Loneliness or Happiness?

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Many people write to me and tell me they feel alone.

Fear has gripped their hearts. They feel alone, especially during the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before I talk about six things you can do when you feel alone, I want to say this: Being alone is not a problem per se.

You can be alone and happy.

Certain personalities are comfortable being alone, especially when they like themselves.

When you like yourself, you like your own company. You’re happy with your own company.

The problem is when loneliness enters the picture. And loneliness doesn’t only happen when you’re alone.

Some of the loneliest people I know are in the company of other people—they’re married. They’re together but there is no deep connection.

Here are six things you need to do when you feel overwhelming loneliness.

When Loneliness Hits You

The first thing you have to do is to filter.

Filter the media that you receive. Because it’s possible that you’re receiving negativity and it raises your stress and fear. Choose only media, messages, videos, and podcasts that will help you be positive.

Second is appreciate.

This is powerful. Get a piece of paper and list down people you love and the people who love you. Then send them messages of appreciation. “Thank you so much for your love for me. Thank you for doing this and for doing that.”

Go ahead. Reach out. Force yourself to do this because it’s possible that when you’re lonely, you just want to remain in your little world.

So get out there and start thanking people.

More importantly, appreciate yourself. Write down the things in your life you are thankful for. Itemize the things you have and the things you’re able to do.

Write them all down, and then tell yourself, “Thank God for me.”

I’m serious. Appreciation is already a game changer. The moment you do this, the prison of loneliness falls down slowly.

Number three, move.

Physical movement helps because your body impacts your emotions.

If you look down, your shoulders droop and your back is bent. Do that all day, and your emotions will follow. You will soon be downcast.

So here’s what you do: stand up straight, inhale, and then exercise. Move!

Number four, imagine.

Think of a future date when you will be with family and friends. Plan for it. Tell yourself, “OK, I will be with the people I love and who love me.”

If you’re an overseas worker, say, “I’m going home for Christmas and we will have so much fun! Oh, we’ll attend Simbang Gabi, eat puto bumbong and bibingka, and attend endless family reunions!”

Plan and make it happen because your imagination is powerful. Your mind actually doesn’t distinguish between imagination and reality. Your subconscious mind experiences what you imagine as though it were real.

Number five: If you are lonely, go out there and love.

The problem with loneliness is that you focus on yourself, your misery, your pain and sorrow.

You need to go out there and start looking outward, asking others, “How are you? What’s going on in your life? I hope you’re fine.”

Send out caring messages to friends, especially those you’ve not been in touch with for a while.

Learn to care for other people and then act.

Find ways, like praying for them or giving food to neighbors in need. Find ways to love others.

And number six is what I believe to be the most important: yield.

You need to yield to God and let Him have His way with you.

*This excerpt was taken from THIS OR THAT by Bo Sanchez, available in paperback and e-book copy at feastbooks.ph!
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