A good friend recently confided in me that she constantly felt empty and sad, and she feels like there is something seriously wrong with her. Why? Because she has no major reason to be feeling so down. She has good friends, an okay job, a social life and earns enough.
Honestly? She’s not alone. Whenever I talk to people or chat with clients, I often hear people bring up their feelings of emptiness and loneliness.
I have felt intense loneliness from time to time and if you are reading this, you probably do too.
It’s fascinating isn’t, it? We are supposedly living in one of the most connected societies that humans have ever existed in, but ironically, the loneliness, sadness and emptiness prevails.
Why does it happen?
With our desire to be connected to everyone else and having information thrown at us from all directions, we have lost the ability to:
- Truly be present to what is around us
- Truly be present with ourselves
We are now being taken for a ride, around social media, our phones, the deluge of information, apps, TV. We are peering into others’ completely curated lives and cultivated personalities/images and confusing that with reality.
Virtual and reality are now fused together and the lines have been blurred that we don’t know what is real or not anymore. And it’s taking a toll on our mental health.
We are slowly losing the ability to fully connect to people in our day to day and fully immerse ourselves in the experiences of our daily life. Many of us spend most of time mindlessly scrolling social media and worrying about what other people are doing, which celeb is dating who, instead of focusing on ourselves and our lives.
This is why we aren’t truly present to ourselves
We are missing out on personal connections with others and with the most important person – ourselves.
Ask yourself – when was the last time you’ve checked in with yourself, noted how you felt and why? When was the last time you indulged in self-care, indulged in your hobbies, explored what life has to offer?
The form you have selected does not exist.
So what do I do?
If you’re feeling the disconnect with yourself, if you’re feeling empty or sad, one of the following may help:
#1 Switch off from social media once in awhile
I used socmed for my business, so I really don’t have a choice. But whenever I’m on Instagram, I just post my stuff, check out my favs if I’m in the mood and I’m outta there. I never allow myself to head to the explore page or scroll my feed.
Cause I know from experience, that those places are huge timesucks. And I’d spend hours lost in there – checking random photos of influencers and celebrities I don’t care about, and absorbing information that adds no great value to my life.
Set up boundaries on social media that work for you. You’ve probably already heard this a bajillion times but it’s worth repeating.
Social media is great but it’s also got a dark side. It is one of the major things that triggers empty feelings as we engage in social comparisons, comparing very curated snapshots of someone’s life and personality to every lived second of our own lives.
We see ourselves living out the different moments in our lives but we only get to see a couple of photos and videos that someone chooses to upload. Many of us forget this sometimes, but it’s just so easy to fake a personality online.
People can be really good at putting up a facade. How many public figures/celebs have been found out to be really awful people in real life despite selling a good-two-shoes image for years, decades?
Social media also makes you disconnect from yourself emotionally. You are so busy absorbing the energy on the social media platform, busy looking at and analysing others’ online facades, that it leaves no space for you to be one with yourself.
#2 Start re-engaging with people around you and greenlighting relationships
I talk about greenlighting quite abit on this site (here, here), and it’s all about being literally and energetically ready for friendships, delicious human relations with people yo can see/hear/touch for real to come into your lives.
It is an amazing skill to cultivate in life. If you’re feeling a nudge to reach out to that friendly-looking lady you see around at virtual yoga class, do it! If you’re in a social group and you like someone’s vibe, go say hi.
Get into the habit of talking to baristas, colleagues, some stranger comes up to you and starts a random conversation, get into it, chat, ask questions. Be relaxed and friendly about it.
You might be thinking, “Oh I said hi to this person previously but they just ignored me/was really rude and curt during our exchange!” That’s totally okay! Give yourself a pat on the back for trying and move on to the next person.
We are in this to enjoy the process of talking to people and getting into the habit of greenlighting social situations. Not everyone is going to be on your energetic frequency and be willing to socialise. That’s okay, that’s on them.
The form you have selected does not exist.
#3 Indulge in yourself, your hobbies, your life
- What do I really want to do for myself today?
- What would make me really happy?
- What have I been wanting to do but haven’t gotten around to doing?
And start taking baby steps towards all these things.
If you’ve been wanting to start on some watercolouring classes, do a search on what’s available out there. If sitting in a cafe and reading a book is your definition of feeling happy, go for it!
Start cultivating an interest in yourself. Start taking an interest in your life, your goals, your dreams, your feelings. And make plans for yourself. Look after yourself. Love yourself.
This sounds so cliche but turning that interest and obsession of others inward will change your life for the better. It will bring in so many more opportunities, happiness and all the good stuff into your life.
Struggling to get a date? Or is there something in your love life that is troubling you? Are your beliefs and self-esteem holding you back in love? I can help you unpack the baggage and stories behind all that and more. Come drop your question in 100 words over here, and I will write back with some solutions 🙂
#4 Celebrate Yourself
This is something so many of us are just not used to doing, but is something that we really need to start doing more of.
How do you do that? Start noticing and rewarding yourself for small accomplishments.
- You finally did your laundry yourself? Celebrate it.
- You dragged yourself out of your house to the cafe to read? Celebrate it.
- You completed 25% of a huge project? Celebrate it.
Start paying attention to the small and wonderful feats that you accomplish. Start celebrating your existence, just because you are unique and there’s only one of you existing on this wonderful planet.
Thoughts? What else have you done to make yourself feel less lonely?
Leave a comment below or on your socials.