What is your loneliness IQ?
What is that, you might ask?
Its a reliable “psychology testing instrument” that aired on Oprah. In simple speak, it’s a test to tell you where you stand on the loneliness scale in relation to the other thousands of people that have taken the thing. Up side: if you’re lonely, you probably already know it. Down side: it doesn’t really help to know that you’re a 32 on a scale that should be “21” to be normal.
The link for the test is at the bottom of this article, and yours truly is the 32-toting loneliness guru. I think that part of any test you take is attributed to the mood that you’re in: my mood today? I got my feelings hurt, it’s already been a blue sort of day. Given that, how can we pick ourselves back up and enjoy the beauty of the remaining hours?
1. Acknowledge. Yep, I am lonely. I am sometimes lonely in a crowd (if I am not nauseated with crowd phobia) and sometimes lonely with my family. They know it, because I acknowledge it. Part of being both depressed and battling with your health might lead to this. If you want to kick it in the pants, drag it out of the dark. How do I confront my feelings, especially if you’re hurt and your lonely all at once? Tim Shurr, my life coach, taught me to shake it off. I do my little spazy dance and sing at the top of my lungs all the words that come to mind about how I feel, with a great big smile on my face. I do, and I don’t care if I look stupid. Why? You can’t feel all horrible and low that someone just cut you loose as a friend if you’re moving and smiling. Change your state.
2. Breathe. No, really. Four short breaths in from the nose, four short blasts out through the mouth. Move, march, dance to the beat, but keep doing this for five minutes. Think 1234 on each breath and release. Nose x 4, mouth x 4. Keep moving, and if you’re distracted by the ouchy, throw in affirmations. “Every day in every way, I ‘m getting stronger and stronger!” You cannot think of the pain and the promise of being stronger at the same time. Make a choice to feel the strength.
3. Find your “delete” button. If you’re suffering in loneliness today, ask yourself if you’re holding on to past relationships or ideas. If so, clean house. Delete those FB, Twitter, MySpace and text people that are holding you in some form of limbo. You don’t need to look at 500 friends on Facebook feeling so lonely that you could cry. Ex friend and boyfriend emails? Toss them. That fifth pleading text msg you sent asking him/her to say something? If someone doesn’t value you enough to talk to you, just move on. I cleaned out my own list today and cut lots of contacts that aren’t really “friends” out of my social media life. I am convinced that we actually have very few real friends in life, just many acquaintances that we journey with for a while – mostly by circumstance. I’m interested in people who are in for the count, ones that have some staying power. You’ll feel more in control and a lot healthier when you trim the weeds, and that included people that don’t encourage growth in my life or me theirs. My delete button went nuts this a.m. Gives you room for the real flowers. P.S. It’s sad when people tweet their every move, sports scores and what they’re eating, especially when there is rarely a reply. Part of my relief in cleaning is not to have to listen to this artificial conversation anymore.
4. Go do something useful. If you’re lonely today, get off your butt and go outside. Work out. Go to the grocery, the park, a movie, the pet store. Find people who like what you like, and hang out. If you’re not into people today, clean house, your yard, plant a flower. Just have purpose in something that you care about.
I am going to hop up, thank God for removing a fake friend from the landscape of my life today and move some serious mulch for the new garden. I am a worthwhile, uniquely created human being. I love the me that I am – and no one had the right to make me feel like less of a human being. Lonely people feel rejection more deeply than those who aren’t as focused on feeling, so remember that your perspective needs time to readjust. My standard mode: speak little and move with the music until my brain and heart are back in sync. Sometimes, that is six months. Sometimes, that is five minutes.
5. Affirm others. Send a note, make a call. I hand wrote five notes this morning to people that I know won’t expect to have a minute of affirmation come to their mailbox. Note: no writing to ex’s of any sort here, peeps. With no need for response, I said “thank you” for whatever moment or act of kindness I have experienced with them in the past, or those that they do for others. I called an old work contact that I hadn’t spoken with and just touched base. Reaching out to people that you can positively impact is a wonderful turn around for loneliness.
My little daughter has it right…when she is faced with a lack of friend time, she sings and dances, plays a game or runs outside. I am pretty sure the seven year old has it right.
Ready for the test? Find it here: