Loneliness and depression. Tips to start feeling better
Loneliness and depression can be two of the emotions that produce more despondency in people. Certainly, when you start to feel like this you feel so disoriented that it can become a real odyssey to get out of the spiral of negativity in which you are plunged.
For this reason, in this article, we want to give you some tips to help you overcome some of these feelings. However, the ideal is that you put yourself in the hands of professionals because they will know how to help you improve your situation.
When do loneliness and depression appear?
They can appear at any time in your life without there having to be a specific reason to trigger them. On the contrary, loneliness and depression can be a way in which your body manifests that something in your life is not quite right.
But they can also appear because you are going through a complicated situation such as the loss of a loved one, a breakup with your partner, a fight with a friend or close relative ... In any case, if you feel that something is not right with your mood, you can put into practice the advice we will give you later.
Symptoms you may feel
First of all, it's important that you know how you feel. Otherwise, you won't be able to act properly and you'll feel even more disoriented about your mood. So, in this section, we are going to mention some of the symptoms that generate these two feelings so that you know if this is what is happening to you.
- Reluctance and disinterest in the activities you used to like to do.
- Tendency to social isolation and little desire to interact with other people.
- Discouragement in situations you used to like.
- Uncertainty towards your feelings and towards the near future.
- Generalized sadness in your day to day although there is no trigger (at first sight) that provokes it.
If you feel identified with these feelings and thoughts, you are probably feeling the effects of loneliness or some symptom of depression. Therefore, you will have to get down to work to get out of this situation and start to feel better. Here you can read more about what depression is.
Fighting Loneliness and Depression
The fact that loneliness and depression often appear does not imply that they are not overwhelming and complicated to overcome at certain times. However, you may be able to use some strategies to cope with it and to deal with the discomfort they produce in an effective way. So, throughout this section, we are going to give you some guidelines that you can follow.
#1.-Correct your dysfunctional thinking
Dysfunctional thoughts are those that make you incriminate your environment to make you believe that you are in an ongoing battle. It is very important that you avoid these thoughts, otherwise, your feeling will only get worse.
In order for you to recognize them, we are going to give you some examples.
- Polarized thinking: that is to say, to think continuously in black and white leaving aside the whole range of greys.
- Focus on the negative: being unable to keep the positive aspects of a situation.
- Divination: thinking that you know what is going to happen in the future.
- Mind reading: believing you know what others think of you or their intentions or attitudes.
- Excessive generalization: believing that a negative experience guarantees that all of them will be negative even if they are not related.
- Guilt: blaming others for one's own problems or oneself for other people's problems.
- Emotional reasoning: thinking continuously about emotions and letting them affect you when you perceive any event.
- Judging your own thoughts using terms like “should have”.
- Magnification and minimization: that is, overstretching or underestimating the events or people around us.
- Labelling yourself with global terms that underestimate who you are and that characterize you solely by a trait or flaw.
#2.- Write a diary
The diary can be a very useful tool for analyzing your thoughts without the help of others. This action can help you analyze and change your way of thinking.
In addition, it has been shown to help reduce stress, one of the symptoms of depression. Here you can take a test to get out of doubt if you are wondering how to tell if I have depression?
#3.- Monitor your emotions
In order to do this, you should ideally keep a record of the automatic thoughts you usually have, as well as your emotions. Write down your mood swings and then think about what you thought before changing your emotions.
Ideally, divide events into two variables. On the one hand the event itself and on the other hand the feeling that has taken hold of you.
This way you will be able to correct these sensations or, at least, know yourself better and understand that there is nothing wrong with feeling this way and that you should not let this take over your whole mood.
#4.- Write down your automatic thoughts
This can be somewhat complex because the automatic thoughts are the ones that appear in your head spontaneously. They usually refer to ideas about yourself, ideas about the future and ideas about your environment.
After identifying the emotions that your mood swings produce, ideally you should analyze the automatic thoughts that relate to the event.
Once you know them, you won't have any problem in modifying them looking for evidence for and against their justification.
#5.-Write down the rational thoughts
On the other hand, it is important that you write down all rational thoughts that end up justifying these cognitive distortions. To do this, you can look for evidence both for and against.
This way you will make a fair statement of why it appears and why it should not appear. And this, when you write it down, you will always have it handy and accessible for retrieval at other times when it's needed.
#6.-Structure your day-to-day life
One of the most efficient ways to avoid the feeling of loneliness and depression is to plan your day properly. Using a schedule in which you collect everything you are going to do can be very positive to feel efficient and keep you busy, avoiding procrastinating and the bad thoughts that arise from these types of actions.
Ideally, you should do this planning by the hour as it will keep you much more alert throughout the day. Afterwards, you will only have to consult your schedule in order not to forget anything and fulfil all your obligations. It is important that the activities you plan are realistic and the goals you set start at a low difficulty to avoid frustration.
Something also very interesting is that you analyze how you feel during the activity. In other words, both when you are doing something productive and when you have just done it.
On the other hand, it's also important that you don't try to be completely self-sufficient. There will always be tasks in which you need some help and it is essential that you ask for it so that you don't feel alone and achieve your goals with the help of your loved ones.
#7.- Plan distractions
Another piece of advice we give you is to think about which activities help you overcome moments of intense emotion. Ideally, you should plan them so that when your mind starts throwing counterproductive thoughts at you and makes you feel bad, you can escape from them efficiently. It can be something as simple as repeating a sentence or doing mental calculations to distract the mind.
This will help you to get away from the negative thoughts, which will do you good to put an end to that discomfort and feel better.
#8.- Socialize more
In order to put an end to the loneliness that often comes with depression, you will have to go through a period of readjustment in which you will have to do a lot of your part. Ideally, you should be exposed to social situations from time to time, even if you want to avoid them.
This will help you get used to them again and reconnect with the people around you.
On the other hand, it can also be positive to talk about banal issues with people close to you. For example, with co-workers or with your neighbours. This will give you confidence for future social interactions.
Think about the similarities you have with others and build relationships with those closest to you. This will be a sure way to find people you feel good about and leave the emotional void behind.
Put yourself in the hands of experts
Before ending this article, we must emphasize the importance of putting yourself in the hands of experts so that they can help you deal with the situation you are going through.
Certainly, there are many guidelines you can follow on your own that can help you get back on your feet. However, in order to adequately overcome feelings of loneliness and depression, it is best to put yourself in the hands of professionals. They will be able to make a much more concrete diagnosis and make a specialized plan for you that will help you fight this situation and make you feel much better. If you think that someone around you may be going through depression, here you can read more about how to treat a person with depression.
In therapyside you will find professionals who can advise, support and help you to reach your best version.