Loneliness is a condition that affects most of us at some point in our lives. Some of us feel it daily, some of us sporadically, and some of us just in those difficult times. Regardless of how often it occurs, it does not have to be this way. There is no underlying aspect of human nature that makes loneliness inevitable. The total banishment of loneliness from our lives is quite achievable for all of us. All that is required is a good understanding of its causes, and some basic techniques to remedy it.
Loneliness results from a sense of lack. Usually, we make the mistake of believing that some specific condition is necessary to relieve it. Thus we have thoughts such as “I am lonely because I do not have friends”, “I am lonely because so-and-so doesn’t like me”, or “I am lonely because my husband doesn’t spend enough time with me”. The more that we focus on the perceived cause of our loneliness, the more that we amplify this sense of lack. For example, if we constantly focus on the fact that we do not have a partner, then we are constantly telling ourselves that something is missing. In this way, the loneliness is escalated. We make it seems like a bigger deal than it really is (see Don’t be afraid of loneliness).
Therefore, to combat loneliness we must remove this sense of lack. The simplest way to do this is to become aware of all of the other special relationships in our lives. By seeing all the different opportunities for closeness that are available, we fight the idea that one specific condition or person is required. We are also removing the sense of lack by focusing on all the closeness that we do have with people, and not on whatever is missing. This leads to a happier and more fulfilling life.