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    “Help! How Do I Stop Feeling Lonely?”

    Dear Olivia,
    What has happened to me? Every day there is a part of the day where I just feel lonely! How do you stop from feeling/being lonely?

    Hey girl. I’m always so saddened when I hear of someone who suffers from depression or feeling lonely. The biggest concern is when you allow the emotion to consume you. I’m so glad that you shared it with me, and I really want you to know that you’re not alone. If nothing else, you have us all on PI.

    Loneliness can be a very destructive emotion. It’s dark and cold and only leads to deeper negative feelings, like depression. Only recently, we heard about the actor Robin Williams taking his own life due to severe bouts of depression. And he touched so many lives with his humor and kindness. How ironic and tragic.

    My point is that you are a special person. You were created by a loving God who placed you on this earth to do something amazing. So don’t slide into a sadness that will deter you from achieving amazing things. You have to control that feeling of loneliness before it consumes you. I know it’s easier said than done, but it is possible.

    So here’s what I think you should do:

    1. Schedule your time. You wrote that there is a part of the day when you feel lonely. Well, if you know that moment is coming, avoid getting there. Schedule your time so that you can be busy with other things. Arrange an activity or a meeting with a friend. Do something so that you’re not alone at that time.
    2. Redirect your thoughts in times of loneliness. You can do this by praying, calling someone, writing, reading the Bible, initiating an activity and more. I know in the moment you probably won’t be in the mood to do these things, but they will help get your mind off your feelings of loneliness, or at least give you a way to channel it in a more positive way.
    3. Read the post 10 Ways to Cope with Suffering. You can’t always escape suffering, but I think if you understand it better and know that you’re not suffering this burden alone, you can better control it.
    4. Get involved in a group activity that fills your spirit and gives you hope. Whether it’s dance, martial arts or something else, join an activity that involves being with others. Or arrange an activity with your youth group.
    5. Share your feelings with a grown-up. Ideally, this would be your parents, but if you’re not close to them, then talk with your pastor or youth group leader. They can offer support during those times or offer tips on how to overcome feeling lonely.
    6. Understand that you have to get a handle on this or it could destroy you. So often we’ve read or heard stories about how loneliness or depression has caused a person to spiral into the pit. Don’t let that happen to you. You have too many people who love you, at home, at PI and, of course, our Father.

    Good luck and God bless!

    Need some advice? Ask your relationship questions in the Ask Olivia Girl Talk forum or in the comments below and I might answer them in a future article!

    Ask Olivia
    Got a question about boys, your besties or God? I'm here to help! As the girl all my friends always came to for advice, I've turned my girl talk, level-headedness and love of Jesus into a job -- one I love because I was a teen not long ago, too! Click into Ask Olivia in our Girl Talk Forums to ask me a question!

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