It’s natural to look back over life and reflect. While our minds want to settle on more positive thoughts, it is all too easy to think about the things we have lost, done or not done, and things we now regret. Feeling lonely at these times is normal but dwelling on these thoughts can tip us into despair. Use the warnings from these emotions to motivate you to act.
- A good way to deal with these feelings is to talk. It’s OK to be vulnerable and seek help. Find out what local support may be available. A good place to start is at your local health service.
- Check your thoughts. While not denying your feelings, your thoughts can mislead you and are not necessarily the facts. Can you let go of those thoughts for a short time? Try doing something different for a while and focus on that.
- Given the person you are now, try setting some different and perhaps more realistic expectations of yourself and others. If you can’t put right some wrongs, you can at least forgive yourself or others.
- Do things that give you a sense of self-worth or that make you feel connected to others. Say ‘yes’ a lot, especially to invitations. Smile when you talk on the phone even if you don’t feel like it – smiling changes the tone of your voice.
- Try to keep your mind open to new things and opportunities. You can grow new friends. Show an interest in others; ask them questions about themselves. It’s likely they’ll respond positively.