You move across the country, and everyone worries about how lonely you will be on your own. You’ve been single for several years, and as you get older, your friends worry you’ll be isolated and lonely forevermore. If you are alone, then society will presume that you are lonely. Loneliness is associated with feelings of isolation, emptiness, and sadness. Loneliness can lead to isolation, and those negative emotions and feelings are part of that. But, you can be alone without being lonely… how is the question?
Your emotions are trying to communicate something to you. If you feel incredibly anxious when you’re alone, then you’re probably going to seek to fill every moment of your time with something. That’s exhausting. You need to learn to sit with your emotions and experience how they make you feel rather than running away from them. You might need to cry one day; you might need to laugh another.
The point is you need to recognize your needs and meet them because you are the only person who can make you happy. The better you are with self-awareness and self-care, the easier it will be to be alone without feeling lonely.
A Higher Purpose
When you feel connected to a higher being or purpose, you are less likely to feel alone even if you are literally alone. It provides you with a feeling of connection every day.
The more time you spend with yourself, the more comfortable you grow with discomfort. You can start trying new things, though it may feel super weird as you get started. You can go to the movies on your own, head to a conference that piques your interest, and uncovers new facets of your personality. You learn where your comfort zone is, how to expand it, and keep pushing its boundaries. The more your push your limits, the quicker you will realize you never feel lonely on your own.
Live in the Moment
Meditation is a great way to embrace the moment, but it isn’t the only option. Not everyone manages meditation because even though it’s easy in theory, it’s quite challenging to remain focused on your breathing and keep your mind from wandering. While it’s challenging, it does become much easier the more you practice it. If you don’t feel you can handle meditation, try starting with sitting quietly.
Yoga is another excellent option as it has its own meditative properties and may be helpful for people who struggle with sitting still. Yoga forces people outside of their comfort zone and offers gentle exercise too. You’re forced to focus on your body, breath, and this very moment you’re in right now.
Pick Up a Pastime
You don’t need to fill every moment, but having a hobby or pastime you enjoy will help you grow comfortable with spending time alone. Read a book, play a game, write, bake, knit, lucid dream, play chess… it doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is that it’s something that makes you feel good and/or leaves you feeling inspired.
Do you have a craving for your favorite meal? Take yourself out for a nice dinner. It might feel daunting initially, but a lot of people go out to dinner on their own. Think of all the traveling business people who dine in hotels on their own. That takes courage, and it’s the courage you can claim as your own. If you’re worried about twiddling your thumbs, take a book along with you and visit a restaurant you know well enough that you feel comfortable there.