You don’t have to be alone to be lonely. Loneliness is an emotional feeling of abandonment- a mental phenomenon that makes you feel like you are all alone in this world, even when you are in the midst of a crowd. You sometimes feel like life has boxed you to a corner like you are unable to help yourself out of that predicament, but no help seems to be coming your way. Loneliness is a feeling that every living soul has experienced at least once, and whose complexity many people fail to understand. It is both scary and painful.
Loneliness can be pretty confusing, which makes it important to find ways of identifying it and helping yourself out of its grip. Note that when left to grow to uncontrollable levels, loneliness can put you off your game, both professionally and at a personal level. It can negatively affect your relationship with colleagues at work or the people you love back at home. This feeling can lower your productivity at work, harm your health, and jeopardize your career growth.
If the feeling of abandonment is overwhelming you, don’t panic just yet. Research has shown that regular outdoor activity can help you tackle this feeling in a healthy, effective way. Here is how:
1. It helps you to focus on other people/things
Loneliness thrives on your lonely thoughts and feelings. When you are indoors thinking of the negative tidings in your life and cursing yourself for opportunities missed, loneliness strikes the hardest. However, when you focus on the needs and feelings of other people, appreciate the diversity around you, and smiling at people on the streets, the feeling of abandonment dwindles.
Instead of beating yourself up for being unable to pay for your son’s college education, for example, take him out and share an intimate moment together in the woods. Being out together and appreciating your good health will rekindle your optimism for a good fortune in the future.
2. It helps you find others like you
Identify people with whom you share the same outlook of life, the same passion, and probably the same talents. You can form a group of travel, hiking, or dancing enthusiasts and be sharing quality time together doing the things you love. Sharing interests is actually the natural foundation on which strong friendships are built. You will rarely get lonely when engaging in fun, outdoor activities with your valued friends.
3. And it is satisfying
Outdoor activities keep stress and anxiety away, which boosts your self-confidence. It gets better when the activity is competitive, and you win. If you join a sports club that competes with other clubs regularly, says, a swimming club, you will find lots of pleasure in helping your team to win as regularly as possible. When you succeed at it, the feeling of abandonment is phased out by the feeling of accomplishment.
4. Hanging out with animals is therapeutic
One outdoor activity that people overlook is hanging out with animals. It could be your pet, a neighbor’s pet, or animals in the zoo. Taking a dog for a walk or being in a dog park is a therapeutic feeling for a lonely mind. Sometimes you will feel too lonely to even want the company of other people. During such times, you will feel much better if you go bird watching or feed animals in an orphanage. You will feel much better in the end. It is also a great way to get some exercise.
5. Gives you a sense of belonging
Playing an outdoor sport stimulates endorphins in your bloodstream. Endorphins are the hormones responsible for creating joyful and happy sensations in your brain. When happy, you are able to socialize and form genuine friendship bonds with people. And, of course, when you feel a strong sense of belonging, you will are able to tackle anxiety, depression, and loneliness more effectively.
Are you wondering which outdoor sport suits you best? Well, why not try cycling? This sport is suitable for people of all ages and gender, making it the best family outdoor sport you’ll ever come across. Besides, bikes or electric bikes are extremely affordable and highly protective - no physical or financial harm can stem from this game.
All the points above point to one thing: Breaking monotony is the key to overcoming loneliness. You must break the pattern of working all day indoors and then spending your entire evening watching TV indoors. You need to utilize every opportunity you get to create social connections. Visit new places, meet new people, and engage in as many outdoor activities as your schedule can accommodate.