There’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely, isn’t there?
Well, for a lot of people, this might not actually be true.
Lots of people shudder at the thought of eating a meal in a restaurant on their own or coming home day after day to an empty home.
For them, being alone is the same as being lonely.
These days, many people feel lonely even when they’re surrounded by other people due to a lack of meaningful connections in their lives.
But then there are people who are much more acclimated to being alone. In some cases, they even prefer it!
Other people don’t feel lonely because, although they might be single and/or live alone, they still have lots of positive relationships in their lives that make them perfectly content.
In any case, there are people out there who never feel lonely, whether they’re around other people or on their own.
While a lot of this comes down to personality, there are also habits that people adopt to help them feel happy in life.
So here are eight daily habits of people who never feel lonely or isolated that you can try out in your life, too.
1) Spending time with family
Family is the fundamental social unit almost all of us belong to.
Most of us have relatives who we see regularly and interact with on a daily or weekly basis, and this gives us many opportunities for socializing.
Even if a person is single and has no kids, they still have family in the form of parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, and more who they can connect with.
Even if you spend a lot more time with your family than you’d like to, at the expense of spending time with friends or even on your own, it’s unlikely that you’re lonely.
Family interactions and dependencies tend to ensure that feelings of loneliness and isolation get kicked to the curb.
2) Pursuing meaningful relationships
When I say relationships here, I’m talking about social relationships of any type that are important to you.
These could, of course, be romantic relationships, but they can also include good friendships and even professional and academic relationships that a person feels are important.
After all, we humans are social animals, and none of us, save for the odd hermit or two, exists in true isolation.
Social contact is an important part of our daily lives, and when we don’t have it, we can certainly end up feeling isolated.
People who are single and live alone can still enjoy very rich and fulfilling social lives by meeting friends, dating, and even mentoring or being mentored by others.
The important part is that they invest heavily in these relationships, and they get a lot back in return. They end up being happy and enjoying life while never feeling lonely or isolated.
3) Getting the right amount of sleep
What in the world has sleep got to do with loneliness?
Well, sleep is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health.
You know how cranky you can get when you don’t have enough sleep, right?
While you may not think there’s a direct link between sleep and loneliness, one study found otherwise.
When looking into what makes some people lonelier, the study found that when people sleep less than they’d like, they end up having more feelings of loneliness. Surprisingly, people who reported sleeping more than they needed to also had a higher incidence of loneliness.
So, it seems like there’s a sweet spot with sleep that helps us feel satisfied and more mentally healthy.
That’s why getting the right amount of sleep is a great habit to mimic from people who never feel lonely or isolated.
If we can accept that sleep is great for our bodies and minds, we should instantly think about exercise as another balm for both physical and mental health.
Physical exercise like running, hitting the gym, swimming, or playing sports can be good for mental health by reducing depression, anxiety, and negative moods. It helps to improve cognitive function and self-esteem.
At the same time, exercise can also help us feel less isolated and socially withdrawn when we go out and exercise with or around other people.
I know this really works.
I play soccer twice a week, and not only is it invigorating and fun, but it’s also my biggest social time of the week as I play with friends and also meet new people all the time.
This is one of those daily or weekly habits that definitely keep people from feeling lonely.
5) Working enough
If you haven’t watched Carol & The End of The World yet, it’s a cartoon which is called “a love letter to routine”.
Without spoiling anything, the premise of the show is that a giant asteroid is going to crash into Earth in about half a year. Most people end up celebrating life and doing all the things they always wanted to do before the end.
However, Carol doesn’t have the same motivations. She feels alone and isolated until, that is, she starts a new job. Even though she has no idea who she is working for or what they do, the routine and sense of purpose give her a lot of comfort and help her stop feeling alone.
In real life, working enough seems to keep people from feeling lonely.
But what is “enough”?
People who work less than they’d like to seem to end up feeling lonely and purposeless compared to people who work as much as they feel they’d like to.
As for people who work too much, they probably don’t have time to feel lonely!
6) Getting off social media
It’s ironic that social media platforms, designed as they are to connect people, actually seem to produce more loneliness and feelings of isolation.
But that’s exactly what seems to be happening with these platforms.
Research suggests that people who use social media to maintain their relationships actually get lonelier than people who use these platforms for other reasons.
One reason suggested for this is the seeming inauthenticity of connections through social media.
People who have difficulty maintaining real-life interactions tend to focus on excessive social media use; however, their contacts may not feel like these online interactions are genuine and meaningful.
Another reason may stem from jealousy and self-esteem.
When we see others on social media showing off their most beautiful pics and successful selves, we can feel like we’re not succeeding in life.
So, people who never feel lonely don’t get addicted to social media and generally stay off it. They may use these platforms for entertainment or even commerce, but they don’t use them to maintain their social relationships.
7) Practicing compassion
What does it mean to practice compassion?
Compassion is concern for the suffering and misfortune of others. Practicing compassion, then, means taking time to think about others and also do something about it.
This can be as simple as being deliberately nice to strangers, especially those in tough or stressful situations. Helping people in need means that you recognize their issues and provide them with support.
Another great way to practice compassion is to volunteer.
Many people who have free time and don’t want to feel lonely can go out and fill their time up with activities that make a real difference to others.
You could work at a soup kitchen once a week or stop by a retirement home to help out daily.
This is one of the habits that people who never feel lonely will often adopt to keep their schedules full and their compassion activated.
Reflecting means taking time to think about your own life and actually process what’s been happening in it.
You can think about events and situations you were involved in and also the feelings and reactions you had.
Many people reflect silently in their own heads while others journal to put their reflections down on paper.
In most cases, reflecting is highly related to gratitude.
While we all face difficult and trying situations in our lives, reflecting on our days usually ends up with us feeling grateful for what we have and what we’ve experienced.
This is another great way to chase loneliness away.
Habits to banish loneliness
You, too, can adopt these eight daily habits of people who never feel lonely or isolated.
They can help you feel more socially involved and less isolated, and they can also enrich your life in so many other ways.
So whether you feel lonely now or simply want to keep this feeling from creeping into your life, these habits help others, and they can help you, too!
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.