Whilst spending long amounts of time alone or in minimal contact with others can leave us feeling lonely. There are also many ways to transform these isolated feelings into positive ones. You can become more powerful and and learn lots from spending large amounts of time with yourself. Whilst loneliness brings us emotional pain, aloneness can bring us satisfaction and peace.
Humans are naturally social creatures and therefore feeling lonely is a common experience amongst us all when we feel separated from family or friends. Similar to the experience of physical pain, emotional pain can also hurt and is processed in a similar way by the brain. These feelings of social disconnection are a major problem world wide and have strong links to depression and anxiety. And sometimes people can feel alone even when amongst groups of people.
However, many people with busy lives and schedules might rarely get the time to be alone and when they do, they might not let their mind rest and think about their own needs. Some introverts even thrive in alone time and need it to become re-energised. But what about those people who find alone time frightening?
How can we help with this problem?
The problem lies in one’s connection to their self and ability to be at peace with ones self. Aloneness is a sense of comfort and ease when you’re in your own company, loneliness is pain and dissatisfaction with being in ones own company.
The poet May Sarton describes the difference in this way: “Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.”
The only way to transform this mindset is to go within and enhance your own self worth. When alone or bored, why not do the things that make you happy. Whether that be walking in nature, cooking, creating art, reading, meditating, journaling, watching tv or simply resting. Do something each week that brings you joy and nurtures your self. Write a list of all the wonderful things about yourself. Self love is everything, as Richelle E. Goodrich says “It’s okay to be madly in love with yourself.”
Powerful quotes on the benefits of “alone time”
“We need solitude, because when we’re alone, we’re free from obligations, we don’t need to put on a show, and we can hear our own thoughts.”Tamim Ansary, West of Kabul, East of New York: An Afghan American Story
Spending time alone in your own company reinforces your self-worth and is often the number-one way to replenish your resilience reserves.”
― Sam Owen, Resilient Me: How to Worry Less and Achieve More
The chasm between being alone and loneliness is deep. The way you begin to be alone and at peace without being lonely is to know that you are with your best friend. – – Tom Brown Jr.’s book Grandfather