for connection with other people. When we start to feel distant from important people in our lives loneliness can begin to creep in.

Everybody is different and loneliness can affect people in many ways.

You feel isolated from others
You feel upset and worry it’s never going to end
You feel that nobody cares about you
It’s confusing and you’re not sure why you feel this way
You want to escape the feeling
You remember painful past experiences of feeling abandoned

What you can do to cope with loneliness

It’s hard to shake the feeling of loneliness sometimes, especially if you’ve been feeling this way for a while.

Here’s some things that might help you cope and move past it:

Rather than trying to escape the feeling, accept that it’s there

Keep doing the things you enjoy instead of withdrawing

Take your mind off it for a while by doing something fun

Talk to somebody you trust about how you’re feeling

Express how you feel – try sports, journaling, or art

Take it day by day and focus on the present instead of the past or future

No matter how lonely you feel, you’re never alone. Kids Helpline is always here to listen and support you.

There’s always somebody you can talk to

If you’re feeling lonely and not sure what to do, talk with a counsellor.

Our service is free from anywhere in Australia. Give us a call, start a WebChat or send us an email today.

This content was last reviewed 14/02/2018

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