Cope with the challenges of feeling isolated with this overcoming loneliness guided imagery exercise. Use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques to change thoughts and feelings to overcome loneliness.
A word of caution: This exercise involves experiencing feelings. Support can be helpful when working through emotions. Please see the links below for information about where to access confidential support.
Resources in the US
- The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 am–6 pm, ET.
- 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email@example.com
Resources in Canada
International crisis centres information
Overcoming Loneliness Introduction
At the time of this recording, we are experiencing a global pandemic that has impacted our abilities to socialize and spend time with others. Loneliness is a big challenge for many at this time.
Even during regular times, loneliness is very common. It is possible to feel lonely when you are physically alone. Loneliness is also possible even when you are with others.
Everyone feels lonely sometimes. This feeling is a normal part of being human. You can overcome loneliness, even if your situation stays the same. CBT techniques are effective in changing one’s mood, and we will use CBT strategies to help with overcoming loneliness.
This overcoming loneliness guided imagery exercise will go through the following steps. First, we will use relaxation techniques to reduce tension and relax the body and mind. Then second, we will focus on acknowledging any feelings of loneliness. And third, we will work on overcoming loneliness with CBT techniques. Lastly, the exercise will end with positive, empowering thoughts that can help reduce loneliness.
Overcoming Loneliness Guided Imagery Script
Close your eyes and start to relax your body. Take a moment to just sit quietly, resting.
Breathe. All you need to do right now is breathe. Allow the air to move in and out slowly, naturally…at your own pace.
Next, allow a sense of quiet in your mind. Restful and calm. Remind yourself that you have nothing else you need to do right now, and that all you have to do is breathe.
And now, release any tension in your neck and shoulders. Let these muscles relax. Let your shoulders drop into a relaxed position.
Relax your hands now.
Rest your hands in your lap or at your sides. Open your hands slightly, releasing any tension and relaxing your grip. Let your hands go limp. Totally relaxed. Relax your hands as if you are letting go.
Not only are you letting your hands unclench. Imagine also letting go of any feelings of tension. Release any feelings of tension or stress…choosing not to hold onto them. Just relax.
Notice any areas in your body where your muscles are tense. Then, purposely allow these areas to relax. Then, consciously release tension from your muscles. Let the muscles loosen and go limp. For the next few moments, notice your body, and wherever you become aware of tension, release it. Allow your body to relax.
Keep breathing, and notice how every breath of air sustains you. Each time you breathe out, release tension with the air leaving your body.
Breathe the tension away, until all your muscles are relaxed. And then allow your body to be fully relaxed. Next, encourage a feeling of calm and serenity. Then, let your mind relax, as you purposely choose to take this time for your health. Remind yourself that all you have to right now is just breathe. In other words, just relax.
Observe and Acknowledge Feelings of Loneliness
Now let’s move on to the next step in this guided imagery process. Now, we will acknowledge feelings of loneliness. I know this feels like the opposite of what you would want to do for overcoming loneliness, but this step is crucial.
Here is the way the mind works. First, make note of an emotion. Next, acknowledge the feeling. Then, the feeling loses its power to keep you stuck. As a result of noticing loneliness, you are facing it. Then, you are taking charge of your emotions. This isn’t easy, and is not always comfortable, but it is very important.
The guided imagery script continues in the video below.
More information and relaxation exercises for health: