Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Living Alone - Overcoming the Fear, Loneliness and Depression Caused by Being on Your Own

No matter what circumstances leave you with the probability of living alone, it can be a frightening prospect. Often those who are faced with it are also coping with the life changing situation that will lead up to it, death, divorce, illness, or children leaving home. Usually it involves the loss of someone we depended on for something. More than one person has told me they simply can't be alone. They haven't tried being alone long enough to adjust to it. Instead they find someone to fill the void as quickly as possible and end up with an endless succession of destructively bad relationships.

Somebody who lived in a small town once asked if I was afraid to drive in ten lanes of traffic. I said, "I only drive in one lane at a time." That's the way people who do well living alone say they manage being by themselves without fear and worry. Make one decision at a time when you need to. Resolve one issue at a time when it comes up. When I catch myself beginning to get anxious about something that hasn't happened, I say, "That's just negative speculation." It's just as easy to speculate positively, so I redirect my imagination to a positive scenario. And guess what, almost none of the problems we worry about ever materialize. Fear in the form of worry and anxiety is an energy robbing exercise in futility.

Instead of thinking of your future alone as a timeless battle of wits between you and everything you think you don't know, think of it as an adventure. It's a contest of wits between your cowardly self and your courageous self. If the courageous one wins enough times, the cowardly one will just go off and die. Hallelujah! So what if you make a mistake, or a ton of mistakes? You deal with the consequences, learn from it and move on. If you don't beat yourself up, at least no one will be waiting at home to do it for you. I love that part the best.

Loneliness and Depression come about when we dwell on how we feel. They are both extremely selfish conditions no matter what causes them. They are self perpetuating. You will become more depressed thinking about how depressed you are. It's a mindset. Depressed people give reasons all day why they can't do anything about their condition except take a pill. Losing interest is a symptom of depression. It's also a symptom of selfishness and laziness.

Instead of saying to yourself, "I'm depressed." Say, "I'm feeling sad right now." That puts a short time limit on it and sets your mind free to do something about it. If you defy your dark mood each time it rears its ugly head, you will win in the end. Go outside for at least an hour a day whether you want to or not. Science has proven we need daylight. Walk. Sit in front of an open window. Stop using chemicals to treat symptoms in your natural body. Eat fruit instead of sugar, raw vegetables instead of fat and starches.

To abolish loneliness, volunteer where people are helping people. If you can't get out, volunteer to call shut ins. Let them talk. If they talk about negative things, look at it as an opportunity to practice being positive. Think of ways to help your neighbors. Pray for people. Talk to God when you're lonely. He is infinitely loving and understanding. You can stay in bed and do that. Surprise your family or neighbors by doing something thoughtful for them. Join a group. Go to the library. Refuse to watch anything if it isn't funny. Make eye contact and smile when you see people. Take a class. Get a hobby. Instead of saying, "I can't." Say, "I will." Then do it. Drive in one lane at a time, but don't stop moving forward.

People who devote themselves to thinking about the needs of other people may sometimes feel depressed or lonely, but it's a right now thing. It doesn't last. It isn't a chronic condition. Be the one who helps instead of the one who needs help. You can't do everything, but you can do something. If you do as much as you can, you will help make the world better. You will most certainly make your world better.

No comments:

Post a Comment