I always want to write about things that I know, that I experienced, that I’ve been through, and everything what is coming from the bottom of my heart. So when I was thinking what should I write next this came up – how did I manage to stay alive from being unhappy in relationship to being happy only by myself.
So is there a difference between being alone and being lonely? Yes. There is a massive difference between being solo and being lonely and people usually confuse those two. Now solitude is a quality or state of being alone or remote from society. It’s a choice. Loneliness is a negative feeling about being alone. Loneliness comes from inside and it’s a very very deep mental condition. These two states are very different.
In my opinion loads of people start feeling lonely after they end up good or bad relationship. And it is actually a totally normal thing. One day you are spending your days with a special person, creating most amazing memories and planning your future and the next day you’re sitting in the room by yourself with millions thoughts, analysing what you’ve done wrong, thinking maybe you do not deserve anything good in this world. Am I exaggerating? Not at all. I felt that way and I think millions of people are feeling the same (and sometimes worse) every single day. Of course, end of relationship is not the only case, there is like millions of different stories how, when, where and why people face loneliness (like a young peeps feeling lonely in school/university, when one is moving to a new location, death of a loved ones and so on…) Also, believe it or not – a lot of people do feel lonely even in the room full of people (that’s very common when you are surrounded with people who has different values and perspective of life). Loneliness is a very deep feeling and closely related to our inner world. Loneliness is when you feel empty, unwanted and absolutely alone (physically or mentally). I think it is obvious, that loneliness is a negative thing and the worst part is that it can lead to depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts. According to one study it impacts not only mental but also a physical health, such as increased blood pressure, weaker immune system, inflammation throughout the body and even decreased memory, it also might increase to alcoholism and drug use. Loneliness is a really serious state of mind which has hell of a huge impact on our life.
Now the SOLITUDE, differently then loneliness, is when you choose to be isolated from others, when you choose to physically (and maybe mentally) be alone. It’s when you choose to be home instead of going to a party, it’s when you choose to go on a solo trip instead of spending time with your friends or family, it’s when you choose to spend time with yourself and for yourself. While the loneliness is not a very good place to be in, solitude is actually the best thing that might happen. Why?
- Solitude helps you to know yourself. This is the first and the most important thing. Most of the people (including me) don’t really know who they are. We build our lives around other people, we create ourselves according to how others want us to be, what they want us to do, what they want us to like even if it doesn’t make us happy. So by being alone with our own thoughts we can slowly find the things about ourselves that didn’t know existing. And that’s the best part – we start aligning ourselves to who we truly are. It’s magical.
- Solitude helps you to build mental strength. When you spend your time with yourself – you have to deal with whole lots of challenges by yourself. You have to learn how to make a decisions and be more responsible without anyone else help. You have to learn how to rely on yourself. It takes time (like anything else in this life) but you will become stronger and stronger everyday.
- Solitude increases creativity. When there is no distractions – you choose what to do, how to spend your time, how to fill your day. Alone time opens your mind to wander around and you never know, it might spark the creative part of you to come out and play (evil laugh).
- Solitude helps you to unwind and feel grounded. When you are surrounded by people and their problems, when you run around at home and work, when you go and go and go and go – let’s be honest it becomes overwhelming over some time. But spending even a little time with yourself might get you back on track. It’s an opportunity for you to clear your head, to think more deeply about your own well being and focus on the most important things in your life.
- Solitude might help you to plan your life. Solitude takes you to the places where you never been before, it helps you to find yourself and find the things that you love. Peace and quiet time helps you to think through your current life and gives opportunity set up new goals, plan the next step and even find a purpose of your life.
Solitude has a lot of benefits, more then I wrote down, but most of the people consciously or unconsciously try to avoid being alone. It’s scary, I know. And I think everything starts when we are small – parents are sending us to be alone in the room as a punishment, they push us to be social by arranging play-dates, sending to all kind of classes, including in all kind of activities. From the young days we are taught that being alone is not something we have to look forward to. And when we grow up, we don’t know how to be with ourselves. We occupy our mind with TV shows, music, podcasts. We crave for spending time with people who do not even fill our souls with joy. We get ourselves into a toxic relationship that takes away our energy. We fill our day with meaningless scrolling through our phones, checking social media more than checking how our parents are doing. And all of this is just because we don’t want to be with ourselves. We are afraid of silent. We are afraid of our thoughts. We are afraid of boredom. And most important we are afraid of what is hiding inside of our mind. And I believe there is a lot of noise – hopes, dreams, unfinished goals, shame, embarrassment, mistakes that been made, sadness, anger, and we don’t want to open that box because it takes time and strength to solve everything out.
It isn’t my intention to scare you. I want to help you! I want to help you to grow as a person. I want to help you to learn how to be your better self. I want you to learn how not to be afraid of being alone. And that it’s possible to be alone and be happy. I want to say that everything is OK, that we learn everyday, we grow everyday and that we will find the light eventually. But it is a lifelong process so do not expect to a quick change.
I am completely single for more than a year now and it was so bloody hard to be with myself at the beginning. I was always watching movies, listening to music and doing all kind of stuff until just to keep my mind away from the reality. When one day, after reading one book, I realised that I am AWAY FROM REALITY. I am not living my life, I am just existing. Then all the massive process of thinking, rethinking, analysing, reading and writing, triple thinking again and again began. I had exciting and exhausting periods, there was moments when I cried my eyes out, when I couldn’t understand why do I need to live and there were moments when I was having fun, silly dancing and singing in my room and couldn’t be more happier. This process of ups and downs is still on. But I continue to believe that we are strong and no matter what we going through, we will be happy. We will find the light.
Now I know it might be difficult to start, but if you feel disconnected, a bit lost or tired of everyone, maybe it’s time to consider about connecting to yourself? It might take some time, but here are my few tips how to be ok on your own:
- Arrange your alone time. Set some time every day or every week for yourself. It sounds silly, but we always spend time with others (directly or via screens) and we forget to spend time with ourselves.
- Spend some time in nature. It is so hard to feel lonely when you step into nature, where you can admire endless natural beauty. Go for a walk or a hike in the nearest park at least once a week and I promise you will feel so much better not only mentally but physically too.
- Disconnect. Turn off all the devices (phone, TV, tablet, laptop). Shut down all TV shows, music, social media and spend some time with yourself.
- Accept yourself. When you quiet the noise around you, you might have to deal with the noise inside you. Accept that. Take everything what comes within your mind. All the past, all the present, all the future. Everything is important. That is who you are and that’s the most amazing thing.
- Be creative. It’s not like you turn off everything and sit around in the dark. No! Be creative! Be active! Do something! Or be lazy! (yes, exclamation mark is necessary here) Read, meditate, colour, paint, put a face mask, go for a run, bake something, write something, do something. Creativity will make you feel more present, more grounded and you definitely feel better.
- Love yourself. Because there is no one who knows what’s better for you. Because there is no other like you.