Being alone and feeling lonely is not exactly the same, no matter how related it may seem.
Physical solitude is an ideal secluded space to cultivate the spirit and get to know ourselves in depth. But the feeling of loneliness can appear still surrounded by people and is related to the inability to connect with others.
We have never experienced a season when human contact is so simple and so complicated at the same time.
We can connect to our devices 24 hours a day on this planet saturated with technology, but at the same time, we experience a deep sense of loneliness and a huge dose of insecurity about others and about ourselves.
Today more than ever, we need a space to meet in solitude.
Today, more than ever, we experience a great inability to truly connect with others.
Sounds like a paradox, right?
The reality is that being alone is not bad. Loneliness works like a spiritual and sensitive thermostat and gives us the opportunity to meditate on our lives and make changes for ourselves.
It can teach us as the best teacher to develop sensitive strength and meet our needs, instead of depending on the rest. But very often we are afraid of facing loneliness because it makes us feel lonely.
For what reason does loneliness scare us?
When someone tells us that they are alone, we immediately imagine that they are suffering simply because they are not accompanied. For many, the simple term “being alone” refers them to one of the worst possible destinations.
We link loneliness with abandonment and interpret it as that absolutely no one wants to be near us.
But true inner loneliness has nothing to do with being surrounded or not by people. You would be surprised to know how very common it is to feel this way, even if we are in the middle of a crowd, or at a family dinner, or in any context with more people.
This inner loneliness refers to the feeling that absolutely nobody cares about us, or that we are not essential enough in absolutely nobody’s life.
An invisible barrier appears between us and the rest of the planet, which suddenly seems impossible to overcome, and this leads us to isolate ourselves little by little more ourselves, until the moment when our solitude is absolute, due to the fact that it is sensitive and physical.
Sensitive loneliness and physical loneliness
So, we can already distinguish 2 important concepts:
Physical loneliness, which is when we are not with someone else, but sometimes it is necessary to thrive as people.
And sensitive loneliness, which is independent of whether or not we are with other people.
Sensitive loneliness often leads to physical loneliness. Sometimes physical loneliness leads to sensitive loneliness. But it is a reality that people can be alone without feeling emotionally lonely, and the huge trick is that:
They know they have each other, and they are self-sufficient!
Therefore, regardless of the minimum that they have a partner, family or many friends, or that they are single in a foreign country where they know absolutely no one, they can turn to their own love to feel complete and happy.
Have you ever met one of those people who have hundreds and hundreds of friends on Fb, more than ever, and in all circumstances, he spends every Friday night alone at home?
Well, no matter how much digital interaction he has, he is a lonely person who has fallen into the trap of quantity over quality of his social relationships.
A thousand friends on Facebook are not worth what a real friend, of flesh and blood, who is interested in our lives and who cares what happens to us.
Those who are overwhelmed with getting likes and recognition on social media, and forget to cultivate their relationships in real life, tend to be the loneliest people.
For example, maybe you are one of those people who can spend hours taking selfies that are suitable for posting on Instagram.
Maybe you already have a lot of followers who comment on your posts. If of each and every one of these people, you cannot find a single one with whom you would feel comfortable being yourself, you are someone lonely, even if you have thousands of “friends”.
Even if you date multiple of them on a regular basis. Although they appear to be really close. You are surrounded by people, but you cannot authentically connect with absolutely anyone, nor dare to be who you truly are.
The obsession with staying connected with the outside means that we forget how to contact ourselves, and that is the principle of sensible loneliness.
So what is physical loneliness for?
Although we associate loneliness with something negative, the reality is that physical loneliness is something that we all need at times. And more on this modern planet.
It is a positive experience of commitment to yourself. It is the ability to give yourself time without having to worry about the hopes or demands of the rest.
Loneliness is being alone without feeling “lonely.”
The one big difference is the attitude we take in front of physical loneliness and in front of the rest. In solitude, we enjoy spending time on our own, and when we feel lonely, what we want is to connect with someone else, but we feel that we cannot do it.
We are gregarious beings. In other words, most of us experience a strong need to relate to other people.
Social relationships cover much of our needs for appreciation, security, belonging, entertainment, and also fear.
But, when you can’t cover even part of these needs for yourself, it will be really difficult for you not to feel lonely, even though you are surrounded by friends.
This is because the rest will never be able to completely cover each and every one of our sensitive needs. Let’s affirm that they can take care of the forty-nine percent plus the remaining fifty-one percent is up to you.
Loving yourself, giving yourself security, building your belonging, finding activities that interest you, and feeling intimate with yourself is essential so that you can experience physical loneliness without developing sensitive loneliness.
On the other hand, did you know that avoiding physical loneliness at all costs can also lead you to suffer sensitive loneliness?
That’s how it is. Overloading yourself with social stimuli can also start to wear down the quality of the bonds you develop with others.
How can you take advantage of your time alone so that you don’t feel lonely?
The first option always and at all times is to “go with the flow” and do precisely what you want.
But if you’re having trouble making up your mind or don’t want to let your inclination to waste time lead you to procrastinate or waste it on meaningless games and activities, consider the following:
The stillness that comes with physical solitude provides us with the ideal setting for meditation.
Meditating is an ideal way to refresh and deepen our understanding of what makes us who we are. Regular meditation practice tends to be accompanied by the ability to be more frank and clear with ourselves.
In addition, we can know ourselves better, and, consequently, discover what we need, what hurts us, and what we really want in life, without holding anyone else responsible for it.
2. Practice deep concentration
Strategic and deep concentration tends to appear only in moments of loneliness since it requires the absence of thunderous social stimuli.
You can apply it to anything you like. Doing a puzzle, learning algebra, playing an instrument, dancing, etc. It is about focusing all your mental resources on one activity to achieve mastery.
Another great way to practice absolute concentration is to identify an issue that you have been ignoring for a long time and continue to examine it until such time as you can find at least one hypothetical solution.
This will help you not only to become better with some technique or by solving problems. It will also make your psyche get used to concentrating and over time you will be able to do it anywhere, even if you are surrounded by people.
3. Cultivate creativity
Take out of the wardrobe those colored pencils that you have thrown away for a few years. Solitude is the ideal space for you to express yourself artistically and creatively without being distracted by other people’s opinions.
Sing, make up a song, play an instrument, draw, dance, write. In solitude, there are thousands and thousands of possibilities for that artist within you.
4. Avoid crowded places
If what you want is to put aside the feeling of being lonely, try not to try to fix it in frequented or noisy places.
Blocked discos, concerts, and bars are not even remotely the ideal place for you to get out of solitude. All the opposite.
This is because, firstly, it is quite difficult to approach someone in these environments. And then the relationships you can create there tend to be pretty shallow.
If you want to authentically connect with other humans, join a volunteer. Go to the park, to the disco, or sign up for a course of something that catches your attention.
And remember that the feeling of not alone depending more on yourself than on the rest. It really is about your attitude towards life.
If you feel lonely, you can try to make many friends in real life and in the networks, but if you do not fight the root problem (which probably must do with the fact that you cannot cover most of your sensitive needs for yourself), loneliness will never go away.