There’s no quick fix to loneliness—if there were, you wouldn’t be reading this. All I want to do today is draw on not only my own experiences but also those of the countless clients I’ve worked with in my years as a matchmaker. I’ve compiled 5 surefire ways to either reduce your sense of loneliness or at least help you reflect on it in a more healthy way, seeing it more objectively as a natural part of the human condition and thereby reframing your perception of the problem.

Don’t just acknowledge your feelings—feel your feelings

Before you can overcome the problem of your loneliness, you need to accept it for what it is. You might do this by journaling, or confiding in a loved one, or talking about it with your therapist. I’ve made this the first point of the 5 because avoiding this acceptance may be appealing, but it’s entirely unproductive. In fact, the more you avoid a negative emotion, the more power you let it have over you.

Do something that enriches you, not something that distracts you

Whether it’s listening to your favorite music, trying a new recipe, or reading a good book, be intentional with your time—recognize its preciousness, and refuse to squander it on something shallow. No matter how simple the activity, if it’s wholesome and makes you feel more content, not only is it just a great way to spend your time, but it also helps you see the possibility of finding genuine value in your own company.

Cultivate real human connections, whether with loved ones or strangers

Reach out to friends and family: Text, call, hang out—whatever works for you. You may even be doing them a favor—it feels good to be needed. Alternatively, get off the sofa and out into the real world. Go to the park or your favorite coffee shop. Even just go to get groceries or for a walk around your neighborhood. Most importantly: Carry yourself like someone looking to connect, no matter how fleetingly. Smile at strangers; adopt an open posture. No headphones—not if you’re looking to strike up a conversation, anyway. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that simply being around others physically, regardless of whether you know them, can mitigate at least some of those feelings of loneliness.

Innovate ways to seek or even forge a community of your own

This one follows on neatly from the last, because again it’s all about being around others even if you’ve no prior connection to them. Whether you join a group fitness gym, spiritual community, or recreational league, or pursue volunteer work or a group based on a shared hobby, value, or interest, it’s hard to overstate the importance of getting together with like minds for finding a sense of purpose and fulfillment by being part of something bigger than ourselves.

Practice gratitude—but really mean it

Gratitude is vital for countering loneliness because it grounds you, empowering you to reconnect with the good things in life which are easily overlooked when you’re feeling down. Actively reflect on the supportive relationships you have in your life, even if they’re long-distance or right now you don’t feel you’re necessarily getting that support. Notice and appreciate small but meaningful moments with others that bring you joy, whether loved ones or strangers: A funny text from a friend, a driver letting you out at rush hour, a pleasant exchange with your barista which makes you smile. And if after having practiced gratitude you feel you want to take the next proactive step in finding someone special—that’s where we come in.

Maclynn International is a boutique, multi-award-winning introductions agency with offices in New York, New Jersey, California, and London. We’re world-renowned for bringing together highly compatible singles within our vast network of attractive, intelligent professionals, and our matchmakers are relationship experts in their own right. Get in touch today!