Is it embarrassing to be lonely? It’s odd because everyone feels lonely from time to time, regardless of whether you have 200 Facebook friends, a boyfriend, or several close and good friends. Loneliness is a feeling of not being heard, understood, or connected to others.

Chronic loneliness is dangerous and can even be fatal. Studies show that being lonely increases your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, self-harm, and drug and alcohol abuse. Worse, it’s a circle! Loneliness can lead to low self-esteem, social anxiety, and further isolation.

The good news is you can overcome your loneliness. It takes time and effort, but it can be done.

1. Admit you’re lonely

Say it aloud to yourself and preferably to others. People around you probably haven’t noticed you’re lonely. They can’t help you if they don’t know your feelings. So, even if it’s taboo, say it. Describe and admit your inner pain.

2. Recognize your solitude

It hurts to fully embrace loneliness, but do it anyway. Do you feel lonely because you lack friends or because you are not understood and accepted? Was there a specific event (like opening a new studio or moving) that caused the loneliness? Is loneliness a familiar or a dreaded feeling you try to avoid? Is your loneliness really about low self-esteem, fear of opening up, or fear of rejection?

Only by examining your thoughts and feelings about your loneliness can you begin to overcome it. If you can’t get enough of the feeling, a psychologist or a coach can ask the questions you’re missing.

3. Be alone

You’ve probably heard “love yourself before you can love others.” Similar to loneliness, you must first learn to be alone with yourself before learning to be with others. You can only be alone with yourself if you accept and love yourself, and you can reach out to others without appearing desperate. If you are lonely, you probably find it difficult to be alone with your thoughts, but you must face your discomfort. Yoga and meditation can help if it’s difficult. A diary can also help keep your mind in check. Or do something you enjoy to teach yourself that being alone is beneficial.

4. Don’t wallow in pity

Do you like sad songs? Do you like sad books and movies? If you’re lonely, you’ll probably do things that make you feel worse. Don’t do it! Instead, enjoy happy music, books, and movies. It aids in breaking bad thought patterns.

5. Get a pet

Getting a cat, dog, or even a guinea pig can help you cope with feelings of loneliness and depression. Because a pet gives you unconditional love. Yes, having a pet lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol levels! It can also bring you together with other pet owners if you walk your dog in the same place every day or join an online rabbit forum.

6. Look for others

Even if it’s just a few people you share common interests with. Any human contact helps you break out of your sad thought patterns and loneliness. That goes for “just” talking to your mother or the guy in the 24-hour kiosk.

7. Strengthen existing relationships

Having friends isn’t enough to make you feel less lonely. Maybe you already have your new best friend – you just haven’t met yet? Actively maintain existing relationships. Open up, even if it means rejection. Listen. Be upbeat. Take action to be seen. Take care of your ties.

8. Make new pals

It’s probably one of your top wishes, but it just doesn’t happen… Remember that new friends do not appear overnight. Loneliness makes it difficult to focus on work, commitment, and profit. You have a better chance if you choose people you immediately like and share interests with (it gives something to be common about).

Then take the initiative to meet new people. Instead of waiting for others to invite you, invite them to coffee and conversation. Don’t forget to give something of yourself and work on keeping in touch in the future.

9. Do things with a boyfriend or girlfriend

Often, it’s not the company that you miss, but the activities. Do it alone! Go out, eat steak, and vacation. Do it for yourself, because it is exciting and rewarding, and because you feel like it.

Not caring what others think (they probably just think anyway: How brave is she – I dared dare what she does). It has many benefits: It makes you feel good about yourself, straightens your back, and makes you more attractive to others. And it keeps you busy so you don’t have time to cry alone at home.