Loneliness

What You Can Do

Coping With Loneliness

Feeling lonely isn't in itself a mental health problem, but the two are strongly linked. Having a mental health problem increases your chance of feeling lonely, and feeling lonely can have a negative impact on your mental health.

Although most people need some kind of social contact to maintain good mental health, everyone has different social needs. You may be someone who is content with a few close friends, or you may need a large group of varied acquaintances to feel satisfied.

Top Tips

Have a look at these tips. They might help you to cope with feelings of loneliness.

  • Think about what is making you lonely
  • Make new connections
  • Open up
  • Take it slow
  • Be careful when comparing yourself to others
  • Check how you are feeling
  • Get some help
  • Read others' stories
Think About What is Making You Lonely

Being alone is not the same as being lonely. There is nothing wrong with being on your own if you are comfortable with it.

If you're visiting this page however, something probably feels wrong for you.

People usually describe feeling lonely for one of two reasons:

  • they simply don't see or talk to anyone very often
  • even though they are surrounded by people, they don't feel understood or cared for

Deciding which is the case for you may help you to find a way of feeling better.

New Connections

It can be helpful to think of feeling lonely like feeling hungry. Just as your body uses hunger to tell your body you need food, loneliness is a way of your body telling you that you need more social contact.

That means the simplest way to ease feelings of loneliness can be to try to meet more, or different, people.

  • Can you think of anything you're interested in, a class or a group you've heard of, that could help you connect with new people?
  • Volunteering is a good way of meeting people. Helping others can also really help improve your mental health. See useful contacts for organisations that can help you find local volunteering opportunities
  • Join an online community.
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