Being alone is daunting for some people. Let’s face it: in today’s world, it is believed that we are hardly ever alone, especially with the use of technology and the connections we have with others through social media.
But however connected we feel we are, however many Likes on our posts we receive, or re-tweets or messages we get, the digital world can be very cold at times. We carry our smartphones, tablets, and even laptops everywhere. But is it actually connecting us to real relationships – or is it distracting us from the world around us?
Regardless of how we feel about the aforementioned, we all go through moments that we find ourselves alone with our thoughts, our feelings. At times, these moments can feel lonely.
But they don’t have to. When we know how to deal with loneliness, we can use those moments to explore our own minds and thoughts. And ultimately, build a better version of ourselves in the process.
During the day, activities – whether physical or mental – keep us rather occupied. Usually, this idea of being alone sets in at night, when the energy is less active, so to speak. You see, if you take a moment to feel what the world is like during the day and at night, you’ll find that they feel completely different from one another.
One thing to keep in mind is that during the day, the energy is much more active than at night. So the feeling at night is sometimes interpreted as a sense of loneliness. There is simply much more downtime at night than during the day. Remember: we live in a society that is based on the idea of work, movement, and production.
So it’s natural, even if people do work at night that the energy during this time is calmer and less heightened than during the day. Nighttime can be used to reflect on the day’s activities, and think about its aspects.
What did you do today? What is still left to do that you can start tomorrow? What did you experience during the day? What could have been done better or differently?
How To Deal with Loneliness
Here are a few ideas on how to deal with loneliness, especially during those times that the connection to others feels like it’s dwindling.
1. Write in a journal
Take the time to write about your day. You’ll find that even if you start with NOT having anything to write about, allow yourself to free write. All of a sudden, thoughts and ideas will find their way to your journal and help you clear things up.
Writing in a general may seem a little dated, but there’s nothing like expressing your thoughts on paper or a digital format to clear your mind. Plus, seeing your thoughts written out many times helps you understand certain things better.
I advise this to my patients and students because of the wonderful results it has.
2. Deal with what you have to deal with
Or better said, think about what you have to deal with. Throughout the day, we push less pleasant thoughts away.
Many times we bottle them up and keep them inside somewhere. These same thoughts have a tendency of coming up again at night. They come at night because it’s quiet and the mind feels that the quieter times of the day are the best times to think about the bottled thoughts.
Deal with them at your own pace. These are thoughts that need your attention, which is why they come up. The more you push them away, the harder they’ll push back. Write them down in your journal, meditate upon them, write a song, or paint a picture. This is also a good way on how to deal with loneliness.
Whatever path you choose, make sure to take the time to give your thoughts the attention that they need. Clear them out.
3. Technology isn’t always the answer
Many times, we feel that by simply being online, we’re connected to others. However, being online feels emptier than actually sitting alone in a room. Take time to think about what you’re doing when you’re online. Are you being constructive, or are you buying time for something else?
Consider what you’re thinking about and use the time to better build on something you may be working on. For the most part, it’s not so much about hanging out online and waiting for someone to Like your post. But you can actively search for information, blogs that write about a craft you may be thinking about taking on, or even tutorials in the form of videos that can help you in school, at work, or in your personal ventures.
Technology is a blessing and a curse. But the good thing is that we can use it as a tool to inspire us to reach that next level.
4. Hard to sleep?
Often, trying to go to sleep doesn’t work out so well. We find ourselves in a pit of loneliness. When we can’t sleep, we often over-think, and in the process, wear ourselves out.
Remember the mind races from thought to thought during the day. So it’s only natural for the mind to continue doing so even at night. We have to let the mind know that it’s okay to calm down and relax.
Try some meditation to get yourself ready for bed. Progressive relaxation always works, or maybe even some cool music or environmental sounds can ease the mind from over-thinking.
5. Being alone is OK
Above all else, the time you have with yourself is a great opportunity to get to know more about yourself. When you are away from others, another version of YOU springs to life.
Many times, it’s the more inquisitive version of you, a more understanding version of you, or even a more patient side of you. Learning how to deal with loneliness is an important time to freely think and do as you will.
Getting to know yourself better, and understanding what your mind, body, and emotions are communicating with you, is essential to one’s personal and social growth.
Remember that while we build the relationships around us with family and friends, the most important relationship is the relationship you have within yourself. The more time you take to get to know yourself, the stronger, clearer, and more aware you’ll become.
Life is a curious and beautiful thing. Sharing this experience with someone else makes it that much more special. Hope this helps you deal with loneliness and ‘till next time, trust yourself.
Professor Robert J. Escandon MA. C.Ht.