Here's how to combat loneliness and find a positive community around a common interest . . . maybe photography!
Have you been feeling lonely lately?
Being alone isn’t always a bad thing, but no one wants to feel lonely. The crazy thing about loneliness is that you can feel alone when you’re in a room full of people. What changes that? What’s the remedy for loneliness?
I believe it can be a mixture of things, including choosing the people you listen to and spend time with, as well as changing your perspective and maybe trying something new that gets you out of your comfort zone.
Here's my top tips:
Find Like-minded People who Lift you Up. Sometimes we don’t have a choice about who is around us (like in a lockdown), but when you can, surround yourself with a positive community. These are people who lift you up, and who help you become a better person. If those people aren’t physically present around you, that’s okay! There are ways to find community through joining an online course, a Facebook group, connecting with people you know through online calls or chats, or even just by listening to a podcast of someone who builds you up in some aspect of your life.
Focus Outside of Yourself. Changing your perspective is also important to combat loneliness. When we’re inward-focused, sometimes we don’t enjoy the people around us, and we can make ourselves miserable. When we focus on those around us: giving, helping, blessing others, it lifts us up in the process and helps connect us to something positive. We can’t always change our circumstances, but we can change our response to them.
Minimize time with the people who minimize you. If there’s a group of people who make you feel small, foolish, or lonely, ask yourself why. Maybe it’s just your own mind telling yourself lies, like “I don’t belong” or “I don’t deserve to be here.” Or maybe you’re spending time with toxic people. If you’re repeatedly feeling lonely and belittled around people who bring you down, then stop hanging out with them if you can. Minimize your time with them as much as possible.
Find a hobby or something that draws you together with others who lift you up. Maybe this could be a photography community (such as the group around my online course). Maybe it’s a book club with friends. Maybe it's a workout club or a class at a gym. Maybe it’s a church fellowship group. These things may take a little bit of extra effort or bravery to initiate, but if you’re able to find positive community through it, then that’s great! Make the effort. Your people are out there, I promise.
There are so many benefits to positive community. What can you do today to foster a positive community around you? How can you reach out and be a blessing to someone else today? If you’re feeling lonely . . . see what you can do to connect with others in a positive way. I promise you there’s something you can change!