There are times that being alone is good for you. It gives you time for self-reflection. Sometimes, we crave some time alone to find peace and quiet from all the noise of our busy lives. It allows us to have a much-needed break from our daily routines and to unwind. Being alone also fuels creativity. It gives you more inspiration and helps you put things in perspective.
But loneliness is a different thing. You can have company but still, feel lonely. Everyone feels lonely from time to time. While everyone’s experience of loneliness is not the same, loneliness, in general, is what we feel when our need for rewarding social contact and relationships is unsatisfied.
To be alone and to be lonely, though usually intertwined, are not the same. For some, being alone is completely okay and they live happily even without a lot of contact with other people. However, there are many people who struggle to avoid loneliness when being alone.
Since the pandemic began, many of us have been forced to limit our contact with other people. We all miss being in the company of good friends every now and then, big family gatherings, going to concerts, etc. More people have developed health anxiety too. Though restrictions have eased, it seems that things will never be the same again. While we cannot have full control over what is going on around us, we can choose how to respond. We may not be able to freely go to places and spend time as often as we like with people like the way it was before but we can still make the most of our lives, just differently.
If you are alone and struggle to find happiness, here are some helpful ways to get you out of your loneliness and be happy even when alone:
Know that it’s okay to be alone.
Alone being equated to misery is a common misconception in society. If you dread being alone, know that for some people having “me time” is a luxury they can’t afford. Everybody needs a break and can benefit from being alone, being able to reflect, and unwind. If you are alone, do not think it’s a dreadful thing to be in. With solitude comes peace and you can learn to make yourself happy without being dependent on others.
From time to time, we all need and want the company of others. But it doesn’t mean that celebrating a birthday or a holiday alone is pitiful. Go take yourself on a date. Be comfortable dining out alone. Finding joy even when you’re alone is a sign of strength and independence.
Acknowledge your feelings and determine the underlying causes of your loneliness.
Acknowledging your feelings is an important step for you to address the problem. You can only start a solution when you accept the fact that there is an issue in the first place. It’s okay to be vulnerable. Feelings need to be acknowledged and processed. Once you acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to feel, you can now carefully analyze your situation.
In most cases, loneliness is not a direct result of being alone. It has more to do with your thoughts. Be aware of your thoughts and take note of what triggers your negative thought patterns. Do you find yourself lonelier when looking at the seemingly perfect lives of others on social media? If yes, do some social media detox. You may find yourself happier when you temporarily go offline and focus more on yourself.
Practice self-reflection. It’s a form of self-care. By deliberately paying attention to your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, you will have a better understanding of your responses to situations. With a better understanding, you’ll do better in avoiding triggers and find what makes you happy.
Pick a favorite pastime or start a project.
One of the best things about being alone is that you usually have a lot of time on your hands. Find something you truly enjoy doing or something you have always wanted to do but didn’t have the chance to start before. It could be reading books, painting, learning to play a musical instrument, gardening, among others. It could be anything that resonates with you or inspires you. This is also an ideal time to upskill and enroll in online courses.
You can also take advantage of the time you have by starting a creative art project. According to research, engaging in activities that give us control, autonomy and a sense of achievement helps combat loneliness. Most of us right now are uncertain about what lies ahead and our lack of control over what’s going on can cause feelings of helplessness and sadness. Doing creative projects (even building a lego) can provide happiness, reduce stress, and give a sense of control and achievement.
Find ways to serve.
Helping other people can give you a sense of purpose since it reminds you that your actions matter. Also, when we focus on caring for others, we think less of our own troubles. Though we currently live in a world with so many restrictions, there are still many ways you can help other people. You can donate blood or offer to do groceries for an elderly neighbor. Any small act of kindness can go a long way. It can help you fight loneliness, build connections, and give you a sense of purpose.
Being comfortable being alone does not mean you can go about not socializing at all. It’s still important to take time to connect with people. Social connections are fundamental to our overall well-being. Always make time to visit or call family and friends, and you can also reconnect with someone you haven’t talked to for a long time.
If loneliness overwhelms you, do not hesitate to ask for help. Sometimes, you may not understand why you are lonely at all. Emotional energy healing (a type of Intuitive Healing) can help in this case. This safe and natural form of healing is able to identify and release negative emotions that are stuck in your body, causing you that feeling of loneliness, and the feeling like no one else understands you. It also helps in healing old wounds. What makes emotional energy healing wonderful is that it can address your negative feelings whatever the cause is and it can improve your overall well-being. With improved well-being, being alone won’t be much of a problem anymore. In fact, you’ll really begin to enjoy your alone time in a heartfelt way, much more.