Ask the Readers: What Is the Best Way to Overcome Loneliness?

There is a sad development in many parts of the world today. It’s the loneliness epidemic. Though it’s relatively invisible, more and more people are affected by it.

In Britain, for instance, more than nine million people often or always feel lonely. Since Britain has a population of 65 million, it means that about 13% of the population feel lonely. The problem is so serious that the government recently appointed a minister for loneliness.

In Japan, there is a phenomenon called hikikomori. Many people shut themselves in their rooms and refuse to go out for months or even years. The phenomenon affects an estimated 700,000 people out of Japan’s 126 million population. There is a book on the phenomenon (I haven’t read it, though).

This issue really bothers me, so I’d like to know your thoughts about it. Here are my questions to you:

Why does it happen?

What is the best way to overcome it?

Feel free to answer one of the questions or both. Please leave your answer in the comments so that everyone can read it. Thanks!


  1. What works for me is to get my mind off of myself. I go do something for someone, even if it is a small act of kindness or giving. Bake something, take something….connect! Truth is, that person you reach out to is probably lonely, too. Find a group, community of people or a cause to volunteer for…you won’t be lonely long!!!

  2. For me, it started when my husband died suddenly. Our couple friends no longer invited me anywhere. My church friends laid guilt on me for grieving. My co-workers are untrustworthy. My own friends were worn out on my grief in the first six months after he died, and they stopped calling.

    There was no one left. So I’ve been alone in my grief for a very long time. I eventually started feeling that I am disposable. Loneliness is unbearable.

    • Michele Stickell
      Michele Stickell

      I am so sorry that you are feeling this way. Have you tried going to meetings where others are also grieving a loved one? They have some different groups like this at churches and things here. There is a group called GRASP. I am not sure what it stands for but I know they deal with GRIEF I think that is what the G stands for. Perhaps google it? You are not disposable. You are valued.

    • Miguel A Lozano
      Miguel A Lozano


      I’m so sorry to read this, I can really imagine your pain.


      You are TREMENDOUSLY valuable. Always remember that.

      You just haven’t taken the time to stop and observe that in yourself 🙂

      I wrote it in my comment on the article and I’ll place it here again…

      An exercise I LOVE to do and that brought me out of my lowest moments is: everyday I simply write on a notebook 3 things I’m grateful for.

      I can promise you you’ll be amazed to realize you DO have plenty of blessings in your life.


      Don’t get fancy, be genuinely grateful.

      As an example, I’ve been grateful for my morning coffee, for a book, por my pair of favorite boxers… You get it 🙂

      Believe me, the exercise is EXTREMELY powerful if you’re consistent.

      Hope it helps!

      Miguel A Lozano
      Personal RevUp

    • Hi LW,
      I’m with Michele and Miguel here: you are valued and tremendously valuable.
      Both Michele and Miguel have very good suggestions. Please try them.

  3. Well depends on where you live and how is your relationship with your family.
    And sometimes when you keep inside the house to much and don’t go out.
    A vacation . Go somewhere different than the same climate where you live.
    On a small island it’s difficult to meet a good soulmate and you pick up bad habits going to bars but the next day you are in the same state of loneliness .

  4. We are missing our likely people like brother,sisters & family members then we are feel lonely

  5. Michele Stickell
    Michele Stickell

    I think loneliness has become more prevalent as people get so “busy”. The fast paced things going on seem to leave people trying to do more more more. The things they used to do when they weren’t so busy, at a more leisurely pace, including talking to friends, “smelling the roses”, taking a walk — simple little things are going to the wayside because folks aren’t taking the time to do them. Some people are better than others about communicating their needs to spend time with friends or do something for leisure so I think that for some they may not even recognize how long it has been since they went out with friends for fun. They get caught up in the “busyness”. We can try to schedule a few minutes if that is what it takes to just decompress/call or go see one friend or make plans for fun. Take time to smell the roses.

  6. It is happening because people are spending their time on social networks instead of spending with family and friends. I think best way to overcome loneliness is interacting with people

  7. Sibusiso Sikosana
    Sibusiso Sikosana

    Dear Donald

    This issue of loneliness is becaming a huge problem if it’s not an incurable desease,I’m saying this hence I’m also affected by it.

    I think it is mostly cause by untrustworthy or should I say if it happened that that were somehow deceived by you spouse or partner and end up in separation,the fear of disappointment kicks in and you end up not trusting anyone,that’s when lonelness start building in .


    Hello Donald,

    I agree that this is a very serious issue and I thank you for bringing it out. I also suffered from this illness only because I believe in my case that it had to do with my up ringing. There was abuse in the family and it effected me tremendously. With a little counseling and support from family today I am doing much better.

    I hope the people in need can do the same because usually the case is a issue in their past that is making them feel this way.

    Thank you for all your advise you give to all of your readers.

  9. Mohammed Yahaya
    Mohammed Yahaya

    1) Lack of understanding the purpose of life and refusal to create one for it.
    2) It can be solved by believing in spirituality and following universally recognised ethics.

  10. Hello friends ,
    I think when someone likes to feel that he does not respect himself, he does not love it, he always gets a negative, everything is in his life. It’s just the way he feels. He only feels like you. Dear friends, you love your love and respect yourself. Be always positive See the world made to us, you must take it
    Zuhra Amiri from Afghanistan ??

  11. From my point of view I think this loneliness well grows from a small idea that skipped over the time.The main point is to know how to change those ideas into a different way. To have a person who can be the one who shred with you the most silliest idea without lounging at all.

  12. Conscious less usage of mobile and social media is sure to make much difference.


  14. How to overcome loneliness?

    1. Realize that being alone isn’t that bad, TBH.
    2. Go out of your comfort zone and meet new people.
    3. Do things that keep your mind off of loneliness.

  15. On my spiritual journey as well as becoming pregnant and having my first child I had let a lot of people go in my day to day life including family. Spending most of my days home alone while my boyfriend works and now being a stay at home mother. Socializing with likeminded people is a must but being a lone should be embraced.

    Being along gives you time to think, find yourself, be true to yourself. Some people don’t know how to handle being alone in my opinion and are too afraid to take the time to listen and sort through actual thoughts in their head. You in a way “become one” with yourself, learn how to trust yourself and love yourself for who you are.

    Shutting yourself out from this world there must be a deeper issue that I am not aware of or have experienced but that is just my opinion on spending time “alone”

  16. Miguel A Lozano
    Miguel A Lozano

    Hey Donald and fellow readers,

    great post, topic, and comments. Here’s my contribution:

    Why does it happen?

    Well, relating it to myself, I think it happens because we spend too much time comparing our lives to others.


    We tend to look at social profiles of people we follow and see all the “wonderful things” they’re going through.

    And you begin to feel miserable… Why?

    Because you think you don’t have any of what you see in ‘other peers’ profiles’.

    How do you overcome it?

    There are 2 very important things to consider (and that brought me out of the hole).

    1. You DO have beautiful things in your life. You just have to STOP and take a minute to look around and OBSERVE. You’ll be amazed at how much you have. My favorite exercise is practicing gratitude by writing EVERY day 3 things I’m grateful for during my morning routine.

    2. What you see in other people’s ‘stories’ are just the best shots of their day/life. They are humans, just like you and I, ALL of us have our own challenges. If you took 10 minutes out of your day to photograph those things you love and are grateful for, I can bet my butt you could make a ‘beautiful facebook wall’ too.

    Wishing you success,
    Miguel A Lozano
    Personal RevUp

  17. We set alone to long we have to get out and meet people!God designed us for community.

  18. I’m really thankful for your comments, everyone! They are insightful. But they also make me sad as I get a better understanding of this phenomenon. I hope we can do something about it.

  19. According to the topic we have and the problem facing many people “loneliness” , I can say this is among of big problem in Africa too , youths became destroyed through it. But in my side i can say the most way of defending this is “FOCUSING” , this means keeping focus on something you want to , feeling free and accept yourself from that problem , though we need to accept the challenges for changes , as well as “loneliness” is the part of challenge that shakes our mindset in a certain period of time , keeping hard , focusing and feeling free is the best ways to solve it.


  20. Hi Donald, thanks. There used to be a time when I used to feel severely lonely. Especially during my teenhood. But I dont feel lonely anymore. Monday to Friday, I am on my job which I like. In the evening after office, I practice music On weekends, I involve i my music classes/practice.

  21. Hi Donald,
    Let me start off by saying…
    I have been an avid follower for a long time – and I have to say you really made a huge difference in my life- how I viewed things especially my career and self development – so thank you!!!
    So re the question ..
    How do I overcome loneliness?
    I think the best way is to DO THE THINGS THAT YOU GENUINELY LIKE and pursue them no matter what.. Find time to do it.. we all struggle to find time but we just have to.. if you love going out and meet friends- do that.. If you like reading and be a couch potato – do that too. I love to read (I have blinkist btw – again courtesy of you 🙂 – and I try to find time to read through it between work, motherhood, school..) – but I find that I also get a lot of satisfaction meeting old friends and just socializing with family and friends…
    On a long term scale – I guess it’s accepting things as they are and living in the NOW – so much stress is wasted in the past and future ( I am guilty of this all the time)…enjoy every minute of the NOW coz this time is not going to come again…

  22. When one finds him/herself feels sad or heaviness of her heart,they should cry without restraint….

  23. Owen Michael Allen
    Owen Michael Allen

    I am very lonely. I have been living alone for 20 years. My job, and previous jobs dominate my life.
    I have no real friends close, only acquaintances.
    I can’t settle into a “life”, I am on a mission for GOD and until I fulfil HIS wish for me, for HIM, I can’t settle and relax and think about a normal life.

    I look forward to living in Heaven, but firstly Glorifying God and receiving His Blessings . I count on Jesus and the Holy Spirit being with me, but it ain’t easy all the time.

  24. this a sort of mental disorder, it happens because people in Japan don’t believe that everything happens for a reason.

  25. Owen Michael Allen
    Owen Michael Allen

    I must add that I do have a strategy to combat the loneliness of living alone.
    I live in an Australian caravan park. I was homeless, gypsy worker, and came and lived here for work. Job changed but still here, because I live in an indigenous village style lifestyle. From the point of view that I share amenities, we are all in common ground. Neighbours are really close, there are a lot of people living on their own where I live.
    A lot of aged pensioners, and pensioners on the disability pension.
    My loneliness strategy is I will stay here until I have a wife.
    Even with a wife, old style living is best. Modern society destroys old values and value systems.

  26. I think it happens for different reasons. some people choose to be lonely for convenience, they don’t want family members to tell them what to do or also some people refused to have the responsibilities that we have when we leave with other human beings. I think the only way people can overcome loneliness is by accepting and understanding there is a problem and seek for help. in most cultures family want to help, but a lot of those people don’t think they have a problem.

  27. It depends, but is always a good idea be around friend and love ones when loneliness is creeping in.

  28. A Lot of people when in this situation tend to drift in negative thinking. That is the danger, but being lonely of course, is good in one way or another. The interpretation of things in such situation, is what matters. Recall too, that nothing has any meaning unless the meaning one gives it.

  29. wilfred joseph sam
    wilfred joseph sam

    1.Well if someone is lonely to me it means you expect people to be around you.Loneliness is something that has to do about your mind set.Always have it at the back of your mind that someone is thinking about you but at that moment that individual cannot reach you.
    2. The best way to overcome loneliness is that, first of all know that you are not lonely and that as long as you are alive there are people that do cares for you and are always thinking of you all over the world but for that particular moment they cannot reach you but then you also has to open up to people around you. There is a saying that no man is an island and no man stands alone

  30. I believe our health is the culprit for feeling lonely and depressed. Our environment is riddled with things that will kill your mood and big pharma doesn’t help. Supplement, eat right and you will feel like you used to.

  31. I believe no one can be lonely in this huge world until and unless the person forces himself to be it.
    I say if anyone feels lonely even a bit the best solution to it is to go to mother nature. She is always there for us. Ready to hug us and tell that we are not alone.

  32. I helped many people/students overcome lonliness and engage with others to build bonds and enjoy socialising, especially international students. So I would say that I should know better with snapping out of any potentially excessive/unhealthy loneliness. Unfortunately, my wife of 10yrs who is also my high school sweetheart of 22yrs converted to a religion last year. This had such a significant impact on me. Our school children were not aware of this, as we agreed not to let anything break our love and bond and keep her decision and belief confidential from the kids. But she gotten so much deeper into her belief, saying to me that I am in spiritual darkness and regularly attempts to lead me to convert to her religion and I end up feeling rejected and distant.
    I sacrificed my social life and turned down late night contracts so I can be with the kids to protect them from opportunities of being influenced by her as I deeply believe she has been manipulated by this new way of thinking. Which is already clashing with our way of life. I can’t share it with anyone as it can cause damage and unwanted attention from our close ones.
    My lonliness was a choice, even though I spend time with the kids, I can’t afford a day without me being present with the kids while she’s there. This loneliness is full of rejection, fear, sorrow and always feeling alone inside.

  33. Read the bible. Play sports, especially group sports like volleyball. Spend time with friends and familiy.

Comments are closed.