Four tips for embracing solitude

Can you be alone without being lonely?

by Psychologies

how to be alone

How much time are you comfortable spending by yourself? A day? A week? How about two months?

None of us is truly immune to the experience of lonliness. Whether it stems from something as life-changing as a divorce or a bereavement, or as fleeting as a Friday night in alone on the sofa, we have all experienced the discomfort of finding ourselves alone when we’d rather not be.

So how best to deal with it?

  • THINK SMALL. Looking too far ahead is daunting. Celebrate minor achievements – going to a café on your own, talking to someone at work – rather than fixating on what you’ve yet to achieve.
  • ASK QUESTIONS. Don’t let your thoughts go unchecked. It’s easy to let a negative emotion dictate your mood. Question what’s caused you to feel the way you do and consider whether it’s justified.
  • CLEAN HOUSE. Practise ‘mental hygiene’. Take a few minutes every morning for a bit of psychological housework. Are there worries or doubts lurking? Deal with them before you get on with your day.
  • ACCEPT IT. Remember that loneliness isn’t a failing. We’re social creatures hard-wired to be with others and it’s natural to feel unhappy when that’s jeopardised. Don’t feel ashamed to admit to it.

More inspiration:

Read The call of silence by Mark Vernon on LifeLabs

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