Join Me on a Journey
  • Jessica Hayden, PhD

Hold Your Heart

Updated: Feb 29

Today, kids in schools across the nation will fill each other’s buckets with cards of kindness and candy. Couples and friends will dress up and dine out, or plan to surprise with flowers, jewelry, and chocolate. While love is in the air for many, this holiday is one that stirs high emotions and leaves many feeling lonely and disconnected.


Regardless of our relationship status, we will all find ourselves lonely at some point in time. We attempt to escape the lonely, by running into the arms of another, serial dating, distract with work or other hobbies, or drown the lonely in drugs or alcohol. Why are we afraid of being alone? What does that really mean? Is being alone with ourselves so difficult?


Of course, all we have, in the end, is ourselves. No one person can offer all of what we need, and to expect that is a sure fire failure method, an unfair burden placed upon the shoulders of another. So, how do we contend with ourselves, with the lonely?


Hold your heart, placing one hand over your heart and one hand on your diaphragm has been shown to activate the body's parasympathetic nervous system-which calms and reduces the release of the stress hormone "cortisol" and increases the release of oxytocin, the feel good hormone.

Validate. Your feelings of sadness or anger are real... allow them to be


Define the loneliness. Is it in response to a life event, or is it chronic? What does it feel like to you?


Practice gratitude. Focusing on what you have, over what you don't have, shifts your mind


Reach out. No one knows you're feeling lonely unless you tell them


Observe the loneliness as a state of being, separate of it being who you are... notice it, without judgment.


Give back. Offer random acts of kindness


Self-love. Be easy on yourself, reduce judgment and rid your vocabulary of shoulds..


Journal, paint, draw, sing, do something creative


Stay off of social media. We often compare ourselves to so many others and what we know about social medial is we rarely see the inner struggles.


Get more sleep. Sleep does a body good and reduces feelings of vulnerability


Act differently. Do something that is opposite of how you feel. Feeling sad? laugh out loud for just two minutes


Remember back on a time you felt this before, did it last forever? Time and patience allow for fading of strong emotions.


Stay away from alcohol and drugs, they only increase vulnerabilities to more intense emotions, and often we feel worse or do things we regret while intoxicated.


Last night, a dear friend said, “we all live in a state of uncertainty, ain’t nothing sure in life”. The only constant in life is time and change. It's just you and the reflection in the mirror, surfing on the edge of time and change. You will always have yourself-no matter how hard you try to escape-so love the soul under the skin and let your love shine in. It's the most important love you can give yourself.


*** Please seek professional help if you are experiencing chronic loneliness or are having thoughts of death or killing yourself. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is totally anonymous and there are trained professionals to help. 1-800-273-8255 https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/


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