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Overcoming loneliness: Enhance connection and emotional wellbeing.

Updated: May 30

Sun setting on the beach horizon
Finding activities that you can connect with, such as being in nature, can help foster a reconnection to what is meaningful to you.

The Loneliness Epidemic in Australia

Loneliness is a common struggle for many of us. In Australia, loneliness has recently been described as an epidemic and one of the most pressing public health concerns impacting mental and emotional well-being (Ending Loneliness Together 2022). Approximately one in five Australians agreed with the statement "I often feel very lonely," according to a study published by the Longitudinal Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey (2001-2021).

Personal Struggles with Loneliness

There have been times in my life when loneliness hit me hard, and I found myself yearning for a genuine human connection that just wasn’t there. In those moments, I would often try to escape the gnawing emptiness by diving into social media, which offered a fleeting illusion of connection, or by indulging in sweet treats for the endorphin high, or watching rom-coms to experience connection vicariously. These were my go-to distractions, but they were merely band-aids, covering up the real issue. It was like trying to deal with a tree by trimming its branches while ignoring its deep roots; the loneliness kept coming back, stronger and more painful each time.

Understanding the Meaning of Loneliness vs. Solitude

Loneliness is not to be confused with solitude or being alone, as these are states of being. Instead, loneliness might be described as a subjective feeling of emptiness, detachment, uniqueness, disconnection, not being understood, and social isolation. People who are lonely often crave human contact, but something makes it more difficult to form connections with others.

The Illusion of Connection in the Digital Age

While it might appear that as a society we are more connected and that the world is metaphorically smaller, what is lacking is the quality of these connections. Social media and digital products can become addictive, fuelling greater social isolation.

The Paradox of Loneliness: Healing Begins by Being Alone with Yourself

Healing loneliness begins with developing better connections with others, and the paradox is that better connections with others begin with strengthening the connection to yourself. It seems counterintuitive that it would be beneficial for someone who is lonely to spend more time alone. However, the paradox is that one can never truly feel connected with others if there is no connection with the self. That’s why some people say they feel lonely even when they are in a group or in a relationship.

Embracing Your Feelings

For me being alone meant sitting with my feelings and emotions acknowledging any discomfort, and allowing it to exist without trying to change it. I realised that if I couldn't be honest with myself about my emotions, I was being inauthentic and I had become disconnected from my true self. This self-abandonment was the root of my loneliness. It became clear that true connection with others could only begin once I reconnected with myself and embraced my own emotions fully.

“The root of my loneliness was self-abandonment.”

Practicing Patience and Self-Compassion

Fostering an ability to sit with your feelings and to feel both the feel-good feelings and the not-so-feel-good feelings takes practice. Patience is key to making peace with the loneliness and feelings you are experiencing. It takes time and may feel excruciatingly uncomfortable. Small steps, taken with gentleness while attempting to foster self-compassion, are essential. Take breaks when needed, go into nature, make yourself go out with a friend or friends even when you may not feel like going—go anyway. Commit yourself to a very simple action plan and use that as a guide; slow and gentle steps are key.

The Role of Sound Therapy in Overcoming Loneliness

Listening to gentle sounds with conscious intention, such as music, sounds in nature, or sounds in a sound meditation session can help ease feelings of isolation and bring a sense of inner peace and tranquility. It creates an harmonious environment that fosters a feeling of connection with yourself, which then, with time, stretches out to others, animals, nature, and to something larger than you.

Enhancing Self-Awareness and Mindfulness with Sound

Moreover, Sound Therapy can enhance self-awareness and increase mindfulness, allowing you to cultivate a deeper understanding of your emotions and thoughts. This heightened awareness of yourself can lead to greater self-acceptance and a stronger sense of knowing who you are, which fosters greater self-confidence and self-worth.

Sharing Your Story: The Power of Vulnerability

Always know you are not alone in your journey towards overcoming loneliness. Sharing your story with others can be therapeutic and cathartic. As you share your story, yes, you risk being vulnerable, you even risk rejection, which is the anti-thesis of what you want if you are feeling lonely, however, you also risk receiving the gift of true, deep connections, growth and healing. Find an online forum or a 12-step group where you feel free to share and hear other people’s experiences.

Taking Small Steps and Seeking Support

There are tools to help you. Go slow, foster a deep sense of willingness to change, and seek help when you feel you need support. To book a private or group sound therapy session you can email us or book here.


This article was written by Nicole Sultana, she holds a Post Graduate Degree in Spiritual Care, is a Certified Therapeutic Sound Practitioner and a Death Doula. She is the founder of Sound Consciousness, a company who provides wellbeing strategies and therapeutic sound practices to help you reach peak levels of performance whether you are trying to excel in your career, be the best partner you can be, or trying to create the life of your dreams.


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