Oddly enough, most people seem often confused with the fact that being alone and lonely are two different things. In a world which is usually full of noise, it is imperative to enjoy quiet times of solitude rather than dull feelings of loneliness, even when socializing with others is a part of life.
So what is the difference between the two?
To begin, you need to understand that being alone is a state of being whereas loneliness is a state of mind. While the latter is a kind of aching which is beating in your chest and all of your thoughts, the former is a sort of solitude that turns into your sanctuary where you can rest and recharge.
Countless people out there love having fun and socializing, but several of these also enjoy sitting alone in a room and being by themselves at times. Human beings are social creatures by nature, so the idea of loneliness should be completely irrelevant and nonexistent. But it is not!
I do love alone time… but when people are lonely, they are full of such emptiness, despair, and sorrow. I am pretty sure that you have been affected by loneliness at least once in your life. We all have. It is a feeling of sadness which is among the most painful for any of us to experience.
Being alone is entirely different from being lonely because you have to be alone at times to resource. But to be lonely happens when you do not feel complete in being by yourself. Let’s go deeper into it!
Why Being Lonely is Unhealthy
Loneliness is a dark, persistent feeling that follows you around all day long. It doesn’t matter what you are doing or who you are with; it seems impossible to shake that feeling or get rid of it, no matter who is beside you.
Do not get me wrong; it is normal for anyone to feel down at times, to be lonely, like having a heartbreak or the sensation many entrepreneurs have while on their path to success. But I am talking about the kind of solitude caused by a sad feeling of isolation, where no one is around, and you are affected by pain.
All of us have different ways to cope with stress, difficulties, and heartbreaks, but you should never let yourself come to the point where you feel so alone that it conveys negative thoughts to your mind.
Again, if you are getting feelings of loneliness or fear as a person, it is a typical trait, but it should happen from time to time. The problem arises when you make decisions that are intended to provide you with some relief for temporary issues, such as loneliness.
You should know that in the long-term, it will only bring you permanent negative consequences.
Being Alone is Misunderstood
Most people make the wrong connotations about being alone. It is often assumed that if you are alone, you must be a lonely person, or maybe there is something wrong with you, especially in a culture where a family is the sign of the final fulfillment.
It is not because you are sad as a bad event happens in your life or eating by yourself in a restaurant that it should give the idea that you are a lonely person. It is so far from the truth. Being alone does not necessarily mean that there is a problem, that you are not happy or that you have no one.
It means that disconnecting from the world at times can be more gratifying for you than being surrounded by people all the time, as being on your own gives you a period to connect with your higher self and truly listen.
All successful people do it! Being alone is a very healthy habit where you can spend time by yourself, think and put things into perspective. Likewise, you could do the same by walking in nature, spend time in silence in a room, meditate, etc.
By spending time alone, you develop a relationship with yourself; you realize what possibilities could arise in your life. To be alone has become somehow politically incorrect in our social world. But do you know that you miss out on an important part of what it means to be you?
A Great Time for Self-Improvement
I have always found that I become renewed, improved and regenerated when I spend time alone. Don’t you? During those quiet times, I feel anything but alone or lonely but rather the silence refurnishing my energy.
And by spending some time with yourself and discover who you are, you will find better ways to improve. It is a great moment for self-improvement because always being with people diminishes you from dealing with any parts of yourself that could do with some progress.
The time you spend alone creates a space for you to grow, develop and improve for the better. Freedom is a beautiful thing. You understand that having the room to proceed freely gives you the joy of standing on your own without relying on others.
Being alone can also be considered as a healing process after an unfortunate situation you have gone through. It may be a period where you need to take the time to heal so that you may be ready to be happy with you.
Too many people in this world tolerate unacceptable behaviors from friends, family or partners so that they do not have to be alone or feel loneliness. Why would anyone do this to themselves? Why would you endure that?
We are supposed to be the most intelligent species on this planet, and yet we often act stupidly.
Tips on How to Enjoy Being Alone
- Be a courageous adventurer.
- Stop limiting the possibilities of trying new things.
- Go alone to a movie, eat in a restaurant, travel, or take a day trip somewhere.
- Feel comfortable knowing your true self.
- Unleash your survival instincts.
- Recall that confidence in your abilities.
- Understand what makes you a great person.
- Be by yourself to get a sense of independence from others.
- Realize you do not need anything or anyone outside of yourself to make you feel loved.
- Put together and read any positive emails, notes, letters, cards, pictures and compliments about yourself.
- Learn to spend time alone so you can deal and cope with problems much better.
- Discover inspiration around you by doing something positive.
- Use your free time to do something you love.
- Surround yourself with optimism.
- Get to places that make you feel good and inspired.
- Walk away from negative places or people.
- Get in touch and connected with your inner self.
- Release endorphin by doing something pleasurable or laughing.
- Trust the universe and your abilities.
- Repeat to yourself that you have a lot to live for yet.
Sometimes, spending time alone is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is like keeping healthy habits; it is all about balance and control.
“Now you may turn around to look at your life but what you will see a signpost saying ‘NO LONGER AN OPTION,' but in front of you will be one saying ‘YOUR LIFE.' So get your stick and your backpack and go forward” - Sergei VanBellinghen
Know that there is nothing wrong to be alone for a while. Take this time to rediscover yourself, to love yourself, to admire your abilities and strengths, and grow by learning from your experiences, whatever they are. By knowing the difference between being alone and lonely, you will appreciate the richness of who you are. So enjoy your temporary solitude.
Sergei VanBellinghen, Founder & CEO of First-Class Lifestyle and sergeivanbellinghen.com, Success & Self-Improvement Expert, Lifestyle Entrepreneur, Online Marketer & Business Partner of Stuart Ross, also a passionate Globetrotter and an avid audio booker