Samaritans offer advice to help loneliness
Speaking exclusively to the Express, Christi-an Slomka – Calm’s community manager, an app dedicated to mental fitness – shares her expertise on how to soften the ache of feeling lonely.
Christi-an recommends “transforming feelings of emptiness into possibility”, which can be achieved through mindfulness.
“Pay attention to the present moment with kindness and curiosity,” she said.
“This means dropping all of the judgments that we have about loneliness and acknowledging the way things are right now.
“It’s only from this gentle place of acceptance that loneliness can loosen its tight grip.”
“Let go of unhelpful stories,” is the mantra to live by, suggested Christi-an.
“All too often, loneliness gets tangled up with fear,” she explained.
“Oftentimes we tell ourselves stories that are untrue; they keep us stuck and weigh us down.
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“Our job is to interrupt these troubling thoughts and to focus on something else.”
The next time you’re ruminating on unhelpful ideas, “pause and be present” – notice your breath, is it raining outside? Is there a new leaf on a houseplant?
“Be intentional about where you place your attention,” she advised.
“Share how you’re really feeling,” Christi-an urged. “When a friend asks you how you are, tell them the truth.
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“Being vulnerable can leave us feeling a little tender and exposed, but the beauty is that it facilitates true connection.”
“Be brave and reach out to people in similar situations,” suggested Christi-an.
“Whether you live alone, with a partner or family, this years’ experience has affected us differently.
“The loss that comes with change is undoubtedly worth grieving and it’s essential to offer ourselves compassion.
“There’s no shortage of digital spaces to connect with others online; mindfully making connections during this time can help ease feelings of loneliness.”
“Befriend yourself,” said Christi-an. “One of the most helpful things we can ever do is to learn to love our own company.”
If you struggle to sit by yourself, “notice what’s getting in the way of you enjoying time alone”.
“For many of us, the inner critic can be judgmental and unkind, so start listening to the quieter voices within that will guide you back to what nourishes and inspires you.”
“Another wonderful way to build your relationship with self is through meditation,” testified Christi-an.
“At first, it will feel hard as you encounter the parts of yourself that you’ve been trying to avoid.
“But with time you’ll learn to care for those parts of you and grow more fully into yourself.”
Do you feel lonely? Would you be willing to share your experience in the comment section? You may meet like-minded people.
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