Reasons why you are feeling lonely.
Have you ever felt like something is missing in your life, but you don’t know what it is?
You’re earning good money, have supportive family, friends, and freedom, but the inner void is constant.
This feeling is one reason people have extramarital affairs even when everything else is “perfect” in their lives. They might not even have any complaints about their spouses or lives, but they’re still looking for ways to fill this void by forming new connections.
When we don’t know what it is, we try to find ways to fill this void: dating apps, more work, shopping, meeting friends, travelling, eating food, salon trips, books, Netflix.
But as soon as the date or the movie is over, the same feeling comes back. We feel that hollowness inside ourselves again. We want to get rid of this feeling as soon as possible, so we continue trying to divert our attention.
The fact is: this feeling is nothing but a disconnect from ourselves. When we are disconnected from the inside, we feel a disconnect from the outside. We then seek to fill that emptiness from the outside. But since the disconnect is from the inside, nothing and no one from outside can fill it.
In this unawareness, many men hide their marital status to create a connection with a girl. Their need for connection is so high that they are ready to lie. But, sooner or later, the truth comes out—the girl dumps the guy (or vice versa), and the void is never filled.
We become stuck in this addiction for a new “something.” But, along the way, we are damaging the quality of our relationships and damaging ourselves.
This is just an example. Others might seek bad company, drugs, or other unhealthy practices to fill their void.
Many times, we call our friends and family to share what we feel—to feel heard and understood—but sometimes we end up regretting it. Even then—even if we have someone to talk to who hears and understands us—the feeling that something is missing continues.
Some people are able to find their much-needed connection through art, sports, real friendships, spiritual practices, dancing, running, cooking, or meditating. There is no fixed rule or way to find that deep connection with ourselves; it’s different for different people.
Personally, I have felt disconnected since childhood. I was not close to my parents or siblings—emotional expressions in our home environment were absent. There was no outlet to process what I was feeling. When I went to college, I experienced sudden freedom, but it was a freedom from the outside to wear what I wanted and do what I wanted.
Inside, I was still caged in a lack of emotional expression from my childhood conditioning. I was never able to make good friends or truly enjoy that phase of freedom. My permanent companion was this empty feeling. Even during my hectic schedules, the pauses between seconds and meetings, the emptiness was still living inside me.
Eventually, I entered the spiritual world and started to feel a little better (not entirely). I tried various spiritual practices, but I still didn’t feel whole and self-sufficient emotionally. It was a long search for me.
My busy lifestyle was a big distraction; it kept me busy and unhappy. I often thought, “Maybe a change of location, a change of country even, will help me feel differently.” I travelled to many places in search of this “better feeling.”
But even when I travelled, the feeling travelled with me. It stuck to me like glue—a glue I desperately wanted to get rid of.
One day, I just gave up. I gave in to hopelessness. This is how it is, and I have to live with it.
When I accepted the pain, there was a sudden shift. I realized that when we accept every feeling as it is, we expand. Then, I was able to discover ways to deepen my connection and find my happiness.
Here are 10 ways to find happiness when we’re feeling lonely:
1. Spend time alone
The most important thing I did was disconnect from meaningless social connections. I spent quality time with me—without distractions. To really get intimate with our souls, we have to do this.
Once we do that, we can fall in love with who we are—take care of ourselves, protect ourselves, and make healthy choices. Life is different when we live inside a body, mind, and soul we actually love.
We think that if someone comes along and rescues us from our boredom and problems, it will go away. But the real hero is us—ourselves.
I am not talking about trained dancing here. (Though that can also work for some.) I started doing spontaneous dance—as if no one is watching. I moved with music the way my body told me to move, without plans, without judgements. We can and should dance for ourselves in gratitude for life. I found the movements to be a great avenue for connecting to myself deeply.
Yoga helped me feel deeply connected to myself—love my body and soul. One must experience yoga to understand its psychological power and how it helps break unhealthy patterns.
4. Breathing exercises
Every day, breathe deeply. Inhale and exhale for few minutes. Alternate nostril breathing and other breathing exercises recharged my brain with a rush of energy. It helped me see things more clearly. When we doubt and misunderstand ourselves—have negative thoughts about ourselves—breathing can help me clear those clouds and show us our beauty.
5. Om chanting
Om is known as the sound of the universe and has the vibration of the highest consciousness. When we do Om chanting every day, our whole body becomes like a bell. It vibrates; the mind becomes still; there is no thought which can remain in that vibration. It’s like a vacuum cleaner of the mind, body, and soul.
Dipping my body in water also helps my mind dip and become fully present. When we are fully present in the moment, that is bliss. Happy hormones are released, and we feel deeply connected to our souls.
7. Spend time in nature
Nature is one of the greatest teachers. When I walk through nature, I see trees, creepers, insects, birds, butterflies, ants; I feel amazed. When I see birds making nests, feeding and protecting their offspring, I am filled with wonder. How do they learn all this without any language or training? It helps me trust in life—believe and surrender to higher intelligence.
Music has been a part of my dance, cooking, and yoga meditations. Really, any time I need inspiration. Music has the power to take us to a different realm and connect deeply with our inner selves.
Silent, sitting meditation can be hard initially, but it’s hard to stop when that inner connection is found! It feels like the same eagerness and excitement of a first date with the one you love.
When in doubt, cook. This is my mantra. Cooking (anything) is healing for me. When I chop vegetables, slice by slice, I feel nourished.
The aroma of spices blending, washing rice, lentils, vegetables, and seeing them change colors feels like a trip to another world. It’s in the middle of all this that I feel the connection with myself.
We all have so much love inside us to give to this world. But first, we must discover who we truly are.
When we live in a world of false beliefs and limitations, disconnected from ourselves, we are operating from selfishness, lack, and greed. We feel insecure.
When we are connected with our inner selves, we are able to form better connections with people.
When we love ourselves, we are able to love others.
Remember, there is no thing and no one who can make us feel whole except ourselves.