Loneliness is an increasing symptom of modern life. As people have become more connected by technology, there’s less time to stay connected with friends and loved ones in real-time. That can lead to emotional exhaustion and burnout.
If you’re finding the 24/7 nature of life is making you feel isolated and lonely, consider adding meditation to your self-care. Meditation is beneficial in reducing feelings of loneliness, even if you only have short periods of time for practice.
How Meditation Can Help
Meditation is grounded in keeping you in the present and detaching from troubling thoughts and feelings. Instead of being overwhelmed by your feelings, you can learn to observe and acknowledge them.
By taking a moment to sit quietly, you can accept the thoughts and emotions you’re currently experiencing. Meditation helps you notice what’s in your mind instead of either blocking it out or getting stuck in it.
Instead of panicking when you start to feel lonely, you acknowledge what is in your world right now. Notice, acknowledge, and move on, so the cycle of negative thinking is broken, and you stay calm and in control.
How to Meditate
Meditation is easy to incorporate into your regular schedule. You don’t need to go to a temple or sit on a cushion for hours in silence, just find a few minutes in your day to focus on your breath.
Meditation can be practiced almost anywhere. A quiet place is good, but you can also meditate in a park or garden, even during your commute.
Here’s a straightforward practice to help you deal with loneliness.
Get as comfortable as possible. Sit or lie down and make sure you’re warm enough.
Take a deep breath in and out to center yourself.
Think of someone you love. This could be a family member, partner, friend, or pet.
Imagine they are sitting beside you.
Send them love, like a light shining out from your heart and enveloping them in a virtual hug.
Repeat silently or out loud May you feel love, joy, and peace, three times.
Now think of someone (again, a person or animal) who has shown you love and kindness.
Imagine they are beside you beaming out love straight at you.
Repeat three times (again silently or out loud) May I feel love, joy, and peace.
Feel the love surrounding you, both giving and receiving.
Repeat three times May we all feel love, joy, and peace.
When you’re ready, come back to the present.
Practice this exercise as often as you wish, to tap into a feeling of love and kindness, and banish loneliness.