Genuine happiness originates from within, even though we often seek it externally. Although seeking solace in others can uplift our spirits, finding satisfaction in our own solitude holds a unique charm. So, can one truly experience happiness in their own company? Absolutely, but it hinges on perspective.
The term ‘alone’ is occasionally burdened with negative undertones, as it’s often linked with loneliness and sadness. However, this correlation isn’t accurate, as these two concepts carry distinct implications. Loneliness stands apart from the experience of being alone.
Is being alone the same as feeling lonely?
Being alone does not necessarily translate to feeling lonely. Many individuals may spend extended periods of time in solitude while finding joy in their own presence. Loneliness, on the other hand, is a subjective emotion characterized by a sense of companionship deficit. It’s possible for some individuals to experience loneliness even when surrounded by others, if they lack a meaningful connection with those around them.
Strategies to enhance comfort with solitude
The subsequent suggestions can aid individuals in cultivating a more positive outlook on solitude, enhancing their overall well-being, and diminishing sentiments of isolation or loneliness.
Explore a new hobby
In an effort to alleviate feelings of loneliness, individuals might consider delving into a novel hobby, reigniting a pastime they once relished, or enrolling in a new class. Engaging in a new hobby can infuse a sense of amusement and pleasure, while also fostering connections with kindred spirits.
Engage in volunteer activities
For those grappling with loneliness, a highly endorsed course of action is to partake in volunteer endeavors within their local community. Volunteering provides an avenue for forging new connections and contributing to a cause of personal significance. Even in cases where physical participation isn’t feasible, virtual or at-home volunteer opportunities remain accessible.
Directing attention towards nurturing a constructive relationship with oneself and emphasizing self-care can be paramount. This encompasses tending to one’s mental and physical well-being and indulging in enjoyable and soothing undertakings like reading, savoring music, or embarking on a novel skill acquisition.
Take a pause from social media
The impact of social media on one’s sense of contentment when alone can vary between positive and negative. According to a scholarly study conducted in 2019, positive interactions on social media were not associated with heightened social isolation, whereas negative interactions exhibited a connection.
Nevertheless, there are instances where individuals might discover that social media fosters a sense of connection during solitary moments. However, if comparing oneself to others on these platforms leads to discontent, a break from social media could be beneficial. Such a break allows for self-assessment regarding whether reduced usage contributes to an elevated sense of happiness in one’s own company.
Stay physically active
Regular physical activity not only promotes physical well-being but can also enhance mental health. A comprehensive scientific investigation conducted in 2018 revealed that individuals engaging in exercise reported fewer instances of poor mental health within the preceding month compared to those who didn’t exercise.
This study concluded that various forms of exercise positively influenced mental health, permitting individuals to opt for activities they personally enjoy. Among the most advantageous exercises for mental well-being were team sports, cycling, aerobic workouts, and gym sessions. For optimal mental health benefits, engaging in 45-minute exercise sessions 3–5 times weekly was deemed ideal.
Additionally, a systematic review in 2018 affirmed a positive correlation between exercise and happiness. It proposed that dedicating as little as 10 minutes per day to physical activity might contribute to heightened levels of happiness.
Embrace the outdoors
Venturing into natural landscapes and green expanses can potentially enhance one’s overall well-being. According to a study conducted in 2019, individuals who devoted 120 minutes or more per week to immersing themselves in nature reported heightened levels of health and well-being.
Cultivate existing relationships
To foster a deeper sense of connection during solitary periods, individuals might prioritize the reinforcement of their current relationships. Allocating a specific time each day to engage with family, friends, or neighbors could be beneficial. This interaction might involve shared activities, heartfelt conversations conducted face-to-face or through calls, or the exchange of letters and cards to maintain connections.
Engage in gratitude
The practice of gratitude has the potential to bolster feelings of happiness. Findings from a 2018 study revealed that expressing gratitude for meaningful past aspirations that have been realized led to noteworthy increments in happiness and optimism for the future.
Individuals might consider jotting down elements they are grateful for in their daily lives, whether it’s a simple pleasure like a cup of coffee or moments spent surrounded by nature, or reflecting on past aspirations that have now come to fruition.
Seek guidance from a healthcare expert
If all efforts to alleviate feelings of loneliness prove ineffective, individuals have the option to engage in a conversation with a qualified healthcare professional. This step can be particularly useful if being alone becomes challenging or if one is grappling with sensations of loneliness or compromised mental well-being. Consulting a medical practitioner, therapist, or counselor is a valuable avenue to consider.