6 Ways to Banish Loneliness.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Lonely person

Loneliness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Ending Loneliness.

In a past post, we talked about Loneliness first-aid – ways to keep that creature from moving into your life. But if you find that Mr. Loneliness has been a longtime guest in your life – How do you get him to move out?

Here are some ways to banish Loneliness from your life. Breaking up, when you are in a bad relationship is hard to do. The person who is causing you so much pain will resist leaving. Loneliness is sneaky that way. You send him packing out the front door and you might find him climbing in the window later that night.

Here are ways to get through to loneliness that he is not welcome in your life anymore.

1. Become your own best friend.

Remember back to elementary school. If you had a best friend they did not like it if you started hanging out with someone else. Mr. Loneliness is like that. He never grew up. So if you start hanging out with a good friend he will not want to hang out with your anymore.

What better friend to be with than yourself.

This is hard for some folks. They tell me they have low self-esteem. They are not sure they like themselves and they would not want themselves from a best friend.

This lays out a clear roadmap to becoming happier. Make friends with you.

Get to really know yourself and like yourself. Stop beating yourself up. If no one ever gave you credit for things well done, learn to take a bow when you did something right.

Accept yourself and forgive yourself. Become the model of a best friend and start by becoming your own best friend.

It is hard for other people to like to be with us if we do not like ourselves.

2. Reconnect with old friends.

Loneliness wants you to forget about people who have been supportive and rely only on him. Look through your phone list and call someone. Call someone or email them every day. Chances are that since you stopped staying in contact with that old friend loneliness has been hanging around their door also.

3. Make some new same-sex friends.

When people are lonely the first suggestion loneliness makes is to find a new lover. Loneliness knows that the high of a new love feeling will only last a short while. Sex with a new partner can leave you alone sleeping with Mister Loneliness faster than anything else.

The loneliest time for most people is after a close relationship ends.

So if you want to avoid the new sexual partner trap Mister Loneliness has set for you, make new friends who are the same gender as you. That takes the mating ritual stuff out of the picture for most people.

If you are gay or lesbian, forget what I just said and work on making more friends of the opposite sex. The idea here is to develop social connections that can chase off Mr. Loneliness without falling into the new relationship trap.

Those hormones in the brain love releases last 6 to 18 months. If you haven’t learned how to be happy without your partner there all the time, then as that new love turns into an everyday routine you will start dating Mr. Loneliness again.

4. Get out there.

You need to get out of the house and do things. Nothing makes you and Mr. Loneliness closer than you isolating from other human contacts.

Now by “get out there,” do not think you need to hit the clubs and bars. That is a good way to run into Mister Loneliness again. He likes to dress up as an alcoholic or an addict. The man who looks like Mister Right probably has some drug habits and a few ex’s, baby’s mommas and the like.

What you need to do is get out there around other happy positive people.  If you have an interest in a sport, join a team or league. If you like reading, join a book club. If you have a religious or spiritual faith, get active in that group.

5. Learn friend-making skills.

Learning to make friends is a skill, not an ability. Some people just seem naturally better at making friends but a few of those naturals have confided in me about the process they went through to get good at making friends. Watch those people who are good at making friends and see how they do it.

Do not start telling yourself that you could never do what they do. Maybe not exactly what they do in their way. You are you after all. But you can pick up a few pointers by watching the popular people.

Ask one of them how they do it and you may get a helping hand you never expected.

When in a new place learn to put your hand out and introduce yourself. Ask about others and wait to be asked about yourself. Do not regurgitate your whole life story but offer up small tidbits to keep the conversation moving.

Keep telling yourself you can get better at making and keeping friends.

5. Learn the skills to be alone but not lonely.

Being all alone should not mean being lonely. If you have done the work on yourself, become your own best friend learned the things you like and the things that are not ok with you, then being alone some of the time should be a good thing.

6. Take yourself on a date.

Do nice things for yourself. Go to places you like to visit. Try out new foods and new positive experiences.

Where would you take a tourist who was visiting your town for the first time? Many people have never seen the top tourist spots in their own city. Take yourself there. If you really like the place invite a friend to go back with you.

Ask people you know for recommendations of places to visit. If they come up with suggestions ask them if they have ever been there and either way, ask them if they would care to join you. If they say no do not take this as a rejection of you. We all have busy lives these days and sometimes people are just not available to go places and do things when you might invite them.

Those are six ways to get Mr. Loneliness out of your life. There are many more. Have you found any that work for you?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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7 Dos and Don’ts of loneliness first aid.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Lonely person

Loneliness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The do’s and don’ts of loneliness.

Loneliness follows you around. Sometimes that old bugger is waiting just outside your door for a chance to move in. Loneliness is one of the largest causes of relapse. It can take you back to depression, anxiety or drug and alcohol abuse in a minute.

If you hear Mr. Loneliness knocking at your door here are the things you should do and not do to keep yourself safe and headed forward in a happy life.

1. Do practice thought-stopping.

When Mr. Loneliness whispers his message of pain in your ear, drown him out with the positive things you tell yourself. Tell yourself to knock off those thoughts and think about something more helpful.

There are lots of books and articles out there on how to stop negative thoughts and replace them with positive thinking. Make use of thought-stopping.

2. Do reach out to people who are supportive.

Mental health and substance abuse recovery professionals all agree you need a support system. You also need to make sure that those people will really support you in times of need. Mom may let you stay with her but when you are depressed, lonely or feeling like picking up will she know what to say?

Make it a point to maintain contact information for all the people who are supportive of you. If you are a member of a support group or a 12 step community get a list of phone numbers, email addresses or other contact info.

Each day reach out and communicate with someone in your support system. Some people will be there for you and some will not. Some can help with physical things like a ride but are not able to listen to how you feel. Others will be glad to listen to you but can’t, for a variety of reasons, give you a ride.

Know who will support you and in what ways.

Remember support systems are a two-way street. Sometimes when you call, just to check in, you will find that the other person needs to talk more than you do. Be there to support them also.

3. Do pull out your gratitude list.

When you are depressed, lonely or fiending for a drink it is easy to see what is wrong in your life and hard to remember the things that are good.

Whatever you call your lists, gratitude, things that are helpful, things that make you smile, a WRAP plan, write these lists down and keep them close. That way when there is a time you need to see the happy, positive things in your life, you can pull that old gratitude list out and remind yourself of the things you are thankful for.

If your lists are thin, work on these lists with your friends, supporters, sponsor or professionals. Often others can see the good in you and the changes that you are making long before you can.

When you are tired and there is still a climb to get to the top of the mountain, it is easy to forget how far you have already climbed.

4. Do not pick up drugs, alcohol or another addiction.

Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling sexual addictions, these were the old solutions to that lonely feeling and the other pains you wanted to avoid.  These are the solutions that did not work.

Remind yourself that more of the same gets you more of the same and no matter what do not reach back for an old addiction. Keep moving forward.

Things can and do get better. People do recover from all manner of problems and you can too.

5. Do not rush to hook up with someone to hold that loneliness at bay for a few minutes.

The old saying was “marry in haste and repent at leisure.” Most people spend more time shopping for a used car than for a baby’s mother or baby’s father.

Trying to cure loneliness by jumping into a new sexual relationship is a prescription for disaster. When the novelty of the experience wears off you will find yourself in worse shape than before.

It takes two healthy people to create a healthy relationship. Two people can help each other but you can’t fill the hole in your heart with someone else’s private parts.

6. Do not invite Mr. Loneliness to move in and live with you.

Beware making your life all about loneliness. Do not wear your pain on your sleeve for all to see. You can get caught up in rehashing all the reasons you are lonely and find out that you were the prison guard that locked you inside that lonely cell. Do not torture yourself and call that being realistic.

Being alone may be your condition right now but Mr. Loneliness is a cruel person who does not make a good long-term companion.

7. Do not isolate and hope the feeling will pass.

The cure for loneliness is not avoiding people. It is getting comfortable in your own skin and in being around others.  Reach out for help. Do not expect others to fix you. It is the interactions with others that cure loneliness, not the having or being had.

Try these loneliness first-aid tips and see if this procedure keeps Mr. Loneliness away. If you find he has already moved into your life while you were not paying close attention then stay tuned for an upcoming post on ways to get Mr. Loneliness out of your life.

Some people will find that once they let go of Mr. Loneliness they are frantically trying to get someone in their life, anyone, to keep them from feeling lonely, they do not know what to do by themselves. We have a post in the works for that topic also.

Not sure when these posts about Mr. Loneliness and his gang will appear, they are scheduled out into the future, so watch for them and check the topic list to the right of this page for more on the adventures of Mister Loneliness.

Have you had some experiences with Mr. Loneliness? If he is gone – how did you get him out of your life?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.